January 28, 2017 - by
Omoregie All Smiles After Matching School Record

CLEMSON, S.C. – A week ago Eleonora Omoregie could barely muster a smile as she spoke with Florida State assistant coach Dennis Nobles, following her high jump victory at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational in Iowa City.

Omoregie, a freshman from Udine, Italy, wasn’t the least bit happy with her debut performance. Never mind, that after less than three weeks in the United States, she posted the third-best indoor mark in Florida State history.

Saturday afternoon Omoregie greeted Nobles with a huge smile and a hug after matching Holly Kelly’s 27-year-old school record, soaring to victory in 1.85 meters (6-0.75) on the final day of the Bob Pollock Invitational. Tying for the sixth-best mark in the nation, Omoregie is virtually assured a spot at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

“Last week I was disappointed because I was feeling good, I was focused and I wanted to jump higher,” Omoregie said. “During [this past] week I tired and so sore. I didn’t know how I was going to do this day.”

Clearing 1.85 meters on her first attempt gave Omoregie the victory over Jeanelle Scheper, the 2015 NCAA champion from South Carolina who represented St. Lucia at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Scheper had a miss on her first attempt at the height.

“Eleonora was spectacular today,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “She is a truly special athlete and gives a national level weapon.”

How special? Omoregie nearly grabbed a share of the NCAA lead – and the outright FSU record – narrowly missing her third and final attempt at 1.90 meters (6-2.75).

“That [1.90] is the entry standard for the European Championships this year,” Omoregie said. “I was close. I feel confident I can do it.”

Armani Wallace provided the Seminoles with their only other victory Saturday, winning the triple jump on his sixth and final attempt with a leap of 15.51 meters (50-10.75).

“Armani has been solid and continues to win triple Jump competitions,” Braman said. “He’s just looking for that 16-meter-plus zone.”

While event wins were scarce there was no shortage of encouraging developments. The Seminole men and women combined for 17 more personal-best performances and three more additions to the school’s all-time top 10 lists.

Sophomore Dante Newberg finished third in the heptathlon with a new personal-best total of 4,963 points, which moved him into third place on FSU’s all-time list behind former NCAA champion Gonzalo Barroilhet and All-American Pelle Rietveld. Redshirt freshman Hunter Napier closed strong over the final two events to place fourth with 4,045 points, which ranks eighth all-time.

After a strong opening day effort, the FSU distance and middle-distance groups continued to put forth some promising efforts. None, however, was bigger than freshman Steven Cross, who ran 8:13.66 for 3000 meters to place fifth overall. The former Merritt Island High star was third among collegians in the field behind seasoned Alabama veterans Alfred Chelanga and Antibahs Kosgei.

Omoregie All Smiles After Matching School Record

“He ran fantastic,” Braman said of Cross, who was competing in the first indoor meet of his life. “That’s nearly 30 seconds faster than he ran in high school. It’s a really incredible improvement. I haven’t seen a Florida high schooler, as a freshman, run like this since [former FSU star] Herb Wills. It shows you how great he’s going to be…He has chance to score at ACCs in the best distance conference in the country.”

Fellow freshman Humberto Freire continued his impressive progression in the 800, placing second in a personal-best 1:51.81. On the women’s side, Madison Harris (2:12.34), Emily Edwards (2:13.07) and Ginelle DeMone (2:13.70) registered season-, personal- and collegiate-best marks, respectively, in the 800.

“The middle distance groups, men and women, continue to compete well, they just need some fast-paced races,” Braman said.

Militsa Mircheva’s heady approach to the women’s 3000-meter run produced a strong fourth-place showing in 9:43.45, just three seconds off her personal-best and nearly 20 seconds faster than last week.

The FSU men’s 4×400 relay closed out the competition with a fifth-place finish in a season-best 3:15.77 as Kyle Fearrington, D’Mitry Charlton, Kenny Lane and Steven Simpkins whacked five seconds off their time from a week earlier.

The Seminoles will carry some momentum into next week’s break from competition after closing the Pollock Invitational with six event wins, 40 personal-best marks and five new additions to the FSU all-time top 10 list. They will return to action Feb. 10-11 with the sprinters, jumpers and throwers heading to the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., while the distance groups travel to Boston University’s David Hemery Invitational.

Related Articles