March 10, 2018 - by
Need To #Noles: Breaking Down Saturday’s NCAA Indoor Slate

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Five Florida State athletes, each competing in finals, will pull the curtain on the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships Saturday evening at the Gilliam Indoor Track Center.

All five events will take place within a one-hour time window, beginning with the men’s triple jump at 6 p.m. (ET), which will be immediately followed by the men’s and women’s 60-meter hurdles (6:10 and 6:20), followed by the men’s and women’s 200 meters (6:50 and 7:00).

Here’s a quick guide for following the action:

ESPN3 (5 pm, ET)   

Live Results              

Twitter                                 @FSU_Track

How It Works

There are 16 athletes entered in the men’s triple jump, with the top nine after three rounds advancing to the finals where they earn three additional jumps. All marks carry over and the top eight individuals score, in a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring distribution to team totals. The top eight also earn first-team All-American honors.

In the 60-meter hurdles and 200-meter dash finals, eight runners will compete against the clock to determine to determine places. The only difference is the hurdles will be contested in one heat, while the 200 is contested in two heats of four athletes each.

FSU’s men, ranked No. 7 in the final regular season rankings, are tied for 11th-place with 6 points entering the final day with three athletes positioned to improve their standing. The No. 25 Seminole women are tied for 35th and have two finalists to add to their current 1-point total.

In chronological order of competition, here’s a look at how the competing Noles stack up against the competition in their respective events:

Men’s Triple Jump (6:00 pm, ET)

Armani Wallace, Junior

Wallace enters his first NCAA Indoor Championships as the No. 7 seed after posting a lifetime-best mark of 16.33 meters (53-7) at the ACC Indoor Championships, where he finished third with the No. 3 mark in FSU history. The Orlando native has knack for rising to the occasion of late, having won back-to-back ACC Field MVP honors, and that should serve him well in what many expect will be a tightly-contested competition. Wallace likes the facility, with a runway on the track surface, as opposed to elevated, and plenty room to accommodate his long approach.

Top contenders: The top three spots at the ACC Indoor Championships were separated by 6 centimeters, which is indicative of how tightly-contested the entire field is. TCU’s Scotty Newton (16.63m) is the top seed and defending champion KeAndre Bates of Florida is No. 2 (16.48), but Newton has only one mark over 16 meters this season and Bates has not reached 16 meters in his last two meets. That means it’s anyone’s meet.

Men’s 60-Meter Hurdles (6:10 pm)

Trey Cunningham, Freshman

An automatic qualifier following his runner-up preliminary heat finish on Friday (7.79), Cunningham has drawn lane 6 for the final. Demonstrating poise under pressure, Cunningham advanced from his preliminary as the No. 7 seed, while three of the top six seeds did not. Entering the meet as the No. 7 seed, he is the fourth-highest seed in the final with a 7.70 season-best that matches up favorably with all but one other man in the finals. It is fair to note that Cunningham did break the IAAF World U20 record held by that man.

Top contender: There is only one. Florida sophomore Grant Holloway, the collegiate record-holder at 7.42 and defending national champion, is the most lopsided favorite in any event at the meet.

Women’s 60-Meter Hurdles (6:20 pm)

Cortney Jones, Sophomore

Jones appears to be rounding into peak form right on time, following up her FSU record (8.05) for silver at the ACC Indoor Championships with an 8.06 in Friday’s preliminary heat. The fastest of four qualifiers on time and fifth-fastest overall, she will start from lane 2 in the final. The No. 10 seed at the meet’s outset, Jones moved on while seeds 2-4-6 – including ACC champ Jeanine Williams – did not. Though it is her first NCAA Indoor appearance, Jones will be surrounded by similar youth in the senior-free final. Her appearance is also historic. She is the first FSU woman to reach the 60-meter hurdle finals in the NCAA era.

Top contenders: Kentucky’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn was the No. 1 seed entering the meet with a 7.95 PB, but narrowly edged Jones in the preliminaries. USC’s Anna Cockrell entered as the No. 3 seed (7.96); one of three sub-8 qualifiers. The prelims produced two more in Arkansas’ Payton Chadwick (7.93) and Georgia freshman Tara Davis (7.98).

Men’s 200-Meter Dash (6:30 pm)

Andre Ewers, Junior

There has been a steep learning curve to Ewers’ NCAA debut, but he has been a fast study. Overcoming a false start in the 60-meter dash prelims, he came back to earn a spot in the finals with a gutty qualifying time of 20.69. Qualifying sixth for the final, the No. 9 seed will race out of lane 4 in heat 1. The preliminary round was just Ewers’ third recorded 200 of the season, and unlike his Friday race, he will be more familiar with the track and unencumbered by the burden of an earlier false start.

Top contenders: The field is racing the clock, so the pre-meet top seed, Texas Tech’s Divine Oduduru (PB, 20.25) and No. 1 qualifier Elijah Hall of Houston (20.26) are the clear-cut favorites. After that, it is anyone’s guess how it will shake out.

Women’s 200-Meter Dash (7:00 pm)

Ka’Tia Seymour, Freshman

Seymour became the first Seminole woman to reach the 200-meter finals in 25 years when her preliminary round 23.10 edged USC senior Deanna Hill by two-thousandths of a second for the eighth and final qualifying spot on time. After benefitting from her preliminary sandwich between two of the top three qualifiers, Seymour can set her sights on posting the best NCAA Indoor 200 finish in FSU history. That distinction currently belongs to Patrice Verdun (5th, 1990). Remember, the Noles school record-holder came into the meet as the No. 5 seed (22.85).

Top contenders: Georgia’s Lynna Irby, the world leader, ran 22.66 in the prelims. Harvard’s Gabrielle Thomas matched that number in a different heat, while Kentucky’s Sydney McLaughlin (22.68) was right on Irby in the same heat which included Seymour.

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