BOSTON, Mass. – Kasey Knevelbaard dipped under the four-minute mark in the mile for just second time in his career Saturday at Boston University’s David Hemery Valentine Invitational, finishing fourth in the fast section in 3:59.00.
The graduate transfer from Southern Utah deployed a furious kick over the final 200 meters, passing seven runners on the last lap to record the No. 2 time in Florida State history and put himself in contention for a trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships.
In the process he set the tone for a big night by the Noles distance men.
“It was a really busy and hectic race and I had a difficult time positioning myself well,” Knevelbaard said. “I have to get used to a lot of bodies on a 200-meter track. It was hectic but something good to learn from moving forward….
“It’s a definitely a step in the right direction, but I have a lot left.”
Knevelbaard’s closing kick very nearly took down Tom Lancashire’s school record 3:58.52, set back in 2006. Still, it marked the first time he had dipped under four minutes on a 200-meter oval, with his personal-best of 3:58.54 coming last year at the University of Washington’s 300-meter track.
“I’ve had a lot of altitude converted times and times people debate, so this feels good because it’s definitely objective,” he said.
Senior Bert Freire joined Knevelbaard on FSU’s top-10 mile list with a huge personal-best of 4:05.08; good enough to take over the No. 10 spot. Tyler Dau came up .05 seconds shy of a personal-best as well, clocking in at 4:08.59.
“I’m pleased to see some pretty good runs going into the ACC Championships,” FSU coach Bob Braman said, who was happy to see the improvement from his group since the Indiana Relays. “At Indiana we tried to do too much and had a really bad day, so subconsciously all these guys came in here trying to fix Indiana and not being aggressive enough.”
The mile was just the start of a productive night for the Noles men, who added two more top-10 performances and another breakthrough personal-best.
Freshman Gabe Curtis kept the ball rolling, lopping eight seconds off his previous 3,000-meter best and finishing in 8:23.18.
Senior Steven Cross and junior Silas Griffith pulled the curtain on the night with two of the six fastest indoor 5,000-meter times in program history. Cross, in the midst of his healthiest stretch of training since a breakout freshman campaign, cruised home in 14:06.78. Only three Noles – Andrew Lemoncello, Mike Fout and Herb Willis – have been faster.
Griffith was on his heels in 14:07.93; a 45-second personal-best for the Lipscomb transfer who now stands at No. 6 all-time among Noles.
It was a fitting cap to the weekend for the distance Noles, who between the women and men, cranked out 12 lifetime-best efforts, added six new entries on the top-10 list and registered seven ACC Championship qualifying marks.
Ingraham Joins Top-10 Shot Put List
Sophomore Milton Ingraham turned in the Seminoles’ top performance Saturday at the Tiger Paw Invitational, placing second in the shot put with a personal-best throw of 17.82 meters (58-5.75). That mark moved him to No. 9 on FSU’s all-time list.
The Noles had a difficult time matching Friday’s effort at Clemson, but turned in a handful of notable performances.
Junior transfer Edidiong Odiong’s first 200-meter dash race of the season produced an indoor personal best (23.98) and an ACC Championship qualifying time. Her junior teammate Ka’Tia Seymour, the ACC leader, placed 10th overall in 23.34.
Those two were part of a 4×400 relay team that squeezed their way onto the top-10 list. Kimmie Cunningham, Janae Caldwell, Seymour and Odiong finished in 3:38.77, to take over the No. 10 position.
The FSU men’s 4×400 posted a season-best time of 3:09.61 to finish eighth against a deep and talented field. The quartet of Cameron Daniel, Braxton Canady, Kyle Fearrington and DaeQwan Butler were fastest among four ACC schools in the field and recorded the third-fastest time in the conference this season, which should position them for the fast section of the conference meet in two weeks.
Braxton took the lead on the second leg of the fourth section and the Noles held on for the heat victory.