IOWA CITY, Iowa – Carmela Cardama Baez and Peta-Gay Williams set facility records in winning performances Saturday, leading a strong showing by both the Florida State women and men on the final day of the Larry Wieczorek Invitational at the University of Iowa.
Pulling away late, Cardama Baez ran 9:31.54 to win the women’s 3000-meter run; a personal-best in the redshirt freshman’s track debut for the Seminoles. Williams, a sophomore, edged teammate Nicole Setterington for the 60-meter hurdle title in her season debut, sailing to victory in a lifetime-best 8.24. Her time ranks ninth nationally and is fifth-fastest in FSU history.
Setterington matched her career-best (8.28) to finish second and move into 12thon the national list.
It was that kind of day for the Seminoles as the women and men scored four victories each in the four-team meet and combined for 15 new personal-best performances. Additionally, four FSU women and two men authored new entries on the school’s all-time top 10 list.
“I was pleased with overall team effort,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “We weren’t trying to score points, just compete hard and move up the national lists. Almost no one doubled unless it was for development purposes.
“This was a quality show on a world-class facility. Big props to the Hawkeyes for setting it up.”
The Noles didn’t do poorly in the team scoring either, with the men rallying from Friday’s fourth-place standing to finish second with 123.5 points. Iowa won with 148.5. FSU’s women climbed from fourth to third on the final day, finishing behind the host Hawkeyes (168) and Iowa State (123) with 116 points.
Claiming the top two spots in the women’s 60-meter hurdles certainly didn’t hurt the comeback cause.
“Our lady hurdlers really appear to be a month ahead of last year and coach [Brandon] Hon may ge two national qualifiers out of PG and Nicole,” Braman offered.
For the second consecutive day the Seminole throwers provided the jump-start.
Gleneve Grange and Kellion Knibb produced a 1-2 shot put finish in Saturday’s opening event.
Grange, who made her FSU debut a week ago with the No. 5 mark in program history, was even better in the circle. Two of her five throws were even better, including a second attempt bomb of 16.11 meters (52-10.25), which vaulted her to No. 3 all-time among Seminoles and from No. 21 to No. 13 nationally.
Knibb, who surrendered the No. 3 spot to her fellow Jamaican, offered up a best of 15.02m (49-3.5) in her first competition since the discus at the Rio Olympic Games.
“Gleneve is such a great athlete,” Braman said. “She’s not even a shot specialist and now she’s No. 3 all-time. Kellion was also very good, especially for a season-opener.”
Austin Droogsma kept the string of personal-bests going for the throws group, when his second attempt of the afternoon carried 18.22 meters (59-9.5), vaulting him past teammate Emmanuel Onyia into the No. 5 position on FSU’s all-time list.
It marks the first time the Seminoles have had two 18-meter shot putters on the same indoor roster since throws coach Dorian Scott teamed with a freshman named Garrett Johnson in 2003.
“What a great job by Austin,” Braman said. “he’s still getting back into form after missing last year to injury. Coach Scott continues to move his kids to the top of the ACC rankings. The key for us will be to get them all to be great on the same day. That’ll be big ACC points.”
Droogsma’s mark gives the Noles the top two spots among ACC throwers, and even more promising, moved him into 14th place nationally on the NCAA list.