TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With the indoor track & field season fast-tracking toward the finish it seems fitting that the Florida State men’s and women’s teams are competing at two of the fastest indoor facilities in the country this weekend.
The Seminoles have split their squads with the sprinters, jumpers and throwers heading to the prestigious Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., while the distance group heads north to Boston University’s Track and Tennis Center for the David Hemery Valentine Invitational.
Competition begins Friday at both venues and concludes Saturday.
In the case of both groups, the Seminoles hope to measure their progress after two weeks of training since the last competition. With just two weeks remaining before the ACC Indoor Championships in Boston at the Reggie Lewis Center, the Noles are hunting premium qualifying marks in all areas; some with an eye on NCAA Indoor Championship berths.
Friday’s action in Boston will include the season debut of men’s distance medley relay, with Zak Seddon, Alistair Moona, Otniel Teixeira and Harry Mulenga hoping to minimally post a mark worthy of the fast heat at the ACC Championships, and ideally one that will give them an idea of whether an NCAA berth is attainable.
The remainder of Friday’s schedule on the swift Boston University 200-meter track will include the Seminole women, including Chelsea Jarvis, who is currently ranked 27th nationally in the 800 (2:07.11) and has designs on locking down a top-16 finish and an NCAA berth. Georgia Peel and Bridget Blake are hunting breakthrough performances in what will almost certainly be the fastest mile field they have encountered this season. Meanwhile, Courteney West (3000 meters) and Christine Griggs (5000) are poised to register lifetime-best standards.
Making a return trip to Arkansas, long jumpers Der’Renae Freeman and Stefan Brits – both of whom are currently ranked within the top 16 nationally and positioned for NCAA Championship berths – will be tested in the invitational sections of the event Friday night. Not only will they be facing some of the nation’s top collegians, they will also compete against post-collegians; some of whom have Olympic Games experience.
On the track, FSU’s stout women’s 60-meter hurdle group – led by nationally sixth-ranked Meme Jean (8.15) – will try and navigate three rounds of competition beginning at 3:40 p.m. (ET). Jean, Nicole Setterington and Melissa-Maree Farrington all rank among the top 10 in FSU history, and freshman Peta-Gay Williams, coming off an injury, hopes to join them in that select group.
Among other freshmen women looking for breakthrough performances in their first indoor season are Shaquania Dorsett (400 meters) and Shauna Helps (60-meter dash).
On the men’s side, the freshmen sprint trio of Darryl Haraway, Edward Clarke and Raheem Robinson will try and advance through the rounds in the 60-meter dash.
Not to be excluded, Sasha-Ann Lebert is positioned for a third consecutive personal-best performance in the women’s weight throw, all the while keeping an eye on a national qualifying mark. Jogaile Petrokaite, Grete Sadeiko and Farrington are scheduled to compete in the women’s long jump, while Keniel Grant will go on the men’s side.
Saturday’s race schedule in Boston is an exclusively male affair, with Jake Burton, Teixeira and Matt Magee slated to kick things off in the 800 at 11:40 a.m. Moona will come back and compete in the 40-meter dash after his DMR duties, while Andrew Coscoran lines up in the mile.
Seddon will get his first individual race of the season in the 3000-meter run, where he will be joined by Mulenga in a field ridiculously deep in talent from a host of Northeastern collegiate powers. Grant Nykaza will close things out in the 5000-meter run, looking for his second event personal-best of the indoor season.
The majority of Saturday’s action in Arkansas – at least for the Noles – will take place in the field events. Defending ACC Indoor shot put champion Kellion Knibb will make her season debut on the women’s side, while Ben Bonhurst and Chad DaCosta will be measuring their progress in the men’s shot. Triple jumpers Armani Wallace and Ashton Butler are slated for action along with Sadeiko in the high jump.
You can monitor the Seminoles’ progress from both meets by following @FSU_Track on Twitter.
Flotrack will stream the action from the David Hemery Valentine Invitational beginning Friday at 1:30 p.m. to subscribers at http://www.flotrack.org/event/252700-bu-valentine-invitational
Both meets will provide live results links:
David Hemery Valentine Invitational: http://www.lancertiming.com/
Tyson Invitational: http://flashresults.com/2016_Meets/Indoor/02-12_TysonInvite/index.htm