NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Isaac Grimes continued his winning ways in the long jump and the women’s distance medley relay team cruised to victory Friday night as the nationally-ranked Florida State indoor track & field teams kicked off the two-day Vanderbilt Invitational.
Grimes recorded his second long jump victory in as many starts, this time landing a new indoor personal-best. One week after the junior transfer from Chadron State set the facility record at Clemson, he sailed 7.96 meters (26-1.75) to turn back teammate and fellow transfer Fabian Edoki.
The Noles authored a 1-2-8 finish in the event, despite some technical struggles.
“We’re getting close to doing something big with Grimes,” said FSU jumps coach Keith Herston. “On his last jump he didn’t even sniff the board.”
The reigning ACC Field Performer of the Week recorded his personal-best – the No. 2 mark in the nation – in the fifth round and recorded a mark of 7.93 meters on his final attempt, without getting on the takeoff board. Still, he moved into a share of fourth on FSU’s all-time list, alongside 2015 All-American and NFL star Jalen Ramsey.
Edoki, who won the Vanderbilt Invitational last season as a junior while competing for Middle Tennessee State, was making his FSU debut. The senior and returning All-American recorded his best two marks on his final two attempts, capped by a 7.77-meter (25-6) effort, which ranks No. 6 nationally.
“He just wasn’t clicking,” Herston said of Edoki, who still managed to record the 10th-best mark in program history. “He was not feeling good.”
Junior Jacore Irving also recorded an indoor long jump personal-best with matching third- and sixth-round marks of 7.34m (24-1) to place eighth. Herston said Irving fell victim to dragging his foot on his sixth attempt, denying him a 25-foot effort.
In their first competitive action since placing 12th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, the FSU distance women shook off some rust with a win in the distance medley relay. The team of Ellie Wallace, Kimmie Cunningham, Yasmine Abbes and Maudie Skyring comfortably cruised to the finish in 11:25.93; the fastest early-season time in the nation by 20 seconds.
“It looked like the first race with no hype,” coach Kelly Phillips said. “The goal was to get a time for ACCs [and the fast heat] and they did that. There was nothing sexy about it.”
Wallace turned in a solid 1200-meter leg of 3:34 and Cunningham ran 55.8 on the 400-meter leg. Abbes, a freshman, split 2:12 on the 800 leg with Skyring posting a 4:43 1600-meter split, turning back runner-up Furman.
“Each of them said they could have run faster,” Phillips added. “They should all be nice and fresh tomorrow.”
Eleven members of the women’s distance group will compete in separate 3000-meter races on Saturday, while Ginelle DeMone will be joined by Abbes in the mile.
Friday’s competition also saw senior Nadia Maffo record the best season-opening weight throw mark of her career (19.72 meters/ 64-8.5) to place seventh. Sophomore Trentorria Green, like a pair of her FSU men’s long jump counterparts, struggled to find the takeoff board and placed 12th (5.39m/17-8.25).
Green and Irving will compete in the triple jump Saturday, while Grimes will be hunting an ACC qualifying mark in the 60-meter dash prelims.
Competition begins at 11 a.m. (ET) with the unseeded section of the 3000-meter run. Redshirt freshman Amani Heaven will make her FSU debut in the shot put at 12 noon.
You can follow the Noles in action throughout the day via Twitter @FSU_Track and visit Seminoles.com for a complete recap Saturday evening.