March 14, 2008
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –
Of all the Florida State athletes at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, freshman Gonzalo Barroilhet wasn’t among the ones predicted to compete for a national championship. However, after day one of the national summit he is halfway to being the first Seminole on top of the medal stand.
The rookie picked up personal-best scores in three of the four events of the heptathlon held on Friday (March 14) at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas. Barriolhet (Santiago, Chile) leads the event with a score of 3,265 points, which is 42 better than second place.
“That’s awesome, it was just a phenomenal day for the guy,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “To have the two fouls in the long jump and then hit a life-time best, the second-best jump of the competition, that was just huge. I think from that point on it helped in the shot and the high jump because he knew he had conquered his demons and conquered it huge.”
Even though he ran a personal-best time of 7:19 in the 60m, Barroilhet was still in 11th out of 16 competitors. However, his efforts in the long jump may be the difference in FSU winning the team title. After scratching on his first two attempts, the rookie uncorked a career-best jump of 7.42m (24-04.25) to take second in the event and vault him to fourth overall. Going into the long jump Barroilhet was down 124 points, but after the event he trailed the leader by only 57.
Barriolhet continued his ascension up the overall standings during the shot put. His toss of 13.74m (45-01) was just a centimeter short of his personal best and it nabbed him 712 points to move his total up to number two at 2443. He made his final push in a most unexpected event. Coming into the high jump, Barriolhet had the third-lowest mark at 1.94m, but he won the second heat and tied for fourth overall with a collegiate-best height of 2.02m (6-07.50) for 822 points.
“I’m a little more experienced than the average freshman so I’ve been in that position before,” Barroilhet said about scratching on his first two long jumps. In that situation there are two choices, save it or take the risky way and I took the risky way. It felt great out there, I was really focused. We have a chance to win the team championship for the first time so I really want to contribute to that.”
Florida State has five athletes in competition during the evening session. Live stats and video can be found at Arkansas home page: www.ladybacks.com