March 2, 2001 - by
Florida State Opens Outdoor Season

March 2, 2001

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s and women’s track and field teams will begin a transition form the indoor to the outdoor season this weekend, as FSU will send athletes to three separate meets. The `Noles will keep some athletes at Mike Long Track for the opening outdoor meet of the season, while other athletes will take a last shot at qualifying for the NCAA’s at the LSU “Last Ditch” meet. Senior Joe Allen will be the lone Seminole to represent FSU at the USATF Indoor Championships in Atlanta, Ga. The Seminoles’ opening home meet of the year, the FSU Season Opener, will primarily showcase FSU with some additional athletes from the area.

The action at Mike Long Track will begin the long awaited outdoor season in Tallahassee. The Seminoles, an outdoor team by nature, will begin its defense of last year’s ACC Women’s Outdoor Team Championship. The men will look to move up a spot from last year’s second-place finish. All but three Florida State athletes are scheduled to compete at the FSU Season Opener. Leading that group should be former ACC Champion, Makiba Batten. Batten returns to the outdoor track this weekend to defend her ACC Individual Championship in the discus and the shot put. Batten will look for a return to the NCAA’s in the discus. Teresa Bundy and Kim Jones will also look to have a breakout day on the track. Bundy currently leads the team in the 60m dash, the 55m dash and the 200m dash. Jones has the team’s best indoor marks in the long jump, the 60m hurdles and the 55m hurdles.

After posting an NCAA Provisional mark in the 800m indoors, Laura Gerber will return to the familiar setting of Mike Long Track where she will look to do the same in the outdoor season. Gerber leads the team in the 400m (56.86) and the 800m (2:07.32). Equally impressive in the 800m has been Maarten van den Heuvel of the men’s squad. The Netherlands native posted a 1:52.17 800m time to lead the team in that event.

The focus of the men’s team in this weekend’s events should come in the pits. Pole vaulters Jason Dean and Jeff Atkinson will both start the outdoor season off this weekend, while ACC Indoor Champion Mario Lowe will hit the sand in the triple jump. Lowe’s counterpart, Allen, will look to represent FSU in Atlanta. Allen’s long jump mark of 25-04.75, set at the Virginia Tech Invite in January, qualified him to compete at the USATF Indoor Championships. The event will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 3.

The one major event missing from this weekend’ s competition will be the women’s pole vault, as the Seminoles’ top two vaulters will be looking to better their provisional marks in Baton Rouge, La. Megan Robbins and Lindsay Osborn both made the trip to the LSU Last Ditch Meet this weekend in an attempt to ensure a spot on the NCAA’s final qualifying list. Osborn currently owns the FSU school record with a 12-07.50 mark, cleared in this week’s Gator Last Chance Meet.

Action will begin for the FSU Season Opener at 10:00 a.m. on March 3. The meet will conclude at approximately 6:00 p.m.

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