June 12, 2008 - by
Thursday’s Live Updates From The NCAA Track & Field Championships 9:30 PM CST Update

June 12, 2008

Des Moines, Iowa –

9:30 p.m. CST Update
Two words: Ngoni! Wow!
Two more: National Champion!
For the top eight athletes in a field event who make it to the finals, they typically have nine jumps or throws over the course of prelims, semis and finals. Florida State’s Ngoni Makusha won the long jump national championship with essentially two jumps. He jumped 8.09m on his first jump in the preliminary round to automatically qualify for the finals.

Then in tonight’s first jump of the semifinals he launched himself to a jump of 8.25m/27-00.75. That easily broke his school record and was good enough to win. For good measure, the rookie busted out a jump of 8.30m/27-02.75 in his fourth and final jump of the night to easily win the event. It’s the fourth longest jump in the world this year. Not too shabby.

He’s competed in the decathlon twice as a Seminole and twice he’s broken the school record. Freshman Gonzalo Barroilhet ran a time of 4:50.79 to score a career-best 7,907. He just missed taking over Tennessee’s Addy for second place, missing him by just nine points.

There have only been three events completed, but Florida State has taken an early lead with 16 points from Makusha and Barroilhet. The Seminoles should be able to hold onto that lead with Walter Dix in the 100m finals, Luke Gunn in the steeplechase and then 4x100m team.

7:30 CST Update
It’s been a busy afternoon of qualifying for the Seminoles. Here are some quick hits…

…Freshman Teona Rodges moved through in the first NCAA championship as she finished third in her heat of the 100m hurdles.
…Senior Drew Brunson ran the best 110m hurdle time of his career, posting a 13.40 to win his heat and advance to the semis.
…Florida State pushed two runners through in the men’s 200m – Walter Dix and Charles Clark – while LSU only got one runner through. Unfortunately, Michael Ray Garvin didn’t get out of the prelims.
…On the women’s side, Hannah England won her heat and Susan Kuijken placed fourth in the 1500m. Both are on to the finals.
….In the decathlon, Gonzalo Barroilhet needs to beat Tennesee’s Jangy Addy by 13 seconds in the 1500 to take over second place. He just missed his PR in the javelin to pick up some big points.
…Long jumper Ngoni Makusha starts his quest for the long jump title. He had the longest jump in the prelims.

4:30 p.m. CST Update
It’s been nearly two hours since the pole vault competition in the decathlon started and now it’s finally over. Gonzalo Barriolhet won the event with a height of 5.20m/17-0.75. That gave him 972 points and moved him to 6,618 points. Getting over 5.20m was a little shaky for Gonzalo. He didn’t come in until 5.00m and after he cleared that he passed at 5.10m. It came down to his third and final attempt at 5.20m and he grazed the bar and it wobbled for a second before staying on the stanchion. Gonzalo passed at 5.30m and nearly cleared 5.40m on his final attempt, which would have been the meet record and put him just two points back of second place.

He’s now just 65 points back of Ashton Eaton and 139 back of the leader Jangy Addy. He should pass Eaton in the javelin, but Addy will extend his lead. It will then all come down to the 1500m run. Barroilhet will need to be about 50-60 points clear of Eaton going into the 1500m to hold onto second and needs to be within 100 or so of Addy to win.

The track events are starting to get going. Florida State has runners in the women’s and men’s high hurdles. The trio of Walter Dix, Michael Ray Garvin and Charles Clark will attack the 200m starting at 5:25 p.m. and then Elliott Wood will try to get through to his first final in the 400m hurdles at 6 p.m.

1:45 p.m. CST
Through three events of the decathlon today, Gonzalo Barroilhet has moved up to third place with 5,646 points after starting the day in fifth. Tennessee’s Jangy Addy is the leader at 6,055 points and Ashton Eaton of Oregon is second at 5,925 points.

If Barroilhet is going to make his run at winning the national championships he is going to do it in the pole vault, which is the next event. His personal record (pr) is nearly a meter more than Addy’s and half a meter more than Eaton’s so this will be his spot. The javelin is his best throwing event and he’s decent in the 1500m which will go off at 7:25 p.m. as the final event. He’s better than Eaton in the javelin, but not the 1500m and better than Addy in the 1500m, but not the javelin so it’s going to come down to the wire.

The weather continues to cooperate. It’s 76 degrees and overcast, but not rain clouds so that’s a bonus. The wind has been swirling and hopefully it will improve for the javelin.

10:15 a.m (CST)
If you’ve been anywhere a TV you know what’s been going on here in Iowa. It’s quite a reality check when devastating tornados are only a few hours away. In terms of the flooding, we’ve been pretty lucky that the rain hasn’t affected the track, nor the team hotel. We’re out by the airport and away from the Des Moines River, which is close to record levels. Some streets downtown have flooded and have caused a few teams to have to relocate, Miami and Texas, in particular.

We’re about a half hour away from the start of the second day of competition in the decathlon. It rained a lot overnight, but stopped earlier than expected. Most of the track is dry so that should make the 110 hurdles – the day’s first event – go a little better than the 100m in the rain yesterday. The wind doesn’t appear to be as strong as it was Wednesday afternoon, which will be needed for the javelin. During the prelims of the men’s javelin yesterday a lot of competitors were up to 10 meters short of their distances coming into the meet because they are throwing directly into the wind.

The second day is the better of the two for FSU decathlete Gonzalo Barroilhet. He actually qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 110m hurdles and pole vault. In addition he’s got the 10th-best javelin throw in school history so he could make up a lot of points today.

If freshman Ngoni Makusha has another day like yesterday he should be on top of the award stand for the long jump. He only needed one jump to automatically qualify for the finals, but there is a strong field of competitors. Sixteen points from the two freshmen would be good start, but there’s a potential for a lot more.

With the exception Kim Williams in the triple jump, all of Florida State’s athletes will have competed at least once by the end of the day. The first round of the 110m & 100m hurdles opens the running events – with Drew Brunson and Teona Rodgers – as well as the women’s 1500m, featuring Hannah England and Susan Kuijken, and the women’s 4x400m relay.

In all the predictions that are out there, none have Brunson or Taylor scoring, but no one in Garnet & Gold would be surpised if they scored some points. Brunson was the NCAA Indoor 60m hurdle champion a few months ago and Taylor won the 2007 NCAA Outdoor triple jump crown so these guys know how to get it done on the biggest stage.

Elliott Wood (400m hurdles) and Pilar McShine (800m run) will try to make it to the finals in their events today. FSU’s biggest scoring chance is in the men’s 200m dash and the prelims and semis of that are event today with Walter Dix, Michael Ray Garvin and Charles Clark in action.

It’s a full day of action here in Des Moines so check back later to Seminoles.com later in the day to keep up with everything.

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