January 28, 2016 - by
Season Debuts, Quality Competition Await Track Noles At Razorback

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 15-team, scored Razorback Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center provides the young Florida State indoor track & field team with both their most significant challenge and their greatest opportunity of the season.Facing fields which include six of the nation’s top-seven ranked men’s teams, and five of the top-six on the women’s side, the Seminoles will test their progress against extraordinary talent on what is widely considered the fastest 200-meter indoor track in the world.

The two-day event, which begins with the heptathlon and pentathlon competition Friday at 12 noon (ET), includes nationally ranked powers and host Arkansas (No. 1 women; No. 11 men), Florida (No. 1 men; No. 6 women), Texas (No. 2 men; No. 3 women), Georgia (No. 2 women; No. 7 men) and Oregon (Nos. 5 men and women), as well as well as ranked programs from Texas A&M, LSU, Oklahoma State and Purdue.

Friday’s action will be streamed live on SECN+ beginning at 6 p.m. The SEC Network will provide four hours of live coverage on Saturday, beginning at 1:30 p.m. (ET).

“I’m really excited to get some of our more experienced men back into action,” FSU coach Bob Braman said.

Among the Seminoles competing, freshman Dante Newberg and junior Nebraska transfer Melissa-Maree Farrington will compete in Friday’s heptathlon and pentathlon, respectively. Farrington’s Seminole training partner Grete Sadeiko, the school record-holder (4,105 points) did not make the trip due to illness.

The multi-event specialists have tuned up for their specialty debuts through the first two meets and are anxious to test themselves against stout fields in advance of the ACC Indoor Championships. Newberg will be competing in the seven-event competition for the first time. Farrington, who has a career-best total of 4,081, will be out to eclipse that total and get positioned for a potential run at an NCAA Championship berth.

One of the most highly anticipated events Friday will be the women’s and men’s long jump. FSU senior Der’Renae Freeman and sophomore Jogaile Petrokaite, ranked fourth and 14th respectively, will tackle a field that includes fifth-ranked Keturah Orji (Georgia) and Oregon’s Jasmine Todd.Seminoles Stefan Brits and Keniel Grant, NCAA Championship qualifiers last season, are healthy and eager to return to the scene of their all-time-best indoor marks. They will be tested by Arkansas’ Jarrion Lawson, the 2014 NCAA indoor champ, and Florida’s KeAndre Bates.

Sasha-Ann Lebert is eager to build on a strong start to the season in the weight throw, which have included a win, a second-place finish and the No. 3 throw in school history.

Saturday’s schedule will include the season debuts of Ben Bonhurtst (shot put) and Harry Mulenga (mile), as well as Otniel and Burton (800).”The ladies will be chasing national qualifying marks in the long jump, pentathlon and weight throw, while the hurdlers and sprinters look to continue to move up the ACC leaderboard,” Braman said. “Meme Jean is also zeroing in on a national qualifying mark.”

Meme Jean and Nicole Setterington are poised to advance from the preliminary rounds of the 60-meter hurdles, while sprinters Edward Clarke, Darryl Haraway and Raheem Robinson will double back from Friday’s 200 in the 60-meter dash preliminaries.

“Brits, Bonhurst, Grant, Burton and Mulenga will either debut or return after a rust-buster opener,” Braman said. “We’re also excited to see how our freshmen sprinters will respond against the nation’s best.”

You can follow the Seminoles’ progress via Twitter @FSU_Track or through the live results link http://www.flashresults.com/2016_Meets/Indoor/01-29_RazorbackInvite/.

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