April 19, 2007
College Park, MD – Day one of the outdoor track and field ACC Championships comes to an end with the men of Florida State in third place with 19 team points and the women in a three-way tie for sixth with 12 points.
The men’s hammer throw was the first event of the day at Kehoe Track at Ludwig Field on the campus of the University of Maryland. The Seminoles had three men competing and all three scored points placing fifth, sixth, and eighth.
Leading off the scoring was junior Matt Wernke (Tallahassee, FL/Chiles) who threw 178’11″/54.54m to finish fifth and add four points to the board. Just behind in sixth was fellow junior Travis Dane (Naples, FL/Barron Collier) scoring three points with an even distance of 178-feet. Grabbing one point for the Seminoles in the hammer throw was sophomore walk-on Travis Whitfield (Jay, FL/Jay) whose 172’9″/52.66m throw was good for eighth.
On the women’s side, senior Sarah Reed (Punta Gorda, FL/Illinois) not only captured three team points, but also threw a personal best and regional qualifying mark. Reed’s sixth-place throw of 178’8/54.46 was over two feet past her previous best in the hammer throw.
In the men’s javelin, sophomore Bryan Howard (Warminster, PA/Albright) was also over two feet past his personal best with a 209’4″/63.81m throw. The transfer from Albright College placed fourth and attached five points to the men’s score.
“You can’t ask for more than Bryan Howard and Sarah Reed setting new personal bests at the conference meet,” head coach Bob Braman said. “The three men in the hammer are all walk-ons and they did a really nice job today and added eight team points for us.”
Rounding out the field events on Thursday was Tiara Swanagan (Orange Park, FL/Edward Wright) in the high jump. The freshman jumped a season-best height of 5’7″/1.70m to take the bronze and add the first six points to the women’s score.
“All-ACC Tiara Swanagan’s performance in the high jump was just huge today,” Braman said.
As the sun started to fade, the first distance events began with the men’s and women’s 10,000 meters. Running for the men were Miami natives Steeve Gabart and Javier Cruz and Debbie Huss (Wyomissing, PA/Vanderbilt) and Laura Bowerman (Temple Terrace, FL/King) on the women’s side.
Gabart, a freshman walk-on, kicked it into high gear on the final stretch of the 10K, finishing fifth in 30:12.56. Sophomore Cruz finished right behind in seventh in 30:31.88.
Huss, the junior who ran the 10K for the first time at the Stanford Invite and provisionally qualified, ran a great race placing sixth in 34:37.04 and bringing the women’s points to 12 for the day. Bowerman nearly met her personal best after finishing in 35:44.12 in 11-place.
“I feel like we had a really good first day,” Braman said. “One of the highlights was in the men’s 10K with Steeve Gabart finishing fifth and the women’s 10K and Debbie Huss who did a great job. Debbie was injured last year and can back to place sixth in her first outdoor ACC race, which was the fastest women’s 10K I have seen in the seven years I’ve been [at Florida State].”
“I’m really pleased with today. It’s a good way to kickoff the outdoor ACC Championships. The men and women both did an excellent job which puts them both in a good position to get things done tomorrow and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.”
The Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships continue on Friday, April 20, at 10:00am with the men’s decathlon followed by the men’s discus at 10:30am. Live results can be found by visiting TheACC.com.