TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Buoyed by a pair of top 10 national event performances the Florida State men’s track & field team moved up four positions to No. 19 in this week’s U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Computer Rankings.
It’s the highest national ranking for coach Bob Braman’s men since late in the 2015 season.
“It’s great to be back in the top 20 again,” Braman said. “We hope to keep climbing the rankings and peak at the end of the season, but this ranking is a testament to the hard work the athletes have put in so far.”
The second-highest of four ranked Atlantic Coast Conference teams, trailing No. 17 Virginia and ahead of Nos. 24 and 25 Virginia and Syracuse, respectively, the Noles were among a handful of major movers in the second regular season rankings of the 2018 indoor campaign.
They jumped four spots following some impressionable performances over the weekend at the Razorback Invitational. Armani Wallace and Austin Droogsma turned in top-five national performances in the triple jump and shot put, respectively, bolstering the Noles’ computer ranking. Andre Ewers’ nation-leading mark in the 60-meter dash and Trey Cunningham’s No. 6 ranking in the 60-meter hurdles powered FSU back into the top 25 last week.
“Austin and Armani were the big contributors to this week’s improvement,” Braman said.
FSU’s men could well take a hit next week in the rankings through no fault of their own. The Noles will take a week off from competition before returning to action at the Tyson Invitational, Feb. 9-10.
While the men continued their climb, the Seminole women held firm at No. 35 for the second consecutive week in the rankings.
Interestingly enough the FSU women jumped five spots in the USTFCCCA South Region rankings to No. 3, behind Georgia and Florida, which sit at Nos. 2 and 5, respectively, in the national rankings. The Seminoles men are No. 4 in the South Region, climbing three spots from a week ago yet still trailing Florida, Alabama and Georgia. Those three teams occupy the nation’s 1-2 and 6 positions in the computer rankings.
Two at the top of squad rankings
For several years now the USTFCCCA has compiled what they call “National Squad Rankings,” which is a compilation of the top four athletes from each team in a single event, divided by four to come up with an average.
Currently, the No. 19 Florida State men are the only Division I program in the country which lead the nation in two events.
The Seminoles rank No. 1 nationally in both the 60-meter dash and the triple jump. FSU’s 60-meter dash quarter, led by national leader Andre Ewers (6.52) and including Darryl Haraway (6.68), Darryl Gay (6.74) and Edward Clarke (6.77) boasts a four-man average of 6.68. That leads No. 2 Houston, which checks in with a 6.72 average.
Paced by Armani’s Wallace’s fourth-ranked triple jump of 16.19 meters, and including Montel Nevers and Ashton Butler (15.47 each), and Jacore Irvining (14.79), the Noles’ 15.48-meter average (50-9.5) is nearly a full foot ahead of No. 2 Oklahoma’s average (15.13m/49-7.5). The Seminole men also rank fifth in the long jump, paced by Kenneth Fisher (7.55m/24-9.5), with a 7.39m average (24-3).
FSU’s women boast just one top-16 event ranking and that comes in the mile run, where Militsa Mircheva (4:44.89) paces a quartet of Jodie Judd (4:50.32), Maudie Skyring (4:53.09) and Emily Edwards (4:52.17) for a No. 14 average of 4:50.82.
Eleven new top-10 entries for Noles
Florida State’s men and women combined to add 11 new entries on the all-time top 10 event list following their performances at the Razorback Invitational. Junior Shauna Helps set the school record in the 200-meter dash (23.20) and freshman Ka’Tia debuted with the No. 7 mark in that event (23.84) to lead the way for the women.
Helps also moved up a spot in the 60-meter dash with a new PB and the No. 6 mark in school history (7.33), while graduate transfer Ieva Zarankaite cracked the top 10 in the shot put at No. 9 (14.87m/48-9.5).
FSU’s men posted seven new top-10 marks at the Randal Tyson Track Complex over the weekend, led by fifth-year senior Austin Droogsma, who climbed to No. 2 in the shot put (19.69m/64-7.25). Junior Armani Wallace cracked the list at No. 5 in the triple jump (16.19m/53-1.5) for the next-highest ranking.
Junior Dante Newberg upped his No. 3 heptathlon total to 5,198 points, while Hunter Napier solidified his standing at No. 8 (4,129). Three others moved into the No. 10 spot.
Freshman Tye Dickens grabbed the last spot in the 60-meter hurdles (8.04), while Corion Knight is among five Noles tied for No. 10 in the high jump (2.16m/7-1). Rounding out the No. 10s is the distance medley relay team of Toby Hardwick, Kyle Fearrington, Bert Freire and Michael Hall (9:51.97).