CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The first time Florida State’s men and women completed a season sweep of the ACC Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, they capped it off at the University of Miami’s Cobb Stadium.
That was 2009, when the ACC was a 12-team league. At the time, only the 1995 North Carolina men and women had completed the indoor-outdoor sweep, back in the conference’s days as a nine-team collection. The Noles did it again in 2014, perhaps most impressively, when the ACC was a 15-team league as it is today.
“It does change team-wise when you have 15 teams,” FSU coach Bob Braman said, rattling off the names of a half-dozen schools with multiple event contenders. “When you can double-double under those circumstances, not as a nine or 12-team league, it’s pretty historic.
“This is the next step for us in our march forward for the program.”
On the heels of their ACC Indoor team titles, the Seminole men and women will begin their three-day quest for the season sweep Friday back at Cobb Stadium, where the day-long action begins with the decathlon at 11 a.m. A full slate of action includes finals in the men’s hammer, women’s pole vault, the high jump and the 10,000-meter run, as well as qualifying rounds in the men’s 400 hurdles, the 200-meter dash and the 1500-meter run.
Noting the overall strength and depth of the conference, this will not be a three-day coronation. The 10th-ranked FSU men expect an all-out battle from two-time defending champion Virginia Tech. On the women’s side, defending champion Virginia Tech enters ranked No. 21 nationally, followed by host Miami at No. 22. The Noles are just outside the top 25 at No. 27.
Florida State is not short of favorites in the 21-event competition. Andre Ewers is the top seed in the 100 and 200 and is key to the top-ranked 4×100 relay. Austin Droogsma (shot put) and Armani Wallace (triple jump) enter the meet as favorites, while Corion Knight is the No. 2 seed in both the high jump and long jump.
The Seminole women are led by event favorites Ka’Tia Seymour (200), Gleneve Grange (shot put), Shanice Love (discus) and Lauri Paredes (javelin), but also hold the No. 2 seeds in six other events.
Productivity from the favorites is important, but the Noles will need additional contributions from all corners. Fortunately, Braman sees a roster getting healthy as the postseason arrives, from the likes of Darryl Haraway, Kyle Fearrington, Jayla Kirkland, Shauna Helps, Cortney Jones and several others.
“What you’d like to get, as the health is improving, to win both meets we need someone to penetrate the top three – men and women – that was like a five- of six-seed,” Braman said. “In indoors it was [60-meter champion] Eddie Clarke. Virginia Tech, when they’ve beaten us, is when they’ve dropped those bombs.
“We’ve been more of the consistent team, with the good roster and our stars were stars. We may need, on both sides, to have a few of those things pop out.”
You can follow the Noles throughout the competition via Twitter @FSU_Track and live stats at theacc.co/otf18results.
ACC Network Extra will stream three hours of live coverage Thursday, beginning at 6 p.m.: http://www.espn.com/watch/_/id/3357487/acc-track–field-championships.
Complete recaps will be posted to Seminoles.com at the conclusion of each day.