TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Buoyed by the record-setting weekend performances of Armani Wallace and Trey Cunningham, the Florida State men moved up one spot to No. 2 in this week’s NCAA Division I Track & Field Rating Index.
Wallace and Cunningham set ACC and FSU records in the triple jump and 60-meter hurdles, respectively, and climbed to No. 2 nationally in their events. Coupled with the continued success of the men’s sprints, led by Kasaun James’ 200-meter dash debut with the No. 2 time in the nation, the Noles edged past defending NCAA champion Florida and trail only top-ranked Texas Tech.
It’s the highest ranking for the men’s program since the Noles were No. 1 on Jan. 26, 2010.
The Noles debuted at No. 3 in the preseason rankings behind the Red Raiders and Gators and that order remained unchanged in the first regular season poll of the season last week.
While the men moved up one position, FSU’s women dipped two positions to No. 7 this week, despite strong performances at the Dr. Sander and Bob Pollock Invitational meets.
“It was great to see our men to get rewarded in the national rankings,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “They had a whale of a weekend against elite competition. Our ladies are about right at No. 7 this week, but they’ve been pointing more toward the next meet and ACC’s, so they can easily get back to the top five or higher in the championship season.”
Beyond the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) ratings, the Florida State men were also on the move in this week’s FloTrack Rankings, taking over the No. 1 spot in the nation – up from No. 2 – in the subjective poll. FSU’s women dropped one spot to No. 15 this week.
The Noles men and women will return to action Feb. 8-9, with the squad splitting up between Tiger Paw Invitational (Clemson, S.C.), Tyson Invitational (Fayetteville, Ark.) and David Hemery Valentine Invitational (Boston, Mass.), in tune-ups for the Feb. 21-23 ACC Indoor Championships at Virginia Tech.
Weekend Recap Flashback
To provide some perspective to what the Noles accomplished while competing at the Dr. Sander Invitational, Bob Pollock Invitational and Texas Tech Classic, a look at this past weekend by the numbers is in order:
2 – School Records: Armani Wallace took down 2008 Olympian and FSU Hall of Famer Rafeeq Curry’s school record in the triple jump with the finest series of his career in Lubbock, Texas. The senior from Orlando posted four of the nation’s top seven jumps last week, capped by his monstrous 16.72-meter (54-10.25) best, which also broke the ACC record….Sophomore Trey Cunningham wait for a breakthrough in the 60-meter hurdles ended in the finals of the Dr. Sander Invitational at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center, when he blitzed the competition with a winning time of 7.53. That time equaled 2008 NCAA Indoor champion Drew Brunson’s FSU and ACC record. It is tied for the ninth-fastest time in NCAA history.
7 – FSU Top 10 Marks: Junior transfer Kasaun James posted the Noles’ No. 4 200-meter time (20.49) in his debut at that distance, one night after moving up one position to a tie for No. 5 all-time in the 60-meter dash (6.56). James was joined in the top 10 by freshman Bryand Rincher, who grabbed a share of No. 8 all-time in the 60-meter dash (6.59)…Junior Nadia Maffo improved on her No. 4 all-time ranking in the weight throw with a sixth-round hurl of 19.68 meters (64-7) for the win at the Pollock Invitational…Hunter Napier moved up one spot to No. 7 all-time in the heptathlon with a new personal-best of 4,368 points…both Wallace and Cunningham moved up from No. 4 to the top spot with their record performances.
29 – Personal Bests: No event group had a bigger weekend than the women’s distance squad when it comes to personal best. Between the mile and 3000-meter runs at Clemson, 14 of 16 Noles posted new personal-bests, led by 3k winner Militsa Mircheva (9:22.45) and mile runner-up Jodie Judd (4:42.10)…senior transfer Michael Timpson Jr. lowered his 200-meter dash PB to 21.13 (from 21.33) at Texas, while sophomore Jacore Irving joined the 15-meter club in the triple jump (15.02m/49-3.50) at the Sports Performance Center.
Back On The Trails
Tallahassee’s Apalachee Regional Park will host the USA Track & Field Cross Country National Championships Saturday morning, as the open and junior division competitors will race for spots at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
While many of the nation’s elite distance runners will descend on the Seminoles’ home course, four athletes who are especially familiar with the venue will compete in the junior division. FSU freshmen Paul Stafford and Matthew Newland will tackle the 8000-meter course, while Erin Phelps and Ella Swigler will race in the women’s 6000-meter event.
The junior women will compete at 11 a.m., with the junior men’s race set for 11:40 a.m.