Feb. 3, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s and women’s track and field squads made their way to the University of Florida for the second time this season, and left Gainesville with several impressive performances. The competitive meet featured an incredible 16 NCAA provisional and automatic marks.
The women’s squad came out strong against the impressive level of competition. After losing a number of high-scoring athletes from last year, the Gator Invitational allowed the team to face off against some of the top talent in the country. Leading the Lady Seminoles was senior pole vaulter Lindsay Osborn. Osborn cleared 12-feet in the vault, ending the day with a team-high third-place finish. Teammate Carrie Crandall added a mark of 11-00.25 in the vault to finish 12th. Kim Jones added a top-10 finish with her eighth-place 55m hurdles time, while Brooke Bastien ran to the same finish in the 3,000m, crossing the finish line in 10:13.83. Junior standout Makiba Batten competed in two events on the afternoon, landing in 12th-place in the weight throw and notching a sixth-place finish in a highly-competitive shot put event, where she threw the implement 46-02.75.
The men’s squad showed that it is more than prepared for the coming conference championships, coming through with several top-10 marks. The Seminoles were led by high jumper Christian Bland. The healthy competition between Bland and teammate Shawn Brown drove the former to a 6-11 mark, and a first-place finish. Brown cleared the bar at 6-7 on the afternoon, garnering a sixth-place finish. The Seminoles added to their dominance in the field events, as Jason Dean and Jeff Atkinson finished second and fifth, respectively, in the pole vault. Dean cleared the bar at 16-10.75 to equal the best mark of the day, but just lost the event on attempts. Senior Joe Allen went 24-01.50 for a sixth-place finish in the long jump while newcomer B.J. Linnenbrink tossed the weight 58-04.75, finishing fourth. Dorian Scott added a fifth-place finish in the shot to round out the field events.
The men’s squad proved that they not only continue to be strong in the field events, but a renewed sense of dominance has emerged in the distance and mid-distance corps. Maarten van den Heuvel returned for his first meet of the season, closing out a fourth-place finish in the 800m run. Teammate Brett Wade ended the afternoon in 13th in the same event. Newcomer and international standout Joep Tigchelaar proved that he will be a strong force in the conference this year, crossing the line in sixth place in the 3K, with a time of 8:26.90. Zach Heissner added an impressive performance in the 5K, finishing third with a time of 15:16.30.
The men’s and women’s squads will now return to Tallahassee, Fla., to train for the next test of the indoor season, the Indoor ACC Championships. Last season, the women’s squad just missed a conference title, with a second-place finish while the men’s team finished fourth. Both squads have a solid shot a conference titles this season, and will use the idle weekend ahead to focus on the conference championship.