TAMPA, Fla. – Propelled by a school record and a pair of personal-best performances, Florida State’s throwers produced three of the team’s four victories Friday at the Bulls Invitational on the USF campus. Veronika Kanuchova smashed the school record in the women’s hammer on her very first throw as a Seminole, and by the conclusion of the finals had eclipsed the previous mark on all five of her legal throws.
The Slovakian standout’s sixth and final throw of the competition was her best; 65.75 meters (215-8) – more than 10 feet further than Katja Vangnses’ 2016 record.
“I’m pleased,” FSU throws coach Dorian Scott said of Kanuchova, who sat out last season as a redshirt. “At the end of the day a lot of it was trying to get some film and see what we need to correct at the start of the season. Veronika had the eye of the tiger.”
By the end of the first of two days of competition, Scott had plenty of quality film from his group, especially his men’s group which is often overshadowed by the women.
“They came to play,” Scott said.
Seniors Emmanuel Onyia and Chad DaCosta led a 1-2-3 sweep of the men’s discus. Onyia locked in early and produced a pair of 56-meter marks on his final attempt, including a personal-best of 56.86 (185-11) in the fifth round for the win.
Fellow Jamaican DaCosta improved throughout the rounds, and capped his day with the best season-opening mark of his career – 54.50m (178-10). It was his best throw as a Seminole since 2014. Redshirt sophomore Fred Jones completed the sweep for the Noles with a throw of 49.99m (164-0)
“These are really good openers for them,” Scott said. “It really shows the work that they’re doing is connecting. They really locked in on the technique.”
Sophomore walk-on Brandon Tirado added his name to the list of winners with a monster personal-best in the men’s hammer. The Naples, Fla. native put together and outstanding series, highlighted by his winning mark of 59.54 meters (195-4), which moved him from ninth to fourth on FSU’s all-time list. Five of Tirado’s six legal throws exceeded his previous best (56.42).
“Brandon is forcing himself to be a contributing factor on this team,” Scott said. “He’s not looking at himself as a walk-on. He’s looking at himself as just being a couple years behind the others. That’s a testament to his hard.”
Graduate student Ed’Ricus Williams delivered FSU’s only other victory of the day, claiming the high jump with a winning mark of 2.05 meters (6-8.75).
The Seminoles will return to action Saturday morning at USF, with the Jamaican discus trio of Kellion Knibb, Gleneve Grange and Shanice Love among those to watch. FSU’s sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers will also be in action.
Distance Crew Knocks Off Rust At Yellow Jacket Invitational
ATLANTA, Ga. – FSU’s distance runners headed north to Georgia Tech for Friday’s Yellow Jacket Invitational, primarily to knock off some rust in what was the outdoor season-opener for most of the group.
Junior Mackenzie Landa and freshman Megan Mooney led the way, finishing 2-3 in the women’s 5000-meter run in 17:30.95 and 17:32.58, respectively. They were among seven Seminole women in the event.
Redshirt freshman Tyson Murray’s personal-best of 14:58.02 in the men’s 5000 was good for a fourth-place finish.
Graduate transfer Jaap Vellinga followed up a conditioning effort in the 1500-meter run with a second-place finish in a tactical 800 (1:54.37). Militsa Mircheva’s outdoor debut with the Noles came in the 1500, where she checked in with a 10th-place finish (4:36.70) and was followed closely by Catherine Blaney (4:37.40).
“We got done what we came to do – knock the rust off and compete hard,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “I thought Mackenzie Landa and Megan Mooney in the 5000 were the top performances. Jaap did a nice job in a really tactical race and Ty Murray had a six-second lifetime-best in his 5000.
“We really needed a hard, tough meet on tired legs so that we can be ready for a strong FSU Relays field next week.”