COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Developing a reputation for delivering when it matters most, Florida State junior Montel Nevers rose to the occasion once more on the final day of the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday. Busting out a season-best triple jump mark of 15.90 meters (52-2) on his third and final attempt of the preliminary round, Nevers advanced to finals, where he finished eighth for first-team All-American honors.
“Montel did a fantastic job,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “All six jumps were solid and he fought to an indoor season best. Seeded 16th and finishing eighth, you couldn’t ask for much more from a first-timer.”
Nevers, a transfer from Leeds Beckett University in Great Britain, where he won the British University Championships last year, was one of five Seminoles who made their NCAA Indoor Championships debut over the course of the two-day meet at Gilliam Indoor Track & Field Stadium.
He also delivered the lone points of the meet for either the Seminole men or women, after climbing from 13th-place to sixth on his third attempt to earn three more attempts in the finals. Nevers retained sixth place until the final round, fouling his final attempt after being passed by two competitors.
“This is my first year in the United States and I always wanted to come here,” Nevers said. “Coming in ranked 16th I was kind of like the underdog; no one really knew who I was, but I knew I was better than I was ranked. Eighth, I’ll take it for the moment, but I wanted to finish top five to get my name out there a little bit.”
Nevers made a name for himself two weeks ago at the ACC Indoor Championships, where his sixth and final attempt of the triple jump competition not only vaulted him into a bronze medal finish, but also secured the final spot in the 16-man NCAA Championships field.
Slow starts are not uncommon for the Nottingham, England native.
“Normally I start really bad,” he said. “My first jump is really rusty and just getting out the cobwebs. The second jump wasn’t quite what I wanted. The third jump I just focused on myself and tried to get through my phases and luckily I executed it the way I wanted to.”
Nevers’ third attempt knocked Virginia’s Jordan Scott, the ACC champion, from the finals. He also defeated ACC runner-up Damar Forbes of Louisville, posting the league’s top finish.
The Seminole men finished tied for 58th in the field with Nevers’ lone scoring contribution in the final event of the indoor season.
Florida State will open its outdoor season in earnest next weekend with the squads splitting up between the Bulls Invitational at USF and the Yellow Jacket Invitational at Georgia Tech.