Feb. 15, 2008
Fayetteville, Ark. – A frosty morning in Arkansas gave way to a heated day of success as the Florida State track and field squad turned one automatic and three provisional qualifying marks at the Tyson Invitational. Among the day’s highlights was a school record-breaking performance in the long jump from freshman Ngoni Makusha and two top 60m dash performances from All-Americans Walter Dix and Michael Ray Garvin.
“Of course the two big highlights on the guys side were Ngoni Makusha and Michael Ray Garvin dominating their events,” said head coach Bob Braman. “Those are important pieces for us getting ready for nationals. On the women’s side, Teona Rodgers ran a great race and Amanda Quick had her second-best time in the mile this morning. We also had Brian Chibudu competing in his first meet in two years. All in all it was a good first day, but we’ve got a lot more work to do tomorrow.”
Newcomer Makusha shattered the Florida State indoor long jump record with a distance of 26’00.25″. The Zimbabwe-native’s career-best jump also gave him his first career automatic qualifying mark and something else.
“I improved on my personal-best and I also improved my country’s record,” said Makusha, who now holds the all-time Zimbabwe high jump record. As for his automatic bid to the national championships, Makusha added, “Going to nationals is a big step for me, it was one of my goals.”
Like Makusha, Garvin also bested his top career mark in the finals of the 60m dash, clocking in at 6.65. Garvin improved on his provisional mark earlier in the season by five-hundredths of a second. Dix finished ahead of Garvin by a hair in the 60m prelims to receive his first provisional qualifying mark of the season with a time of 6.68, but chose not to compete in the finals in order to prepare for tomorrow’s races.
Senior Drew Brunson and freshman Teona Rodgers both put forth a stellar set of performances in the 60m hurdles. Brunson picked up his second provisional mark of the season as he finished fifth in the men’s 60m hurdles prelims with a 7.83 to advance to tomorrow’s finals.
Rodgers also advanced to the finals with a tenth-place time of 8.44, her best mark of the season. Later in the afternoon, the Tampa, Fla.-native notched a 7.47 in the 60m dash to move on to the consolation finals where she finished eighth.
Including today’s performances, Florida State now holds three automatic and eight provisional qualifying marks for the NCAA Indoor Championships next month, which will also be held in Fayetteville.