FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Gleneve Grange broke the Florida State shot put record Saturday at the Tyson Invitational, highlighting another productive day for the Seminoles, who split up for two meets for the pivotal weekend as the indoor track & field season winds toward the postseason.
Grange’s second throw sailed 16.32 meters (53-6.50) and pushed the junior from third to first on the Seminoles’ all-time list, past Kamorean Hayes’ 2008 record of 16.29.
A junior transfer who was forced to sit out last season, Grange chose FSU out of New Mexico Junior College primarily to compete in the discus with fellow Jamaican Kellion Knibb and under coach Dorian Scott’s direction.
“It’s a great feeling knowing that I just came here for the discus; the shot put was a pet event and now I’m excelling in it,” said Grange, who came into the season with a shot put personal best of 14.57 meters (47-9.75). “Definitely there’s more. I just need to get some technique work done and it will fly.”
Grange, who broke the Jamaican junior national discus record once held by Knibb – which has since been broken by FSU freshman Shanice Love – is growing fond her one-off event.
“I hated it to be honest,” Grange said. “I was throwing it but it wasn’t going anywhere so I grew more to the discus than the shot.”
Her progression from a season-opening mark of 15.67 meters (51-5) literally has her dreaming of bigger throws in the future.
“I’m sleeping and dreaming about my technique,” Grange said. “It’s weird.”
“I couldn’t be more happy for her,” Scott said. “She got the record but it wasn’t perfect throwing. There’s still so much more there. I don’t want to throw a number out there, but 16.32 is just the beginning.”
Grange wasn’t the only Seminole at the Randal Tyson Center to move up Florida State’s all-time top 10 lists. Sophomore Shauna Helps climbed from sixth to fourth in the 200-meter dash, finishing third in a new personal-best of 23.56; not bad for someone who considers herself more of a short sprinter.
“Honestly I am getting more excited [about the 200],” said Helps, who also posted a personal-best in the 60-meter dash on Friday. “This year my coach [Brandon Hon] and I sat down and we attacked training from a different angle, being more prepared for the longer races as opposed to being just a 60- and 100-meter runner.”
Helps was actually the second collegian in the field – Olympian Kori Carter won in 23.22 – and beat some established stars, including 2016 NCAA Indoor 60-meter champion Teahna Daniels of Texas.
“I’m always grateful for a PR, but I think I’m my worst critic,” Helps said. “I’m grateful for my PR but there were many mistakes in the race; things I need to clean up before the ACC’s.”
Junior transfer Montel Nevers, who has been battling a lower leg injury, joined teammate Armani Wallace in a tie for No. 10 on FSU’s all-time triple jump list with his seventh-place finish in 15.58 meters (51-1.50). Wallace was eighth in 15.52 in the invitational section.
Ed’Ricus Williams flashed the form that qualified the graduate transfer from Bethune-Cookman for the NCAA Championships in the high jump early in his career. Williams matched his indoor personal-best with a leap of 2.16 meters (7-1) to join a five-way tie for the No. 8 spot on FSU’s all-time list.
Jamal Pitts still has work to do to crack FSU’s all-time list in the 200, but his personal-best 21.35 on Saturday established the graduate student as one of the favorites at the ACC Indoor Championships. In addition to the 200, Pitts contributed a 47.6 split to FSU’s season-best 4×400 relay (3:12.96), where he teamed with Kyle Fearrington, Matthew Butler and Steven Simpkins.
Eleonora Omoregie was the runner-up in the women’s high jump (1.80m/5-10.75), while Austin Droogsma placed third in the men’s shot put (18.17m/59-7.50).
The women’s 4×400 relay team of Janae Caldwell, Kimmie Cunningham, Melissa-Maree Farrington and Shaquania Dorsett also turned in a season-best time (3:43.76).
Middle distance men lead way at Boston
Junior Michael Hall whacked six seconds off his two-week-old previous best in the mile with the sixth-fastest time in Florida State history Saturday at the David Hemery Invitational. Hall’s 4:04.12 was good for 10th place overall and one of three personal-bests in the event on the day by Seminoles.
Junior Bryce Kelley (4:09.17) and redshirt freshman Will Simons (4:12.39) followed suit.
“Mike Hall is finally finding his stride with indoor track,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “He’s finally getting to the front where his kick can do some damage.”
Freshman Humberto Freire posted his fourth 800-meter personal-best of the season (1:51.67) and senior Matt Magee also PR’d in 1:52.76. Between them was grad student Jaap Vellinga, who debuted with an ACC Championships qualifying time of 1:52.76.
“I was pleased with our middle distance crew,” Braman said. “We had four lifetime bests, five indoor lifetime bests and then Jaap’s ACC qualifier. So they were very productive, for sure. They all competed really well, which is really important prep for ACC’s. The ACC Championships are about advancing and scoring.”
Harry Mulenga added to the personal-best parade with his 8:10.59 in the 3000-meter run.
“Overall I was pleased with the progress we made this weekend,” Braman added. “We had a few big breakthroughs and a bunch of improvements on the ACC list. The ACC has become one of the three best track & field conferences in the country so there should be some great fireworks in two weeks.”