TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Historically, Florida State’s most successful track & field athletes have also been among the best in the classroom as well. There may not be another better example than the haul of All-ACC Academic honors accrued at the conclusion of the 2017 season
Led by a league-high 11 women honorees, 13 Seminoles were selected to the All-ACC Academic track & field team, as announced by conference commissioner John Swofford Wednesday.
“I’m just blown away with the success of our ladies,” Florida State coach Bob Braman said. “It’s an amazing honor to lead the ACC in women’s track & field All-Academic honorees. Eleven is just an unbelievable number.
“Perhaps most noteworthy about this is that our honorees include five ACC champions and all 11 scored at the ACC Championships. And both of our men’s honorees scored as well.”
Florida State’s 11 women honorees combined for 90.5 of the teams’ 118.5 total points – 77 percent – as the Noles came within six points of a successful ACC Outdoor title defense in their runner-up finish. Duke’s women matched FSU with 11 selections, but no team – women or men – had more ACC champions recognized for excelling both academically and athletically.
FSU’s five conference champions – Kellion Knibb, Melissa-Maree Farrington, Shauna Helps, Peta-Gay Williams and Eleonora Omoregie – led the way.
Knibb, a graduate student in media & communication studies, became the first four-time women’s discus champion in ACC history and followed it up with a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships. The ACC, FSU and Jamaican national record-holder is one of four Seminole women to earn All-ACC Academic honorees for a second time.
Farrington, a senior social science major, won her second consecutive ACC heptathlon title and qualified for the NCAA Championships. The Australian and second-year Seminole, was recognized for the second consecutive year.
Helps, a sophomore majoring exercise science, raced to her second consecutive ACC 100-meter dash title. One of six Seminoles honored from Jamaica, she tied the conference record en route to victory.
Fellow sophomore Peta-Gay Williams, also from Jamaica, captured her first ACC 100-meter hurdles title at the May meet in Atlanta, Ga. to earn repeat All-ACC Academic honors. In victory, the criminology major’s posted the second-fastest time (12.96) in program history. Williams was also one of six honored Noles to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Rounding out the quintet of conference champions is Omoregie, who won her second ACC high jump title since arriving on campus from Udine, Italy in January. A biology major who also qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Omoregie was one of two Noles to post a perfect 4.0 grade point average during the spring term.
Omoregie was one of three ACC scoring high jumpers selected. Redshirt freshman Kayla Maczuga, an exercise science major from Tampa, Fla., posted a personal-best clearance of 1.70 meters to finish fourth. Fellow redshirt freshman Safia Morgan, from Constant Spring, Jamaica, tied for fifth. An economics major, Morgan boasts a cumulative 4.0 grade point average through four semesters.
Sophomore Shaquania Dorsett, who qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 400-meter dash with the No. 6 time (52.13) in program history, was selected as well. The Bahamas native, a biochemistry major, came on strong at the end of the year, following up her seventh-place ACC finish by winning the Bahamas Senior National title.
Dorsett, who sports a 3.725 cumulative grade point average, was also named to the Academic All-District Team as selected by CoSIDA.
Redshirt freshman Carmela Cardama Baez, a psychology major from Spain, placed fourth in the 5000-meter run at the ACC Championships. She is a two-time All-ACC Academic selection in cross country.
Junior Jogaile Petrokaite was the ACC runner-up in the long jump, and the Lithuania native majoring in sport management added her name to the list of six first-time All-ACC Academic honorees.
Rounding out the women is freshman Shanice Love from Kingston, Jamaica. The accounting major closed out her season by finishing 12th in the discus at the NCAA Championships after finishing fifth at the conference meet.
The Seminole men were represented by a pair of first-time honorees. A graduating senior in information technology, Chadrick DaCosta finished fifth in the discus and seventh in the shot put at the ACC Championships, qualifying for the NCAA East Preliminary meet in both events. DaCosta hails from Kingston, Jamaica.
Sophomore Brandon Tirado, who climbed to No. 3 on FSU’s all-time list in the hammer throw and finished fifth at the ACC Championships, also majors in information technology. The Naples, Fla. native also qualified for the NCAA postseason for the first time in his career.
“I’m extremely proud of our student-athletes for their fantastic success,” Braman said. “Kudos to our Academic Support services for their guidance as well.”