AUSTIN, Texas – Literally and figuratively, Thursday was a much brighter day for Florida State redshirt junior heptathlete Grete Sadeiko at the 2016 Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. After enduring a dismal performance Wednesday in the rain and wind at Mike A. Myers Stadium, Sadeiko used a lifetime-best performance in the long jump to spark a second-day surge under sunny skies.
Leaping 6.17 meters (20-3) on her third and final long jump attempt of the opening event – the fifth of seven over the two-day competition – the Estonia native put together a comeback likely worthy of a place at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the third consecutive year.
Finishing with 5,676 points, Sadeiko moved up six spots from the conclusion of the first day to place seventh in the field of 30.
“I kind of think my whole meet was today,” Sadeiko said. “Yesterday it was raining and there was so much wind. It was really, really bad weather. This morning the sun was already out. I knew I was going to have a good long jump. The conditions today were amazing.”
Director of Field Events Dennis Nobles was encouraged by the way the two-time NCAA Championship qualifier responded.
“It was a very, very good effort today by her,” Nobles said. “I was very pleased with the comeback, so to speak. It would have been very easy to say, ‘I’ve had a bad meet, I’ll get it next time.’ She really didn’t do that. She stayed focused, she kept grinding.”
Despite a foul on her opening long jump attempt, Sadeiko followed up with a mark of 5.97 before shattering her previous wind-legal, lifetime-best (6.02m/19-9) on her final attempt. Her 6.17 effort was third-best in the field and good for 902 points, vaulting her from 13th to eighth place.
“That gave me a positive vibe for the rest of the day,” she said.
Sadeiko followed with a season-best javelin throw of 44.46 meters (145-10) for 753 points – again, third-best among the field of competitors – to move up two more spots. She finished off the day and the competition by running the 800 in 2:22.38.
“I’ve had a bad first day before and my mom always tells me I’m a second-day heptathlete,” Sadeiko said. “That’s what I like most about the heptathlon. Even though your first day can go bad, you can always make something happen the second day. Every time I’ve had a bad first day I’ve come back stronger in the second day. That’s what happened today and I’m very happy about that.”
Rebounding wasn’t easy after Wednesday’s opening effort produced, in her words, “absolutely terrible” performances in the high jump and shot put.
“I just had to let it go,” she added.
She did just that and her 5,676-point total should be enough to secure one of the top 24 spots on the NCAA descending order list for the heptathlon, which determines who qualifies for the NCAA Championships. A year ago, the 24th and final qualifying point total was 5,527.
Sadeiko’s lifetime-best and FSU record score of 5,813 points was set in July at the European Junior Championships. A month earlier she placed 15th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with her collegiate-best score of 5,730.
“I’m pleased that she’s good enough to score 5,676 with really what amounts to one out of seven events being good,” Nobles said. “I figure on, not a great day but a good day, we gave away 110 points in the high jump alone.”
Texas Relays Heptathlon Results
Sadeiko was encouraged, but not altogether satisfied.
“I feel like doing almost 5,700 points from a terrible first day I’m very happy with it,” she said. “It’s the first heptathlon of the season, so it’s always good to get a good mark in…It gives me a peace of mind that I know I can make it to nationals with it, but I definitely know that I’m excited for conference because I have a lot in me if I fix the first day.”
Arkansas’ Taliyah Brooks led a 1-2-3 sweep by the Razorbacks with a winning total of 5,991 points.
“That pretty much would have been my meet if I had a good first day,” Sadeiko said. “I think 6,000 points, with this kind of second day if I fix my first day, is very doable.”
While Sadeiko was positioning herself for the postseason, freshman Dante Newberg was making his collegiate debut in the decathlon. The two-day, 10-event test of speed, strength and endurance provided Newberg with a starting point to what he and Nobles hope will be a promising career.
Newberg finished 15th overall with 5,979 points in an effort which included promising career-best marks in the 100 dash (11.11), 110 hurdles (15.71) and pole vault (4.00 meters/13-1.50), but also included some disappointing performances.
Texas Relays Decathlon Results
“I’ve never seen Dante do a decathlon,” Nobles said. “This was important for me to watch him compete and do a full decathlon, to see how he handles himself…
“It was good for me to see how he responded to the adversity. He did a pretty good job for his first college decathlon, lining up at the same competition with multiple-time world champion and Olympic medalist Trey Hardee. That can overwhelm you if you’re not careful. He kept things under control and stayed within himself.”
Newberg’s shortcoming in the the shot put and discus were telling, but sub-par performances in the high jump, long jump and javelin – three of his better events – prevented the Tampa native from cracking FSU’s all-time top 10 in his collegiate debut.
“That’s kind of the nature of the beast,” Nobles said. “You’re going to have good events; you’re going to have bad events. There were some highlights, no doubt about it, and you can see progress being made…
“I’ll do a better job of coaching him and understanding him, based on what I saw. This is the first step on a four or five year journey.”
Tirado Posts Hammer PR At Florida Relays
Redshirt freshman Brandon Tirado was the lone Seminole in action on the opening day of the Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville on Thursday and made the most of it. Competing in the hammer for just the second time as a Seminole, Tirado recorded a lifetime-best mark of 56.31 meters (184-9) to place 19th.
Tirado’s top throw of the day ranks No. 9 all-time among Florida State athletes.
FSU athletes will be quite busy Friday at Percy Beard Stadium on the University of Florida campus as the schedule includes a full slate of individual events. Der’Renae Freeman (long jump), Katja Vangsnes (hammer), Kellion Knibb (discus) and Darryl Haraway (200) are all slated for action in seeded invitational events. Shauna Helps and Jande Pierce are also in the invitational 200 for women.
Among other highly anticipated events, Otniel Teixeira and Jake Burton highlight four Noles in the 800. Freshman Shaquania Dorsett, fresh off her silver medal in the 400 at the Carifta Games, is also entered in that event. The Seminoles will also send the trio of Meme Jean, Nicole Setterington and Peta-Gay Williams into action in the 100-meter hurdles.
Florida Relays Live Results
Friday ESPN3 Stream
Distance Crew Ready For Stanford Relays
Led by senior All-American Zak Seddon, four Seminole distance runners will compete Friday night in the talent-rich Stanford Invitational. Seddon is eyeing his first victory at Stanford in the 3000-meter steeplechase, where he is one of the favorites, having twice finished second.
Also slated for action are Bridget Blake (steeplechase), Georgia Peel (1500) and Christine Griggs (10,000).
Stanford Invitational Live Results
Stanford Invitational FloTrack Live Stream (Pay)
You can keep tabs on the Seminoles throughout the weekend via Twitter @FSU_Track. Complete recaps will be posted daily at Seminoles.com.