June 11, 2008 - by
Live Updates From The NCAA Track & Field Championship 7:50 pm Update

June 11, 2008

Throughout the NCAA Track and Field Championships Seminoles.com is going to be providing fans with live updates from the meet.

8:05 p.m. Update

The first Florida State runner into the finals is senior sprinter Walter Dix. He finished second in his heat, fourth overall, with a time of 10.45. The final is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. on Friday. Unfortunately, Dix is the only Seminoles to make it to the finals as Michael Ray Garvin took 13th. He’ll have a second shot to make a final tomorrow in the 200m dash.

Making his way to the next round in the men’s 400m hurdles was Elliot Wood. He was the next-to-last guy to make Friday’s semifinals with a time of 51.03.

From the Doppler 5 News Team…as the day progresses the clouds are starting to roll back into the Des Moines area. Currently there is only a 20 percent chance of rain, but it looks more like 99.9 percent from where we are sitting. The wind gusts have been measured up to 35mph, which explains a lot of the slower times in the sprint events. There haven’t been any lightening strikes yet, but that doesn’t seem to be a prerequisite for halting the meet. There was one bolt during the national anthem at 9:50 a.m. and several in the 100m in the decathlon before competition was stopped. I’m not sure if a tent on the concourse constitutes a proper shelter.

7:35 p.m. Update

Decathlete Gonzalo Barroilhet finished the day in fifth placed. He ran a 50.61 during the 400m dash. He is five points out of fourth place and 90 from third. Thursday should be his better day with the 110m hurdles and pole vault as well as the javelin.

Walter Dix and Michael Ray Garvin are in the same heat for the semifinals of the men’s 100m dash. Garvin is in lane three and Dix in lane five. Trindon Holliday, Jacoby Ford from Clemson and Florida’s Terrell Wilks are also in the heat. The top three from the two heats automatically qualify for the finals and then the next two fastest runners overall round out the field of eight for the finals.

The wind has really picked up here in Des Moines. Dix ran his 10.57 in 100m into a negative 6.5 wind. The wind was so strong that it knocked over the full size, seven foot color in the SID/media hospitality area as well as a tent in the middle of the softball field that is serving as one of the gathering spots for the athletes.

The meet is running about 25 minutes behind. All the rain and lightening caused nearly a three-hour delay and they couldn’t get the 400m of the decathlon started before the prelims of the women’s 4x100m relay. So they wedged the decathlon 400m in between the last heat of the men’s 100m and the first heat of the women’s 400m hurdles.

6:35 p.m.

The sun has broken through the clouds, for now, and the action is in full swing.

Decathlete Gonzalo Barroilhet – whose name has been pronounced five different ways so far today – has bounced up and down the standings. He was in fourth after a decent long jump, but an average shot put performance dropped him two places. Barroilhet tied for second in the high jump with a height of 2.02m/6-7.50, tying his career-best, to move up a spot to fifth. In addition to moving up a spot, he took a big chunk out of margin between the four guys in front of him.

The quickest, and perhaps easiest, day for the Seminoles came from freshman long jumper Ngoni Makusha. On his very first jump of the prelims he uncorked a jump of 8.08m/26-6.25. What is so significant is that any jump over 7.90 automatically puts you in Thursday’s finals so Makusha passed on his final two attempts and goes into the finals as the top seed by 11 centimeters.

The men’s 4x100m relay didn’t have much of a problem making the finals as they took sixth at 39.53.

Walter Dix is on his way to tonight’s semifinals of the 100m dash. He easily won his heat, beating LSU’s Trindon Holliday in the process, with a time of 10.57. Michael Ray Garvin took second in the first heat of the men’s 100m to move on to the semifinals, which will be held at 7:10 p.m.

Competing in her first NCAA Championship, sophomore Pilar McShine moved on to the semifinals of the women’s 800m run. She was the 15th runner in the semifinals – they take 16 – with a time of 2:07.98.

10:20 a.m (CST)
Inclement weather was expected here in the Des Moines area and after one event it has halted the meet. They got the 100m dash of the men’s decathlon in the books then lightening forced everyone inside. In order for competition to restart there has to be at least 30 minutes without a lightening strike within 8 miles. Since we’ve had several since 10:20 a.m., it doesn’t look like we’re going to start any time soon.

Florida State’s Gonzalo Barroilhet placed ninth in the 100m with a time of 11.22. Not a bad time considering the conditions. He’s pretty solid on both days, but tomorrow he could pick up some big points with the 110m hurdles, pole vault and javelin.

For those of you who don’t know how scoring works in the decathlon…Every time, distance and height has a predetermined scored. Barroilhet’s 11.22 in the 100m dash is worth 812 points. You don’t get any bonus points for finishing first in an event.

So far the trip has gone pretty well. We had very few problems getting to Des Moines from Tallahassee and actually the first two days we had great weather for practice, figures….

Speaking of weather, there was another lightening bolt @ 10:45 so nothing before 11:15.

The weather has been the biggest talk of the week. There has been severe flooding in the Midwest and it has impacted Des Moines directly. Yesterday they closed four bridges – the main road leading from the team hotel to the track was already closed on Monday – that span the Des Moines River leading into downtown. Last night they opened up the emergency spillway in the Saylorville Dam to let some of the water out and that caused the Des Moines River to significantly rise and it is creeping towards flowing over the bridges as we speak. If you’re interested in reading more about the floods, log on to the Des Moines Register.

…now more about the meet. Apart from the weather, everything has been great. It’s a fast track, under the right conditions, they’ve got plenty of warm-up space for the athletes indoor and out and they know how to run a first class meet at Drake University since they host the Drake Relays every year. Both teams are about as healthy as they have been all season, including Walter Dix.

….Another lightening bolt at 10:53, nothing until 11:23 at least…this is really going to cut into my soap opera viewing…and another at 11:03…and 11:04…and 11:06

One interesting note…They said 1,021 athletes qualified for the NCAA Championships this week. Two weeks ago Florida State played host to the NCAA East Regional meet with 1,030 qualified athletes from just our region. The East Region meet was held over two days while the NCAA Championships is stretched over four. That speaks volumes for our staff to be able to host a bigger meet in fewer days with very few problems.

Okay there’s not much more to update for now, they’re about to get going again.

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