STANFORD, Calif. – Friday’s opening of the Cardinal Classic proved bountiful for the Florida State track & field teams at Cobb Track and Angell Field as the Seminoles produced a half-dozen event wins and piled up some of their finest performances of the season.
“We had a solid day today,” Florida State coach Bob Braman said.
“I felt like we competed well. Some of our crew, especially the track athletes, seemed like they were still getting their legs back from the travel, but this is a great practice for nationals when we’re going to have to do the same thing.
“Of course it’s great to get so many wins.”
From 29 entrants, the Seminoles showed signs of rounding into form as the postseason approaches, producing eight personal-best marks, eight other season-best performances and a collegiate-best effort.
Once again FSU’s field events carried the day, with the jumpers stealing some of the thunder usually reserved for the throwers.
Keniel Grant and Jogaile Petrokaite posted breakthrough efforts to win the men’s and women’s long jumps, while Eleonora Omoregie flashed signs of returning to her indoor form with a win in the high jump.
Petrokaite got the winning started, making the most of her lone legal jump of the day, which covered a season-best 6.30 meters (20-8); even more impressive considering she was well behind the takeoff board. That mark ranks 17thnationally and gives the junior from Lithuania the No. 3 mark in the ACC.
Grant led a trio of Noles into the men’s long jump finals with a personal-best 7.75 meters (25-5.25), which he backed up with a 7.73 second-best effort. Both marks eclipsed his previous outdoor best (7.69) and carried the senior to the top of the ACC ranks and a share of 15th nationally. Close behind was Armani Wallace, who shattered his previous best with a leap of 7.57 meters (24-10) for third, which also ranks third in the ACC.
“Keniel and Armani were outstanding,” Braman said. “Both jumped PR’s and with legal winds. They’re rounding into nationals form and they still have several weeks to build on it.”
Omoregie, the freshman from Italy, soared over the competition in her bounce-back from a sub-par opening effort at Tennessee. She easily cleared 1.80 meters (5-10.75) for the win and had a pair of near-misses out her outdoor personal-best of 1.85 (6-1).
“I felt like Eleonora jumped well,” Braman said. “She was in a real rhythm and just needed some competition. That 1.80 is getting back to her national class form.
Not to be overlooked, Veronika Kanuchova posted her fourth hammer win in five meets this season with a best effort of 63.76 meters (209-2).
On the track the Noles got wins from James Rhoden in the 400-meter hurdles (51.92) and Shauna Helps in the 200-meter dash (23.69).
Beyond the victories there were still more encouraging signs.
Madison Harris posted a breakthrough personal-best in the 800 meters, cracking a long-standing barrier by running 2:09.93. She was followed closely by freshman Ginelle DeMone’s collegiate-best (2:10.32) run and junior Emily Edwards’ huge personal-best of 2:11.41.
Mackenzie Landa shattered a barrier of her own with a big final 200 meters to cap off a 16:58.69 5000-meter personal-best.
Among other Noles posting lifetime-best efforts on the day were Kayla Mackzuga in the javelin (35.88m/117-8), Dante Newberg in the long jump (6.86m/22-6.5) and D’Mitry Charlton in the 400 hurdles (53.19).
The action continues on the picturesque Stanford University campus Saturday, beginning with the men’s high jump, women’s discus and men’s shot put at 5 p.m. (ET); each of which boasts a Seminole as the favorite.
FSU’s women’s 4×100 relay team, running what may be the strongest quartet to date, will kick off the action on the track at 7:30 p.m., when Flotrack will begin its stream available via subscription at https://www.flotrack.org/live/2359-2017-cardinal-classic/signup?next=http://live.flotrack.org/#/event/2359-2017-cardinal-classic
Live results will be posted at http://www.rtspt.com/events/stanford/cardinal17/
Follow the Noles throughout the day via Twitter @FSU_Track and check back for the late-night recap at Seminoles.com.