March 22, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla.- The Florida State track and field squad wasted no time jumping into the outdoor season as the team posted four regional qualifying marks at the home-hosted Snowbird Invitational. Senior Matt Wernke, freshman Teona Rodgers and sophomore Tiara Swanagan and the men’s 4x400m relay team earned regional marks today, March 22 at the Mike Long Track.
Florida State closed out its first home meet of the outdoor season with a talent-filled men’s 4x400m relay. The Seminoles ran two squads in the race. The “A” team of Tywayne Buchanan, Walter Dix, Elliot Wood and Kevin Williams crossed the line as the top collegiate finishers of the meet with a regional qualifying time of 3:08.16. Hubert Mitchell, Brandon Byram, Tommy Noyes and Stephen Wilson finished third overall as the Seminoles’ “B” team with a 3:12.63 mark.
In the men’s hammer throw, Wernke took first place with a 187’6″ mark, as he bested his previous career high and cemented himself at No. 6 on the Seminoles’ all-time top 10 list in the hammer throw.
Also in the field, Swanagan topped the collegiate women’s performers in the triple jump with a 40’11.50″ mark to finish third overall. The distance not only qualified Swanagan for the regional competition, it surpassed the previous meet record set last year at Mike Long Track.
In the women’s 100m hurdles, Rodgers picked up the Seminoles’ fourth regional nod of the day as she finished second with a time of 13.35, her career-best mark. Rodgers also finished third in the 200m dash, crossing the line in 24.17, just ahead of senior Dana Massiah who finished fourth with a time of 24.25.
“This meet was probably more competitive than we expected for this early in the season,” said Braman. “I felt like the men and the women really had some great performances.”
Elsewhere on the track, sophomore Pilar McShine shattered her personal-bests in both the 1500m and 800m. McShine won the women’s 1500m competition with a time of 4:31.04 and crossed the line in 2:10.81 for second in the 800m. Senior Audrey Hand also posted her career-best time in the 800m with a 2:13.55 mark for third place and finished in second behind McShine in the 1500m with a time of 4:34.32. Junior Hshkeni Richemond rounded out the top five in the women’s 800m with a 2:15.58 mark.
In other men’s events, junior Tim Reen finished second in the high jump with a top leap of 6’6″ while Noyes took third in the men’s 1500m run, clocking a 3:56.50.
“I think we’re going to have a very large contingent for the regional championships at home,” said Braman. “We will probably have 35-40 athletes out there competing, which would be phenomenal.”
Florida State host the FSU Relays, its second home meet of the season, next week starting Thursday, March 27 at the Mike Long Track. NCAA East Regional Championships will also be held at Mike Long Track on May 30-31 in Tallahassee.