TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A banner weekend of FSU Relays performances by the nationally-ranked Florida State track & field teams netted the Seminoles three of the four Atlantic Coast Conference Performer of the Week honors.
Junior Shanice Love earned her second Women’s Field Performer of the Week honor of the outdoor season following her career-best discus series, highlighted by her winning throw of 61.54 meters (201-11). It was the No. 2 throw in FSU history and one of three marks among five legal throws better than the Kingston, Jamaica native’s previous personal-best. Love is one of four Seminoles with a nation-leading mark.
Junior Maudie Skyring also moved to the top of the national list in the 1500-meter run; one of her two race victories for the Noles on Friday. The middle distance standout from Wollongong, Australia was named Women’s Track Performer of the Week. She opened the meet with a new personal-best in the 800-meter run, winning in 2:06.27, which leads the ACC and ranks No. 4 nationally. She capped her day by chasing down teammate Militsa Mircheva for the 1500 victory in a national-leading time of 4:21.25.
Sophomore Trey Cunningham was the top collegian in the 110-meter hurdles at the FSU Relays with an all-conditions personal-best of 13.43, which also sits atop the national descending order list. That earned him Men’s Track Performer of the Week honors. Though wind-aided (2.3), Cunningham dipped below 13.5 for the first time in his career. The Winfield, Ala. native finished second to former NCAA champion and Jamaican Olympian Andrew Riley by .01 seconds.
Recapping the FSU Relay Highlights
Junior Cortney Jones was the fourth Seminole to lay down a national-leading mark at the FSU Relays, winning the 100-meter hurdles in 13.03; the fastest season-opening time of her career.
In addition to the NCAA-leading performances, the Noles registered seven additional top-10 national marks. Jodie Judd won the 5000-meter run in a personal-best time of 16:43.45, which is good for No. 2 nationally, while Mircheva’s runner-up 1500-meter performance (4:21.68) trails only Skyring nationally.
Sophomore Ka’Tia Seymour posted the No. 3 time nationally when she won the 100-meter dash in 11.25, while Skyring sits at No. 4 in the 800 (2:06.27) as previously mentioned.
Also ranked among the top-10 nationally are Veronika Kanuchova in the hammer (No. 7, 64.41m/211-4), Darryl Gay in the 100-meter dash (No. 9, 10.32) and the women’s 4×400 relay team of Janae Caldwell, Kimmie Cunningham, Seymour and Karimah Davis at No. 9 (3:38.89).
Beyond the elite national performances, the men and women combined for 31 personal-best marks and three collegiate-best performances.
The women’s middle-distance and distance groups produced the largest numbers to the total, with three of four 800-meter entries registering PBs, 12 of 19 entries in the 1500 and 10 of 13 in the 5000. Among the notable breakthroughs on the PB list were:
• Sophomore Kate Bernicke, who whacked 90 seconds off her previous 5000-meter best to finish second in 17:05.41;
• Megan Mooney (4:29.20), Kayla Easterly (4:29.61), Jennifer Lima (4:31.47) and Addi Coggins (4:32.29) had huge breakthrough performances in the 1500;
• Freshman Erin Phelps’ 5000-meter debut produced an impressive time of 17:32.68;
• Beyond the women’s distance group, Kimmie Cunningham (200, 24.33) and Trentorria Green (long jump, 5.78m/18-11.75) posted personal-bests;
• On the men’s side, Kyle Fearrington (200, 21.14) and Andre Ewers (400, 47.56) registered new career-bests;
• Long jumper Jacore Irving’s top legal mark was a PB (7.31m/23-11.75), but his series included a windy (2.8) all-conditions best of 7.51m (24-7.75);
• Multi-eventer Hunter Napier checked in with three PBs, coming in the pole vault (4.45m/14-7.25), shot put (10.68m/35-0.50) and discus (34.56m/113-5).
Three FSU freshmen, competing unattached, posted personal best marks. Milton Ingraham won the discus (53.36m/175-1) and also checked in with a shot put PB (15.44m/50-8). Amani Heaven registered a shot put PB (13.89m/45-7), while Paul Stafford ran away with the 5000-meter victory (14:51.07).
Busy Days Ahead on Schedule
The men’s and women’s teams will take a divide-and-conquer approach to the schedule this weekend, spreading out across the country at three separate meets.
The largest group of Noles will head to Gainesville, Fla. for the Pepsi Florida Relays, scheduled for Thursday-Saturday.
Freshman Elizabeth Funderburk will make her FSU track debut in the 10,000-meter race Friday at the Stanford Invitational, where she will be joined by Mircheva, a 2018 NCAA qualifier in the event. Skyring will also compete in the 1500.
Another small group of distance runners will head to the Raleigh Relays, with Jacob Holmes and Istvan Szogi representing the men in the 5000, while Althea Hewitt, Easterly, Lima and Mooney will compete over the same distance for the women.
You can stay abreast of the action at all three venues via Twitter @FSU_Track