TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State Track and Field coach Bob Braman has released the 2018 schedule. The Seminoles will open their 10-meet indoor season on January 6 at the Orange & Purple Classic in Clemson, S.C.
“We know we have to get the right groups to the right venues and the right competitions to qualify,” Braman said, laying out the schedule which puts a premium on the ACC and NCAA Championships.
The Noles return to Clemson for the ACC Indoor Championships (Feb. 22-24), where both the men and women finished third in 2017. Co-MVP Darryl Harraway, who won both the 60 and 200titles, leads the men. Eleonora Omoregie and Jogaile Petrokaite are back to defend their high jump and long jump titles, respectively.
The top 16 athletes in each event nationally will advance to the NCAA Championships (March 9-10) held in College Station, Texas.
The Seminoles host two meets this outdoor season, highlighted by the 39th FSU Relays, and also including the late-season Seminole Twilight.
“Obviously we’ve got a great meet – FSU Relays – at our place, which just keeps growing collegiately and that’s great for us.” said Braman, whose Noles will host in-state rival Florida, as well as Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Liberty, Dartmouth, and Southern Miss in the eight-team, scored meet.
Florida State has 15 meets on the schedule between March and May.
“I’m really excited about the National Relays (at Arkansas), which will be a whole new concept, but the best programs in America will be there.” Braman said, “That’s a whole new look. It will be nationally televised and a chance for us to put those relays together.
“We’re excited to get the team out to California again for a really good meet there at Mt. SAC, where we can get a lot of qualifying times. Then it’s a little bit different where we have the Auburn-Florida option here, where we know the weather is going to be good, then we’ll take it from there.”
This year’s Seminole Twilight (May 4) is the last meet in preparation for the postseason, which begins with the ACC Outdoor Championships (May 11-13) in Coral Gables, Fla. Last year the women finished second while the men finished third. The Noles are led by defending ACC champions Armani Wallace (long jump, triple jump), Omoregie (high jump), Peta-Gay Williams (100 hurdles) and Shauna Helps (100), who is vying for a third consecutive ACC gold.
“I think we do need to get our (NCAA qualifying) marks done during the regular season, because you don’t really know what you’re going to get in Miami.” Braman said, “You might get torrential rains at the ACC meet. You might get really hot conditions that could affect the competition. We’re putting a little more emphasis on being ready early.”
The postseason continues with the NCAA East Preliminary in Tampa, Fla., where the top 48 athletes in each event will compete for top-12 finishes and qualifying spots at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. (June 6-9).