TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Buoyed by outstanding individual performances, leading to a sweep of the ACC Indoor Track & Field team titles over the weekend, the Florida State men’s and women’s team appear together in the top 25 of the USTFCCCA National Team Rankings for the first time since late in the 2015 season.
The Seminole men actually dropped one spot to No. 7 this week, trading places with a Texas A&M team that cashed in on several big performances at the SEC Championships. FSU’s women, however, made the second-largest move of any team in the nation on the strength of their efforts at the ACC Championships. The Noles made their season debut in the top 25 at No. 22; a 36-position jump from last week’s standing in the computer rankings, which are based on national-level performances in individual events.
“I’m really proud of our ladies to be back in the Top 25,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “All season long we knew the rankings were bogus, but the final rankings reflect only actual performances [this season], which moved us up 30-plus spots.
“The men continue to impress and we’ll go into nationals as the No. 7 team in the country.”
The women’s last top 25 appearance was in the final regular season rankings of 2015 at No. 21.
This is the first week of the season that the USTFCCCA computer rankings only count performances during the 2017-18 indoor season toward rankings. Prior to this week, performances from last season were also factored into the rankings.
Noles will be well-represented at the NCAA Indoor Championships
Florida State will be represented by 11 athletes – five women and six men – at the NCAA Indoor Championships, March 9-10 at College Station, Texas. While the official competition lists will not be released until the weekend, FSU athletes hold top-16 qualifying marks in six women’s events and seven men’s events.
All of those athletes will compete when the nation’s finest descend on Texas A&M in two weeks.
The Seminoles added to their representation at the ACC Championships, where five women posted top-16 qualifying marks in six events, while Andre Ewers added a second event to his NCAA menu with a personal-best in the 200-meter dash on his way to gold.
Freshmen Ka’Tia Seymour, the ACC Women’s Track MVP, and Jayla Kirkland raced their way into the field at Clemson. Seymour won the 200-meter dash in an FSU record time of 22.85 and was second to Kirkland, the ACC 60-meter champion, in which both women were clocked at 7.24.
Shauna Helps and Cortney Jones entered the weekend ranked within the top 16 nationally in the 200 and 60-meter hurdles, respectively, but would have not made the cut were it not for improved efforts. Helps was second to Seymour in a personal-best 23.02, while Jones broke a nine-year-old FSU school record when she ran 8.05 for silver in the finals.
Gleneve Grange held on to her qualifying spot in the women’s shot put following a second-place ACC finish. All five FSU women will be making their first NCAA Indoor Championship appearances.
Five of the six qualifying men will also be going to the meet for the first time, with redshirt senior shot putter Austin Droogsma the lone returnee from the 2017 meet. In addition to Ewers, freshman Trey Cunningham (60 hurdles) and junior Armani Wallace (triple jump) solidified their national standing with personal-best performances at the ACC meet. Graduate transfer Kenneth Fisher and senior transfer Corion Knight held on to their qualifying spots in the long jump after leading a 1-4 Noles sweep of the event.