UGENE, Ore. – Jogaile Petrokaite’s 13th-place long jump finish proved to be the bright spot on a dreary Thursday at Historic Hayward Field.
Petrokaite overcame two fouls to post a third attempt mark of 6.18 meters (20-3.50), which left her exactly one inch from a spot in the finals. It was the best NCAA Championship finish – indoors or outdoors – in three appearances for the sophomore from Lithuania; worthy of second-team All-American honors.
“Jogaile competed well,” Florida State coach Bob Braman said. “She had a couple big fouls and her legal jump was only an inch from making the final.”
Senior Der’Renae Freeman closed out her Seminole career in 17th place (6.14m/20-1.75).
“Der’Renae looked really tight throughout the competition,” Braman said. “The rains and temps in the 50s might have had a lot to do with that.”
Senior school record-holder Katja Vangsnes closing competition as a Seminole resulted in a 19th-place finish in the women’s hammer. The ACC champion managed a series best of 58.85 meters (193-1) for a ninth-place finish in the opening flight.
“Katja had a great senior year,” Braman said “She won the ACC championship and easily made nationals, but she came up just short of making All-American.”
The women’s 4×100 relay team of Meme Jean, Shauna Helps, Jande Pierce and Freeman was the last team in on time from the East Preliminary, where they rolled a season-best 44.65. Out of lane eight, the Noles nearly matched their season-best, but a 44.66 time left them in 17th place; one spot off All-American honors.
Like the relay team, redshirt sophomore Bridget Blake needed a personal-best just to nail down the 12th qualifying spot out of the East Preliminary to get to Oregon for the first time. Decked by a high fever and flu-like symptoms over the past five days, Blake bravely completed her preliminary heat (11:07.11) to finish 23rd overall, more than a minute off her career best.
“I don’t say this often, but Bridget was truly courageous to finish today,” Braman said. “She was so sick that she didn’t leave the hotel for three days. The good news is that she’ll have two more year of healthy championships.”
Like Blake, junior Nicole Setterington made her first NCAA Championships appearance. The Canadian standout who had a breakthrough at the East Preliminary, ran 13.25 in her preliminary heat and did not advance to Saturday’s final.
“I was pleased with how Nicole recovered [from a difficult start] and she ended up with the third-fastest time of her career.” Braman said.
The Seminoles will enter Friday’s action hunting their first points of the meet on the men’s and women’s side.
Grete Sadeiko will begin her quest for a spot on the podium in the heptathlon with the 100 hurdles at 3:30 p.m. (ET); the first of four events on the opening day.
Senior Zak Seddon will close out his Florida State career, looking to improve on last year’s eighth-place finish in the 3000-meter steeplechase, which is set to for 8:54 p.m.
You can follow the progress of Sadeiko and Seddon via Twitter @FSU_Track.