May 27, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Seminoles.com) – Twenty-four hours after punching six tickets to the NCAA Track & Field Championships, Florida State earned six more final-site qualifiers Friday at day two of the East Regional in Bloomington, Ind.
Not surprisingly, FSU’s speedy star sprinters, Maurice Mitchell and Ngoni Makusha, both blazed their way to Des Moines, Iowa by finishing second and third, respectively, in the men’s 100m dash. Mitchell ran a 10.24 and Makusha ran a 10.26.
Also nabbing a spot at the final site was Brandon O’Connor. The sophomore speedster registered a 46.10 in the men’s 400m dash to place sixth overall.
The men’s pole vault saw Andrew Lahaye pull of an upset as the sophomore gave the Seminoles a huge boost by advancing to nationals. The Lake Brantley High School graduate vaulted to a personal-record-tying height of 17’0.75″ to tie for first place.
On the women’s side, Kim Williams achieved her second NCAA Championships berth in two days with a third-place finish in the women’s triple jump with a distance of 43’7″.
Michelle Jenije will also represent the Seminoles in the season finale as the Tallahassee native posted a 42’0.5″ in the women’s triple jump to qualify.
“It wasn’t a real busy day for us but we had some important things we needed to accomplish,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “That was such a positive for us to have Andrew Lahaye advance. He really came through. We had to get the 100 finished and then get our 200 guys through. Brandon O’Connor had another impressive day.”
In the men’s 200m preliminaries, Mitchell advanced to the final day by running a stellar 20.60 in the sixth heat of the event to lead all sprinters. Brandon Byram had the second-best time on the day with a 20.80 to also advance to the semifinals.
Tremaine Grant (men’s 110m hurdles), Kemar Hyman (men’s 110m dash), Charles Clark (men’s 200m dash) ,Brittany St. Louis (women’s 400m dash), Violah Lagat (women’s 800m run), Marecia Pemberton (women’s 100m dash), Chelsea Whalen (women’s javelin throw), Allyn Laughlin (women’s shot put) and Kamorean Hayes (women’s shot put) unfortunately failed to qualify for further competition for FSU in Friday’s action.
“The big story is that Charles Clark pulled up lame at the end of the 200,” Braman said. “That was a little bit of a blow to us; especially since he is eligible to run relays. But he has to be healthy and his hamstring has bothered him for a year. There was a little bit of hard luck for some of those other kids that wanted to have their shot at nationals. Kemar Hyman and Brittany St. Louis were both just one-tenth of a second from advancing. Violah Lagat missed it barely because with about 40 meters to go she tightened up and got passed.
“Allyn Laughlin really competed hard and even though she didn’t advance we were very proud of her effort.”
The final day of the opening regional round will be a busy one for Florida State.
The quartet of Teona Rodgers, St. Louis, Stephanie Simpson and Danielle Jeffery will team up for the women’s 4x100m relay. David Ambler, Mitchell, Makusha and Byram will then do the same in the men’s 4×100.
Hayes and Michael Putman will be featured in the women’s and men’s discus throw, too.
Amanda Winslow and Hannah Brooks will then compete in the women’s 1500m run semifinals and Jessica Parry will be looking to qualify in the women’s 5000m run. The men’s 5000m run will feature Nicholas Maedel, David Forrester and Ciaran O’Lionaird.
Mitchell, Phillip Young, Byram and O’Connor will then conclude the meet by running in the men’s 4x400m relay.
“Tomorrow the 4×100 is critical and the 4×400 is a challenge that we will face,” Braman said. “We are not favored but we are good enough to make it happen. We just need a few more wildcards to come through tomorrow now. We need strong performances from our men’s and women’s distance runners.”
FSU 2011 NCAA Championships Qualifiers to Date:
Ngoni Makusha – 100m dash, long jump
Maurice Mitchell – 100m dash
Michael Putman – shot put
Ciaran O’Lionaird – 10000m run
Mike Fout – 10000m run
Andrew Lahaye – pole vault
Brandon O’Connor – 400m dash
Kim Williams – triple jump, long jump
Amy Harris – long jump
Michelle Jenije – triple jump