TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Unseasonably cool temperatures pushed along by a steady breeze weren’t conducive to outstanding performances on the track at Friday’s Seminole Twilight. Still, the conditions didn’t prevent the Florida State’s track & field teams from getting some important work in before the start of the postseason. On a day full of activities beyond the track and field, the Noles managed to combine for 13 wins and more than a handful of personal- or season-best marks, resulting in automatic qualifying berths to next weekend’s ACC Outdoor Championships at Georgia Tech.
“I thought we had good efforts,” Florida State coach Bob Braman said. “The weather was a deterrent to big marks.”
Still, the conditions did not prevent flawless execution of a few non-competitive events.
Friday began inside the McIntosh Building which houses FSU track & field, where the conference room was dedicated to Dr. Frankie Hall. FSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox was the first to recognize Hall for her pioneering efforts toward women’s athletics at the univeristy.
Hall, 92, was the first women’s track & field coach of the Seminoles, guiding the 1969 team through a five-meet schedule capped by a trip to the Division of Girls and Women’s Sports First National Track & Field Championships in San Marcos, Texas.
Six members of Hall’s nine-athlete team and the lone assistant coach were on hand to honor their coach and mentor, whose health prevented her from attending.
“We were the first, and it has taken us a long time to realize we were real pioneers,” Hall said in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat.
At the conclusion of the dedication, three women – Margaret Kane, Avis Latham Vaught and Lee Anne Wojtkowski – were presented with All-American certificates for their scoring finishes at that first national championship meet. They had waited 48 years to be recognized for the honor; something that Hall had pushed to see happen, since there were no awards presented at for the inaugural championship pioneers.
“This all started because Frankie wanted to take care of three of you and it didn’t take very much time, but the love you had for her turned around and made t
“It was truly neat to hear stories about that team, how they competed, how they formed and how they came together,” Braman said. “It was a very special, festive event for us. That was a fun, fun moment and it was great to have them here for all of us to appreciate and celebrate with them.”
Back out on the track, the 26 graduating Seminoles were recognized for their career contributions prior to taking part in the final home meet of the season. Over the past five years the members of the honored group had been part of eight ACC team titles, seven ACC individual titles – four of those by Kellion Knibb – produced five school records and 34 combined top 10 all-time marks.
Friday’s competition was all about building toward the addition of that legacy.
Among the noteworthy wins, freshman Nicole Breske claimed the pole vault with a lifetime-best clearance of 4.02 meters (13-2.25), which ranks as the No. 5 mark in school history and almost certainly secures her a trip to the NCAA East Preliminary meet. Redshirt freshman teammate Amanda Lewis was second (3.77m/12-4.5) with a personal-best which qualified her for the ACC Championships.
“With Nicole, she’s a freshman, and a high school state champion who comes in with a lot of accolades,” Braman said. “She’s getting on a role right now where she’s finally getting her groove. She looks like she’s got a pretty solid regional mark and put herself in position to score in the conference.”