JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida State’s men and women checked off a few important boxes with what they accomplished at Wednesday’s UNF Twilight Invitational track & field meet. Registering a dozen or more season or personal-best performances, the Seminoles certainly made the most of the low-key meet at Hodges Stadium, where many will compete again in three weeks at the NCAA East Preliminary.
More importantly, coach Bob Braman’s teams grabbed some postivie momentum heading into next week’s Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at home.
“That’s the momentum we needed,” Braman said, after watching his two teams combine for eight outright event wins against a field which included a half-dozen other Division I teams as well as some decorated post-collegians.
The top performance of the meet belonged to redshirt junior discus thrower Emmanuel Onyia, who in just his third competition since undergoing surgery in December, secured a spot at the NCAA East Preliminary meet. Onyia recorded the No. 4 throw all-time among Seminoles at 56.52 meters (185-5), which currently ranks 15th in the East.
FSU’s women’s hurdlers had a big day as Meme Jean and Peta-Gay Williams posted season-best marks of 13.07 and 13.26 – slightly wind-aided – to finish as the top two collegians and place third and fourth overall. Grete Sadeiko narrowly missed a personal-best (14.00), while McKoya Banton (14.32) did come through with a lifetime-best as the Noles claimed four of the top 11 spots.
“I’m really pleased with our effort today,” Braman added. “We were really focused and that’s important in such a low-key meet, especially after finals week. We were able to get some PB’s and season-bests…Meme, Peta-Gay and Onyia competed at almost a national level.”
The Seminoles made their season debut in the women’s 4×400 relay count, securing a spot in the fast heat of the ACC Championship as the team of Shaquania Dorsett, Madison Harris, Chelsea Jarvis and Jande Pierce ran 3:42.21 for the win.
Darryl Haraway and Edward Clarke finished 1-2 in the 100-meter dash for the men with season-best times of 10.32 and 10.35, but as an added bonus teammates Raheem Robinson (10.52), Keniel Grant (10.55) and Dante Newberg (11.09) also checked in with season-bests.
Kellion Knibb scored her fourth women’s discus win of the season (58.72m/192-8), while Jogaile Petrokaite and Melissa-Maree Freeman went 1-2 in the women’s long jump. In addition to her winning leap of 6.17 meters (20-3), Petrokaite also laid down an impressive 11.80 for fifth in her collegiate 100-meter dash debut.
Kiara Wright won the high jump with a mark of 1.72 meters (5-7.75), Brandon Tirado claimed the hammer (53.54m/175-8) and Ben Bonhurst captured the shot put (16.89m/55-5).
Among a handful of additional impressive performances were Stephen Sutherland’s 21.21 in the 200 – good for second place – and Katja Vangsnes’ runner-up throw of 58.60m (192-3) in the women’s hammer. Alistair Moona posted a season-best in the 400 (47.31) to place fourth, while Harris was fourth in the women’s 800 in a personal-best 2:10.70.