TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Austin Droogsma’s successful Pepsi Florida Relays invitational shot put title defense, with a collegiate-leading mark, earned the redshirt senior ACC Field Performer of the Week honors.
The Gulf Breeze, Fla. native posted a lifetime-best, second-round throw of 20.32 meters (66-8) on Saturday to take over the top spot in NCAA Division I this season. Droogsma’s mark ranks second among all Americans and 14th in the world to date, and also qualified him for the late-June USATF National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
It was the season-opening shot put performance for Droogsma, who moved past his coach Dorian Scott into second place on FSU’s all-time list. He trails only Garrett Johnson’s school-record 20.84-meter throw from 2006. He began his Saturday at the Florida Relays with an eighth-place finish in the invitational discus (55.09m/180-9), which was slightly off his 11th-ranked season-best national mark.
Droogsma is coming off a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the shot put. This is his second ACC Performer of the Week award of the season, having collected one previously during the indoor season after he launched his previous lifetime-best (20.10 meters) at the Alex Wilson Invitational, prior to winning the ACC title.
He is the fifth different Seminole to earn ACC Performer of the Week honors three weeks into the outdoor season. FSU scored six Performer of the Week honors during the entire indoor season, which culminated with the Noles sweeping the ACC men’s and women’s team titles.
Noles Women, Men Crack USTFCCCA Top 25
For the first time since the penultimate United States Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association rankings of the 2016 season, the Florida State men’s and women’s teams are both ranked among the top 25 teams nationally.
The Seminole women, who were No. 19 in the preseason rankings, held their ground in the week 1 computer rankings, while the FSU men climbed 12 spots to No. 25.
“I’m pleased that our men have moved into the top 25,” said FSU coach Bob Braman. “Andre [Ewers] and Droogs gave notice that they’re going to be tough to beat this season.
“The ladies are under-ranked at No. 19, but they proved during indoors how they compete in the championship season. I’m good with where we are for March, but we’re thinking top 10 at seasons’ end.”
Both teams last appeared together in the top 25 in the week 8 rankings of the 2016 season, when the men checked in at No. 19 and the women were at No. 20. You have to go back to the start of the 2015 season to find the last time the programs simultaneously held down week 1 top 25 rankings, when the men were No. 9 and the women slotted at No. 10.
The Seminoles will not compete this coming weekend, returning to action April 13-14 at the Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville, Fla. and the Auburn (Ala.) Invitational.
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