NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Darryl Haraway isn’t quite ready to put an exclamation point on his indoor track & field season, nevertheless, the Florida State sophomore sprinter punctuated his breakout campaign with an historic gold medal double Saturday, leading the Seminoles on the final day of the ACC Indoor Championships.
Haraway joined Maurice Mitchell as the only Seminole sprinter to win ACC indoor titles in the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes in the same year, claiming the 60 title by the slimmest of margins, then capping the day with a personal-best of 21.07 for the 200 crown; the 10th-fastest time in program history.
Mitchell pulled off his double in 2011.
“Darryl dominted the ACC sprint scene all year and today was just the celebration of that,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “He’s developing into one of the best in the country and he’s only going to get better.”
Haraway’s 20-point haul was not only good for Men’s Track Co-MVP honors – he shared it with Syracuse’s Justyn Knight – but led the Seminole men to a third-place finish.
“Last year was mostly a learning experience where I had to basically show out this year,” said Haraway, who was the runner-up in the 60 and third in the 200 behind Clemson senior Tevin Hester. “He kind of passed the torch…I wanted the torch, so I just wanted to show out, do my thing, go to nationals and win it.”
While Haraway provided the only gold medals on the final day of competition, the Noles weren’t short on outstanding performances from both the men and the women, who also finished third.
Virginia Tech claimed the men’s team title with 109 points, followed by Virginia (98) and FSU (76). The Seminole women closed the meeting with 74 points behind defending champion Miami (113) and Clemson (98).
“We had unbelievable performances,” Braman said. “The conference is getting better and better and we’re keeping up with it. We were 30 points better this year on the men’s side and the women were about comparable. In order to be third we had to be really good, and we were really good.”
In second place to begin the day, the Seminole women overhauled Friday leader Louisville when Gleneve Grange improved on her school record in the shot put (16.54m/54-3.25) for third and Kellion Knibb added a season-best (15.36/50-4.75) for fifth and a 10 team points.
Freshman Eleonora Omoregie’s second NCAA Championships appearance of the year included two clearances but ended with an exit at 1.82 meters to place 15thand earn second-team All-American honors.
“Eleonora was battling the entire competition,” Braman said. “She and Coach Nobles made good adjustments and she just missed on her third attempt. It was a great freshman year – a double ACC champion and second-team All-American.”
With a second-attempt clearance at 1.78 meters (5-10), her second clearance of the day, Omoregie out-performed her seed (16th) and cleared one more bar than she did when she placed 11th at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Couple that group with freshman Veronika Kanuchova, who was fourth in the hammer, 100-meter hurdles qualifying underclassmen Peta-Gay Williams and Cortney Jones, and 400-meter qualifier Shaquania Dorsett, and the Noles have a strong base to go along with one of the nation’s top signing classes.
FSU’s hurdle tandem of sophomore Peta-Gay Williams (8.16) and Cortney Jones (8.18) tacked on 14 more points with their silver-bronze finish in the 60-meter hurdles. Jones’ time moved her to No. 4 on the all-time list.
The Seminoles, however, just didn’t have enough finals qualifiers to stave off a Miami team built for the indoor season. Sophomore sprinters Shauna Helps and Shaquania Dorsett did their part. Helps was fifth in the 60, matching her personal-best (7.37) and fourth in the 200, while Dorsett cracked the 54-second barrier for the first time for seventh in the No. 5 time in program history (53.84).
Carmela Cardama Baez backed up her fourth-place finish in Friday’s 5000 by finishing seventh in the 3000 (9:29.98).
There were an equal number of big performances on the men’s side, beginning in the men’s mile where redshirt sophomore Michael Hall (4:03.00) and senior Harry Mulenga (4:04.36) dropped lifetime bests to finish fourth and sixth. Hall’s time is third-fastest in FSU history and Mulenga climbed to No. 7.
“I’m really proud of Mike and Harry,” Braman said. “Neither made the final last year and today they put eight big points on the board. Mike Hall is going to be special someday. He’s incredibly talented and competes like a tiger. His future is unlimited.”
One of the most productive event of the day was the men’s shot put, which produced one of the biggest surprises.
Junior Austin Droogsma unleashed the throw of his life (19.14m/62-9.5) to not only lock down a silver medal finish but secure at trip to the NCAA Championship meet. As an added bonus, he climbed to No. 3 all-time among Seminoles.
“The ACC competition can often elicit iconic performances,” Braman said. “Austin Droogsma had his today. That throw puts him into the national meet and makes him one of our best-ever.”
Emmanuel Onyia (17.57) and Chad DaCosta (17.11) finished sixth and seventh for a net haul of 13 points.
Junior Montel Nevers may very well be joining Droogsma in College Station, Texas when his sixth and final attempt of the competition was good for a season-best 15.88 meters (52-5.5), a bronze medal and at least temporarily, the No. 14 spot on the national descending order list. Teammate Armani Wallace rallied late as well (15.54m) to finish fifth.
In addition to Haraway, Edward Clarke contributed a fifth-place finish in the 60 (6.79) from the sprints corps, while the 4×400 relay team of Kyle Fearrington, Jamal Pitts, Kenny Lane and Steven Simpkins summoned up a season-best time of 3:11.31 to finish fourth in the final event of the meet.
“We had a really good meet,” Braman said. “We out-performed our seedings and I couldn’t be happier with how we competed. We’ve always said we’re a better outdoor team, and I don’t want to take away the accomplishments of Virginia Tech and Miami, but we aren’t quite built for these events. If we do our best, qualify people for nationals and do our best, that’s our goal. I think we accomplished that.”