February 3, 2017 - by
Track Teams Making Progress At Mid-Season Mark

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A rare weekend free of competition for the Florida State indoor track & field teams provides an ideal opportunity to examine exactly where the Seminoles stand at the midway point of the short season which historically serves as a tune-up for the outdoor campaign.

With three meets in the book, the Seminoles have already left their mark in a number of areas.

If the season ended today the Seminoles would have five NCAA Indoor Championship qualifiers, based on top-16 marks on the national descending order list for individual events. Four FSU women currently rank among the top 16 in their respective events: Eleonora Omoregie (high jump, tied for sixth); Melissa-Maree Farrington (pentathlon, eighth); Jogaile Petrokaite (long jump, 11th) and Peta-Gay Williams (60-meter hurdles, 12th). Darryl Haraway (60-meter dash, tied for seventh) would be the lone representative from the men’s team.

But top-16 marks nationally aren’t the only signs of progress for teams heavily depending on first- and second-year athletes.

Seven others – four women and three men – are currently ranked among the top 30 nationally with opportunities to improve.

Keniel Grant ranks 20th in the men’s long jump, while Armani Wallace is 24th in the triple jump and Austin Droogsma is tied for 27th nationally in the shot put. For the women, Gleneve Grange is 21st in the shot put, while Cortney Jones and Nicole Setterington rank 23rd and 26th, respectively, in the 60-meter hurdles and Shauna Helps is 27th in the 200.

In addition to the individual events, the women’s and men’s distance medley relay teams rank 17th and 23rd, respectively. Only the top 12 times in relay events advance to the NCAA Indoor Championships.

With the Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Championships on the horizon – February 23-25 at Notre Dame – the Seminoles are positioning themselves well, especially on the women’s side.

Four FSU women – Omoregie, Petrokaite, Farrington and Williams – lead or share the conference lead in their respective specialty events, while Helps (200) and the distance medley relay rank second among league competitors. Four others rank among the top five in their events.

Haraway (60) and the distance medley relay are FSU’s lone ACC leaders on the men’s side, but nine others sit among the top five in their respective events.

Where the Noles have shown the most improvement, however, is in the shear volume of athletes who have made significant strides through three meets. Combined, the women and men have collaborated for 21 events wins, 19 new additions or improvements on all-time top-10 marks to go along with a whopping 100 personal-best performances.

FSU coach Bob Braman has every reason to believe that upward trajectory will continue when the Noles return to the track next weekend as the squad splits up in search of the best venues for elite competition. While the distance teams will travel to Boston University for the David Hemery Invitational, the sprinters, jumpers and throwers are bound for Fayetteville, Ark. and the Tyson Invitational.

For most, those appearances will mark the final tune-up in advance of the ACC Championships.

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