TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – First-year Florida State athletes Conor McClain, Shanice Love and Mackenzie Landa opened their outdoor track & field seasons with victories Saturday at the Florida A&M Relays.
McClain, a freshman from New Jersey, led a 1-2-3 sweep by the Seminoles in the men’s javelin with a winning throw of 56.88 meters (186-7) in his FSU debut. Fellow freshman Conner Flynn was second (52.23m/171-4), followed by sophomore decathlete Dante Newberg (51.76m/169-10).
Love, the Jamaican junior national record-holder in the discus, etched her name among the best in FSU history in her freshman debut. Love’s winning throw of 48.41 meters (158-10) was nearly 12 feet clear of her closest competitor and good for the No. 7 spot on the Seminoles’ all-time, top 10 list.
The FSU women’s distance squad made up the vast majority of Seminoles competing in the outdoor season-opener and they opened in style.
Landa, a junior transfer from Fresno State better known for longer events, established a new personal-best on her way to victory in the 1500-meter run (4:40.83). The Noles claimed the top nine spots in the field with freshmen Hailey Hendry (4:44.64) and Megan Mooney (4:45.10) finishing second and third, followed by Tara Rooney (4:45.16), Sarah Candiano (4:46.47), Courteney West (4:46.58) and Althea Hewitt (4:49.92) leading the garnet charge across the finish line. Hewitt’s seventh-place showing marked a personal-best of a whopping 49 seconds.
The day began with Bella Poole’s 10,000-meter runner-up finish in 38:05.61 in her first 25-lap venture.
Kayla Thomas and Narinah Jean-Baptiste were second and fourth in the 800-meter run.
Six Seminoles will close out the indoor season March 10-11 at the NCAA Indoor Championships at Texas A&M. Melissa-Maree Farrington (pentathlon), Eleonora Omoregie (high jump) and Jogaile Petrokaite (long jump) will represent the women, while Austin Droogsma (shot put), Darryl Haraway (60-meter dash) and Montel Nevers (triple jump) will represent the men.
FSU’s outdoor season will kick into full gear March 17-18 as the squad will split up between the Bulls Invitational at USF and the Yellow Jacket Invitational at Georgia Tech.