PALO ALTO, Calif. – Eight Florida State athletes capped a busy weekend for Seminole track & field athletes at the Payton Jordan Invitational Sunday; a meet which traditionally draws an impressive cast of world class athletes, especially in the distance events. Competing in events ranging from 800 meters to the 3000-meter steeplechase, the Seminoles came away with a mixed bag of results after weather-related travel difficulties prevented the group from arriving in California until a day before the meet with limited sleep.
From a shear competitive standpoint, senior Otniel Teixeira turned in the top performance of the group, powering to victory over the final 200 meters against a bunched field in 1:48.55, roughly a half-second off his season-best. Teammate Jake Burton, competing in the fastest heat, placed sixth in 1:48.65, which was one-tenth of a second off his season-best.
“The 800 runners all did a nice job,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “Otniel, winning the second heat was a real good race. That’s the kind of race you’re going to have to run to get to nationals. I thought Jake raced well, didn’t really cover the move, but he was coming on and in the mix.”
Sophomore Chelsea Jarvis opened her outdoor season in the 800 with a solid 2:07.82, which places her 40th on the NCAA East Preliminary qualifying list.
“Chelsea coming back from injury,[and] that’s a real good opener,” Braman said. “In four weeks Chelsea is going to be on the right track. I really feel good about our 800 people.”
Redshirt sophomore Bridget Blake posted a season-best in the women’s steeplechase, placing sixth in her heat in 10:19.17, a five-second improvement off her time at the Stanford Invitational earlier this season.
Michael Hall (3:51.12, 1500), Matt Butler (1:52.68, 800) and Georgia Peel (4:28.53) were unable to improve on their previous season-best marks.
Zak Seddon, who posted the nation’s top 3000-meter steeplechase time at the Stanford Invitational earlier this season, dropped out of the fast section while running in the lead pack with roughly 1,000 meters to go.
“We’ve got to rally up for conference,” Braman said. “We’re going into a two-week period of getting ready and I like where we are.”
Knibb Is Penn Relays Athlete of the Meet
Florida State redshirt junior Kellion Knibb was honored Saturday as the Penn Relays College Women’s Athlete of the Meet for individual events. Knibb claimed the honor after breaking the 20-year-old meet record in the women’s discus.
She took down the record held by Washington’s Aretha Hill since 1996 with a winning throw of 58.55 meters (192-1) on her final attempt. That obliterated Hill’s record of 57.76m (189-6). It was Knibb’s second Penn Relays discus title, having claimed the 2014 crown.
Florida State signee Shanice Love, from Excelsior High in Jamaica, was awarded the High School Girls Athlete of the Meet for individual events after she smashed the meet record in the discus as well.
In addition to Knibb’s honor, the FSU men placed eighth in the Championship of American 4×100 relay as the team of Raheem Robinson, Darryl Haraway, Keniel Grant and Edward Clarke ran 40.24 on Saturday. Meme Jean, who helped the women to the shuttle hurdle relay championship on Friday, came back a day later to place fourth in the 100-meter hurdle finals in 13.39; denied a win when she clipped the 10th and final hurdle.
Onyia Progresses At Jace LaCoste Invitiational Discus
Competing in just his second meet following surgery earlier in the year, redshirt junior Emmanuel Onyia posted a season-best discus mark of 51.72 meters (169-8) for a fourth-place Jace LaCoste Invitational finish at Mississippi State on Saturday.
Onyia’s performance was the highlight from a small group of Noles competing, which included a runner-up finish by freshman Fatema Jaffer in the 3000-meter run (10:27.92)
Next Up: UNF Twilight Wednesday
More than 50 Seminoles are entered for Wednesday’s UNF Twilight meet, which will serve as the final regular season meet and a tune-up for the ACC Outdoor Championships, set for May 13-15 at Mike Long Track.
The day-long meet will be contested at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, which will host the NCAA East Preliminary later this month.