Jan. 26, 2008
Gainesville, Fla. – Deep in rival territory at the University of Florida’s Tom Jones Memorial Classic, Florida State’s track and field squads demonstrated why they have one of the top-ranked recruiting classes in the country. In just the second meet of the indoor season, freshman Kim Williams automatically qualified in the triple jump for the NCAA Indoor Championships while fellow freshman Ngonidzashe Makusha provisionally qualified in the long jump. Florida State’s 4x400m women’s relay team also picked up a provisional qualifying mark today, Jan. 26, in Gainesville, Fla.
In her third collegiate attempt at the triple jump, Williams took earned herself a spot as the top women’s triple jumper this season with a first-place leap of 44’0.7″ for an automatic bid to the national indoor meet in March and a spot at No. 3 in Florida State’s all-time triple jump records.
Makusha also made a promising debut as he unleashed a 25’8.7″ leap on his first long jump attempt, picking up a provisional qualifying mark and tying for the top long jump spot in the nation this season. In addition, Makusha’s powerful jump also earned him a place at No. 3 on Florida State’s all-time long jump list.
Another strong early season performance today came from the women’s 4x400m relay team who finished with a third-place time of 4:40.10, enough to earn themselves a provisional qualifying spot for the national indoor meet. The relay team’s success is largely attributed to returning All-Americans Kandia Batchelor and Keyla Smith, who joined forces in the event with junior Hshkeni Richemond and freshman Brittany St. Louis.
“We’re starting to put the pieces together,” said head coach Bob Braman. “It was a solid effort–a better effort than Clemson, but it’s not as good as it’s going to be when we get to the New Balance and Tyson Invites.
Still, we’re definitely moving forward.”
Elsewhere in the men’s events, 15-time All-American and seven-time National Champion Walter Dix began his final season with the Seminoles with a third-place, 6.26 mark in the 55m dash, the top collegiate time of the meet. Fellow All-American Michael Ray Garvin finished fifth in the event with a time of 6.31, while Makusha took sixth at 6.33. Sophomore Andrew Bachelor also had a strong showing as he notched a second-place mark in the high jump with a 6’10.7″ leap.
On the women’s side, junior Tori Allen placed third in the pole vault finals with a 12’1.7″ mark. Relay teammates Smith and Richemond took fifth and eighth place in the 800m run with times of 2:13.97 and 2:18.43, respectively. Freshman Brittany St. Louis also had a good showing in her second collegiate affair as she ran a sixth-place time of 24.65 in the 200m dash.
Florida State will be back in action next weekend at the Nebraska Invitational Feb. 1-2.