TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The names have changed but the early-season success of the Florida State throws group have led to a sweep of Atlantic Coast Conference Field Event Performer of the Week honors for a second consecutive week. Graduate student Kellion Knibb and redshirt junior Austin Droogsma were selected following their elite and winning performances at Friday’s FSU Relays.
Knibb, the 2016 NCAA Outdoor runner-up in the discus, broke her own Mike Long Track record with a nation-leading throw of 60.85 meters (199-7) on her sixth and final attempt of the competition. The 2016 Olympian and three-time ACC champion eclipsed her week-old, previous season best on all five of her marks to defeat fellow Jamaican and teammate Gleneve Grange, who claimed ACC honors last week.
In addition to leading NCAA Division I, Knibb’s mark ranks No. 11 in the world.
Droogsma made the most of his outdoor season at the FSU Relays, posting lifetime-best marks in both the shot put and discus. The Gulf Breeze, Fla. native became just the third Seminole to eclipse 19 meters in the shot put with his winning mark of 19.22m (63-0.75), which ranks No. 2 in the nation. Only former NCAA champion Garrett and two-time Olympian Dorian Scott, his throws coach, threw further as Seminoles.
He backed that up with a runner-up finish in the discus (55.05m/180-8) – seventh-best in program history – which ranks No. 19 in the nation. Droogsma leads the ACC in the shot put and ranks No. 2 behind teammate a FSU Relays discus winner Emmanuel Onyia in the discus. Onyia won ACC Field Performer of the Week honors last week.
“Coach Scott’s group has been doing a fantastic job,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “Kellion is months ahead of last year’s epic season and Austin is crushing all his lifetime bests. I’m really proud of their focus and work ethic.
“Even bigger marks will be coming soon from those two, and the rest of that group.”
The Seminole men and women swept the team titles at FSU Relays, out-scoring Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Liberty and Southern Miss on Friday.
Noles Leaving Their Mark Nationally
In addition to performances of Knibb and Droogsma, the Seminoles are making quite a bit of noise nationally as nine FSU athletes ranks among the top 10 nationally in their respective events.
Graduate student Ed’Ricus Williams etches his name atop the men’s high jump leader board when he battled former Seminole and NCAA champion James Harris to a first-place tie at the FSU Relays. Williams, who transferred in from Bethune-Cookman, cleared 2.20 meters (7-2.5) for a share of the national lead, and the No. 6 spot on FSU’s all-time list.
One week after debuting as the fastest freshman 100-meter hurdler in program history, Cortney Jones lowered her mark significantly, winning the FSU Relays in 13.06. That is the No. 2 time in the nation and ties her for fourth all-time among Noles with the great Kim Batten.
Veronika Kanuchova ranks third nationally in the women’s hammer after posting her second consecutive win as a Seminole. Kanuchova holds the school record with a season-best mark of 65.78 meters (215-8).
Gleneve Grange improved her personal-best in the discus with a second place finish behind Knibb, posting a mark of 56.41 meters (185-1) and sits fourth nationally and No. 2 all-time among Noles.
Sophomore Armani Wallace opened up his outdoor season in the triple jump with a runner-up finish to post-collegian and former Seminole Phillip Young in 15.68 meters (51-5.5), which ranks seventh nationally.
Emmanuel Onyia’s FSU Relays winning toss of 56.86m (186-6) was not only a new personal-best but also the No. 8 mark nationally.
Edward Clarke’s collegiate-best 100-meter time of 10.34 was good for the win on Friday and also a share of the No. 9 time nationally.
Seminoles Splitting Up This Weekend
The Florida State track & field teams will be in action from coast-to-coast and in between this weekend, participating against elite competition at the Pepsi Florida Relays, Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays and Stanford Invitational.
The Seminole throwers, women’s sprints and hurdles and the majority of the middle-distance group will head to Gainesville to compete Friday and Saturday, while the men’s sprinters – and long jumper Keniel Grant – will face off against some of the nation’s fastest in Austin, Texas. Junior transfer Mackenzie Landa, a California native, will have the chance to return home to compete in the 10,000-meter run Friday night in Palo Alto, Calif.
You can keep up with the Seminoles throughout the weekend – and the season – via Twitter @FSU_Track.