April 12, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
In one day, the Florida State men’s track and field team more than doubled its entries into the NCAA East Regional Championships. FSU added 11 more times and distances to its stockpile on Saturday (April 12) at the Seminole Invitational. The Seminoles now have 20 marks for the meet to be held May 30-31, at Mike Long Track.
In his first non-relay action of the outdoor season, sophomore Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, Va.) ran the fastest time in the country with a time of 45.30 that broke assistant coach Ken Harnden’s track record time of 45.32. Also running a regional qualifying mark was Kevin Williams (Miami, Fla.) with a time of 47.18.
Running a regional qualifying mark of 20.68 that is the best in the conference this season and third in the nation was junior Michael Ray Garvin (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) as he took second in the 200m. He came in behind former Seminole Brian Dzingai. Rookie Brandon Byram (Gallatin, Tenn.) also posted a regional mark in the 200m, running a time of 20.89.
“We talked about coming in that we had a chance to get more regional marks today than we did in the whole season,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “We got a lot of good things done; it was the perfect set up for the conference championship. It was a great, great day for Michael Ray and Charles. The men’s distance group in the 1500 meters did a real good job as well.”
Three Seminoles got regional marks during the men’s 1500m run. Senior Luke Gunn (Derby, England) opened the outdoor season with a time of 3:45.31 – the fastest in the ACC – to take second in the event. Right behind him was sophomore Daniel Roberts (Vicksburg, Mich.) at 3:47.06. Just getting in under the mark by four one-hundredths of second was Mark Buckingham (Huddersfield, England) at 3:47.76.
Making his first appearance in an individual event and only the second of the outdoor season was 2007 USTFCCCA Division I Athlete of the Year Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla.). Even though he pulled up short of the finish line in the 100m, the seven-time NCAA Champion scored a regional qualifying mark of 10.41 to take second. Former Seminole Greg Bolden won the event in 10.34.
A pair of Seminoles notched regional marks in the 400m hurdles. Running his first race of the year was senior Elliott Wood (Sydney, Australia) with a winning-time of 51.79. Right behind him in second place was junior Javier Garcia-Tunon (Miami, Fla.) at 52.09.
Also appearing for the first time during the outdoor campaign was freshman Ngoni Makusha (Mandedza, Zimbabwe). The put his name down on the regional qualifying list with a leap of 7.50m/24-07.25 in the triple jump.
“We have the kind of team and the kind of post-collegians here in Tallahassee that are trying to make Olympic teams or be professional runners, that kind of talent in this area that we don’t need to go to LSU or Texas A&M to get done what we need to get done,” Braman added. “That’s the nice thing; we’ve got great competition with our own kids.”
Florida State raced to a first-place finish in the men’s 4x400m relay with a quartet of runners who had previously run regional qualifying marks in earlier races. The team of Williams, Byram, Garvin and Wood crossed the tape first in 3:12.28.
Picking up Florida State’s first victory of the day was Irayiza Andrews (Tampa, Fla.) as she took the 100m hurdles with a top time of 14.46. FSU also got a blue ribbon in the final event of the night as Christina Woytalewicz (Brandon, Fla.) took the 5,000m run in a time of 17:21.04.
The Seminoles had two of the top three finishers in the women’s 100-meter dash. Kim Williams (Kingston, Jamaica) ran a time of 12.03 to take second, while Naikeya Heath (Killeen, Texas) took third at 12.30.
The Seminoles went one-two in the men’s hammer throw. Senior Matt Wernke (Tallahassee, Fla.) had a winning toss of 55.47m/182-02 with teammate Travis Whitfield (Jay, Fla.) second with a distance of 54.86/180-08. Junior Tim Reen (Jupiter, Fla.) cleared a height of 2.05m/6-08 to take second in the high jump. Senior Matt Frith (Jacksonville, Fla.) took third in the javelin with a toss of 51.22m/168-0.
Competing unattached, freshman Michael Putnam (Miami, Fla.) won the discus with a distance of 51.51m/168-11. The rookie doubled up by winning the shot put with a throw of 16.57m/54-04.50.
Freshman Brittany St. Louis (Arima, Trinidad and Tobago) ran her first race of the outdoor season, coming in second with a time of 55.57 in the 400m dash. Classmate Bree-Arne McArdle (Queensland, Australia) took second in the 1500m at 4:38.37. Taking the event was former Seminole Barbara Parker with a time of 4:16.87.
Florida State women’s team grabbed four top three place finishes in variety of events. Heath tallied her second top three finish as she came across the line in the 200m dash with a time of 25.17. Sophomore Erin Simmons (Argyle, Texas) was third in the javelin as she notched a throw of 33.41m/109-07. Her classmate Rosanna Bell (Gainesville, Fla.) ran a time of 11:18.71 to take third in the 3,000m steeplechase.
The Seminoles are back in action next weekend at the Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Championships, hosted by Georgia Tech. The men’s team is going for its fourth-straight Outdoor title and eight consecutive championships between indoor and outdoor. The women’s team finished second last season and it seeking its first title since 2000.