Three of Knibb’s four legal marks eclipsed the previous record, topped by her sixth attempt.
In addition to her meet record, Knibb upped her Jamaican national, Atlantic Coast Conference and FSU records, while extending her NCAA lead.
“Kellion is virtually unbeatable at Penn,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “She always competes at her absolute best here. I love her constant focus and attention to detail. She’s had the professional effect on our entire throws group.”
Knibb wasn’t the only Nole in action at the 123rd Penn Relays Friday. Teammate and fellow Jamaican Gleneve Grange finished fourth (55.78m/183-0).
Austin Droogsma maintained his season-long momentum in the shot put, cranking out four 19-meter marks, capped by sixth-attempt best 19.34 meters (63-5.5) to grab the silver medal.
“Austin continues to raise his game,” Braman said. “He’s in a groove right now where 19-meter throws are commonplace. He’s becoming a true national-level thrower.”
While Knibb, Grange and Droogsma competed in the championship sections of the their events, Fred Jones advanced to the finals of college section of the men’s discus and finished eighth (50.68m/166-3). Chad DaCosta placed 14th in the college section of the shot put (16.56m/54-4) in his first competition in more than a month.
The Seminoles actually got things started Thursday at Franklin Field, where Veronika Kanuchova collected silver in the championship section of the women’s hammer (62.18m/204-0) and freshman Steven Cross, competing unattached this season as he redshirts, was the silver medalist in the men’s 10,000-meter run.
Cross’ time of 29:31.22 is the fastest ever for an FSU freshman and currently ranks No. 5 on the World Junior list and No. 1 among American Juniors (athletes born in 1998 or later).
Not all of the news out of Philadelphia was good as the men’s 4×100 relay team, seeking a second consecutive trip to the Championship of America finals, could not get the first baton pass off and did not finish their qualifying heat.
“I’m disappointed for our 4×100 men,” Braman said. “They’re working like crazy and I know they’re ready to perform. We’ll have to go back to the lab and try and find those key adjustments.”
Noles Win Three Events, Load Up On Top Marks At Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Sophomore Peta-Gay Williams obliterated her career-best 100-meter hurdle time en route to Friday’s victory at the Tom Jones Memorial. Williams sailed to victory in 13.09, smashing her previous best of 13.24 for the first of three wins by Seminoles at Percy Beard Stadium.
Graduate student Ed’Ricus Williams made amends for a poor performance in his last trip to Gainesville by winning the high jump with a lifetime-best mark of 2.22 meters (7-3.5), which moved him to No. 3 in the nation and No. 5 all-time among Seminoles.
Jake Burton lowered his season-best in the 800 to 1:49.21, which was good enough for the win.
In addition to the victories several Noles posted major breakthroughs, led by the 400-meter men, where Kyle Fearrington (46.79), Kenny Lane (47.23) and Steven Simpkins (47.60) started the day by posting personal-best in the open race. Burton joined the trio on the 4×400 relay team which sealed a trip to the NCAA East Preliminary meet by running a season-best 3:07.91 to finish second. The Noles quartet currently ranks 11th in the East.
“This group could punch a ticket to nationals if they keep improving at this rate,” Braman said of the relay squad.
Senior James Rhoden dipped under 51 seconds for the first time in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing third in 50.83. Shauna Helps ran a slightly windy 11.44 in the 100-meter dash against a stout field, finishing 12th overall but second among collegians.
“Overall I’m extremely pleased with the performances we had at the Tom Jones Memorial meet,” Braman said. “Peta-Gay, Shauna, James, Kyle, Ed’Ricus and Jake all had big-time performances. And we had many other really strong efforts from many others.
“If we can keep this momentum going through the Seminole Twilight, then we’ll be a tough team to beat at the ACC’s.”
The Seminoles will close out their home schedule on May 5 when they host the Seminole Twilight.