TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The most difficult part of securing a spot at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships – posting one of the top 16 marks nationally among Division I athletes in an individual event – has been completed.
Six Seminoles – four women and two men – currently fall within the top 16 in their respective events, while a third is one spot (17th) outside the qualifying standard.
Jake Burton (800) and Sasha-Ann Lebert secured top 16 standards at last week’s ACC Indoor Championships. Teammates Meme Jean (60-meter hurdles), Der’Renae Freeman (long jump), Chelsea Jarvis (800) and Stefan Brits (long jump), either improved their top-16 standing or were fortunate enough not to be jumped. Jogaile Petrokaite, who ranks 17th in the women’s long jump, hopes to join her six Seminole teammates at the NCAA Indoor Championships, March 11-12 in Birmingham, Ala.
Petrokaite could move into the top 16 based on scratches or injury to any athlete ranked ahead of her. Coaches’ declarations will be made tonight and the official list of accepted championship qualifiers will be released Tuesday, March 8 by the NCAA.
Snapshot of the ACC Indoor Highlights
Though the FSU women and men did not come away from Boston’s Reggie Lewis Center with any team titles, the ACC Indoor Track & Field Championship meet produced plenty of highlights.
Meme Jean produced the lone individual title for the Noles, narrowly missing the school record in the 60-meter hurdles in the preliminaries with a time of 8.08; second-fastest in program history. She won the title Saturday in 8.11.
That was one of 31 personal-best marks established and 16 new top-10 list additions by the Seminoles over the course of the three-day meet.
Redshirt junior Jake Burton set the Florida State school record in the 800-meter run (1:47.72) en route to a silver medal finish. Teammate and training partner, senior Otniel Teixeira, was fourth with the second-fastest time (1:48.47) in program history.
Senior Zak Seddon, in just his second career mile race, posted the fifth-fastest time among Noles (4:04.03) and Stefan Brits nudged his lifetime-best long jump to 7.82 meters (25-8), strengthening his hold on fifth all-time.
The only other new addition to FSU’s top-10 Indoor marks list was made by the distance medley relay team of Seddon, Ricardo Roy, Matt Butler and Harry Mulenga, which placed sixth in 9:45.56; the third-fastest 4000-meter quartet all time.
In addition to Jean’s hurdle exploits, two other Noles came through with No. 2 marks in program history. Junior transfer Melissa-Maree Farrington was the runner-up in the pentathlon with 4,082 points, aided by personal-best in the 60-meter hurdles (8.34) and the 800. Her hurdle mark ranks sixth among all Seminoles.
Sasha-Ann Lebert had never posted a 20-meter weight throw mark before the meet, but eclipsed that milestone four times in six throws, topped by her career-best 20.96 (68-9.25), which is just .75 off the school record.
Also in the hurdles, junior Nicole Setterington’s 8.28 preliminary round mark ranks fifth on the all-time list. Freshman Peta-Gay Williams jumped up two spots to No. 8 in the 60-meter hurdles as well, with a time of 8.43.
Senior Christine Griggs’ new personal-best in the 5,000-meter final (16:52.77) ranks eighth all-time, while freshman Shauna Helps’ preliminary round 7.45 in the 60-meter dash put her name on the list at No. 10.
Finally, the women’s distance medley relay team of Georgia Peel, Shaquania Dorsett, Chelsea Jarvis and Bridget Blake grabbed a silver medal by covering the 4000-meter race in 11:13.34, which checks in at No. 9 all-time among Noles.
Seminoles stockpile 19 All-ACC honors
Florida State came away for the meet with 19 All-ACC honors between the women (11) and men (eight), led by freshman sprinter Darryl Haraway, who was the lone Seminole to earn two first-team honors (60 and 200). Jake Burton (800) and Stefan Brits (long jump) were also first-team honorees for the Seminole men.
The FSU ladies claimed five first-team honors, including: Meme Jean (60 hurdles), Melissa-Maree Farrington (pentathlon), Der’Renae Freeman (long jump), Chelsea Jarvis (800) and Sasha-Ann Lebert (weight throw).
Second-team All-ACC honors for the men went to Edward Clarke (60), Otniel Teixeira (800), Zak Seddon (mile) and Chad DaCosta (shot put). Women’s second-team honorees were: Bridget Blake (mile), Nicole Setterington (60 hurdles), Kiara Wright (high jump), Jogaile Petrokaite (long jump), Kellion Knibb (shot put) and the distance medley relay team of Georgia Peel, Shaquania Dorsett, Jarvis and Blake.
Among the nation’s best last week
Each week the USTFCCCA releases the top 10 marks recorded in each event and the Seminoles were well-represented following their performances at the ACC Indoor Championships…Meme Jean posted two of the top 10 60-meter hurdle marks, with her PR of 8.08 coming in tied for sixth and her 8.11 in the final tied for ninth…FSU’s distance medley relay team of Georgia Peel, Shaquania Dorsett,Chelsea Jarvis and Bridget Blake check in at No. 7 with their season-best 11:13.34…Stefan Brits recorded the No. 7 men’s long jump with his indoor PR of 7.82m (25-8).
More odds & ends from the ACC meet
· With 70 points as a final tally, the FSU women finished fourth overall; just 15 points behind champion Miami (85 points). Clemson (83) and Notre Dame (82) were between the Noles and Canes. It was the closest finish between the top four teams in the 25 years that Florida State has been in the ACC;
· The Seminole men finished sixth with 55 points, thanks to a 42-point haul on the final day. Like the women, the men were part of an extremely tight team finish. No sixth-place team has ever been within 33 points of the title – champion Syracuse won with 88 – and the Noles were just nine points out of third place;
· The low winning team point totals are indicative of a trend that is sure to continue with the new 15-team ACC. The Miami women (85 points) and Syracuse men (88) captured titles with the fewest points in conference history. It marks the second time in three years as a 15-team league that the team titles were won with fewer than 100 points;
· FSU’s freshmen men’s sprint tandem of Darryl Haraway and Edward Clarke contributed 21 points to the team cause in their first ACC Championships. Haraway was second in the 60 and third in the 200, while Clarke was fourth in the 60 and seventh in the 200;
· With the Seminole women battling to stay in the hunt for the team title, all three 3000-meter entrants – Georgia Peel, Bridget Blake and Christine Griggs – opted to compete. They did more than that, with each recording new personal-best times. Blake (9:30.51), who finished 10th overall, and Griggs (9:54.17) competed in the unseeded heat. Peel’s lifetime-best in the seeded heat (9:28.96) was good for eighth place and FSU’s final points of the meet;
· Meme Jean’s victory in the 60-meter hurdles extends a streak of 15 consecutive years that the Florida State women have claimed at least one event title at the ACC Indoor Championships.