May 8, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – While the first day of the 2009 Seminole Twilight Track & Field meet featured just nine events, there was no shortage of success for the Seminoles Friday at Mike Long Track. Florida State athletes recorded six regional qualifying marks, highlighted by the long jump in which sophomore Brian Chibudu (Harare, Zimbabwe) not only set a personal record with his jump of 8.05m (26-05.00) but set the best collegiate long jump mark in the nation this year.
“The long jump was a good event for us all-around today for both the men and women,” Florida State assistant coach Dennis Nobles, who coaches the Seminole jumpers and pole vaulters, said. “Brian’s jump is not only the best college mark in the nation to this point but is also a world championship standard which opens up a lot of doors for him. Breaking the eight-meter barrier is a big deal and now that Brian has done so, it will be fun to see how he excels from this point on. He has been dinged up a lot and now that he is healthy and competing at full speed, it’s nice to see him realizing his ability.”
All eyes were on 2008 Outdoor Long Jump NCAA Champion Ngoni Makusha (Mandedza, Zimbabwe), who hadn’t yet competed this outdoor season due to injury. At the NCAA Indoor Meet in March, Makusha sustained a left leg injury during the prelims of the 60m dash and had to withdraw from the long jump competition. On Friday afternoon, the sophomore needed just one jump to qualify for regionals as he earned a mark of 7.73m (25-04.50).
“What Ngoni did today was also pretty special,” Nobles said. “I don’t know why I continue to be surprised by the things he does. He is still way-less than 100 percent and today’s performance is a testament to his ability. He is a very talented young man.”
On the women’s side, both freshman Amy Harris (Birmingham, England) and senior Heather Leblanc (Live Oak, Fla.) leaped to regional qualifying marks in the long jump. Harris’ jump of 6.15m (20-02.25) was just shy of the qualifying mark of 6.17m (20-03.00) she recorded at the ACC Championships in April. For LeBlanc, her jump of 6.01m (19-08.75) is her best of the season and her first regional qualifying mark in the event this season.
Also turning in regional qualifying marks were seniors Tim Reen (Jupiter, Fla.), in the high jump, and Bryan Howard (Warminster, Pa.) in the javelin. Reen has now regionally-qualified in the high jump in three meets this season but his mark of 2.15m (7-00.50) this afternoon was a personal best. Howard’s 63.21m (207-04) in the javelin was his second best throw of the season and marks the third meet this season he has recorded a regional-qualifier.
Competition at the 2009 Seminole Twilight continues Saturday with the hammer throw at 10 a.m. Jumps get underway at Noon while the running events begin at 4 p.m. and conclude with the men’s 4x400m relay at 8:45 p.m.
SEMINOLE TWILIGHT DAY ONE Women High Jump 6 Cullum, Michelle J1.60m 5-03.00 7 Williams, Danielle J1.60m 5-03.00
Women Discus 3 Hayes, Kamorean 46.75m 153-04
Women Javelin 2 Simmons, Erin 36.48m 119-08
Men High Jump 2 Reen, Timothy 2.15m 7-00.50 R
Men Discus 6 Small, Sharif 41.98m 137-09