NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A pedestrian early pace in Saturday’s seeded section of the women’s 3000-meter run at the Vanderbilt Invitational prevented anyone in the Florida State-heavy field to produce an eye-popping time.
Junior Maudie Skyring made the most of the situation by crushing the final 1,000 meters in 2:58 on the way to a runner-up finish in 9:26.33. Her finishing position was the best for any Nole in any event on the final day of competition.
Skyring authored one of three personal-bests among the eight Noles in the race; three of whom were competing at that distance for the first time.
Redshirt freshman Elizabeth Funderburk was fourth (9:39.23) in her indoor debut, followed by Megan Mooney (9:40.79) and Ellie Wallace (9:41.13) in sixth and seventh. Mooney’s mark was a personal-best.
That there were any personal-bests at all was a credit to Seminole Addi Coggins, who grabbed the lead after the 800-meter mark in an effort to speed things up. Despite a late fade, Coggins still managed to shave 10 seconds off her previous best, finishing in 9:46.60.
“I would have really liked them to have seen them run a little faster,” said FSU distance coach Kelly Phillips. “I have to keep reminding myself it was the first meet. We looked less ugly than we have in previous years.”
Like Funderburk and Wallace, freshman Rebecca Clark (9:50.65) was making her collegiate indoor debut at the 3000-meter distance. Lauren Ryan (9:51.95) and Kayla Easterly (10:08.62) rounded out the group of Noles competing in the last women’s individual event of the evening.
“Mooney ran well I thought and came on strong the second half,” Phillips said. “So did Wallace.”
Like the women’s distance group, coach Dorian Scott’s throwers opened up the indoor season at the meet. Saturday’s standout was sophomore Milton Ingraham, who took full advantage of being 40 pounds heavier, significantly stronger and more poised that he was a year ago.
Ingraham exceeded his freshman season best shot put performance by more than two meters, placing seventh overall with a top mark of 17.61 meters (57-9.5); a seven-foot improvement over his 2019 best.
“I think the emergence of Milton is real,” Scott said. “That’s a real good opener. In my head I was thinking 16.50 would have been good. He definitely over-achieved, but I think there’s a lot more there.”
Ingraham and senior Sanjae Lawrence grabbed the last two positions in the finals after matching throws of 17.11 meters in the prelims. Lawrence improved to 17.18 (56-4.5) but finished ninth.
On the women’s side, redshirt freshman Amani Heaven placed 14th overall in the shot put as she made her indoor debut. Her best throw of the day – 14.72 meters (48-3.5) – was nearly a meter better than her outdoor best.
“I like the way Amani competed as well,” Scott said. “She didn’t press, which was nice…It was not a bad trip for an opener. They’re all hungry and ready to get it going.”
Much like the women’s 3000-meter nightcap, the mile run went out cautiously. Freshman Yasmine Abbes, the touted middle distance prodigy from The Netherlands, put herself in competitive position and was rewarded with a fourth-place finish (4:53.28) in her first competition at the popular U.S. distance.
“Abbes raced well but it went out so slow,” Phillips said
Senior teammate Ginelle DeMone added a 13th-place finish in the mile with a personal-best time of 5:02.16.
Saturday’s action began with a trio of Noles competing in the unseeded section of the 3000-meter run, where junior Kate Bernicke led the way. Whacking 26 seconds off her previous personal-best she finished in 9:51.70 and followed by redshirt freshmen Ella Swigler (9:55.87) and Erin Phelps (9:59.18).
Triple jumpers Jacore Irving and Trentorria Green failed to produce any fireworks, placing fifth and 10th, respectively. Irving’s best effort was 15.12 meters (49-7.25), while Green mustered a best of 12.27 (40-3.25).
The top-ranked FSU men and 11th-ranked women will return to action next week at Clemson’s Bob Pollock Invitational, with 55 Noles across all disciplines, set to compete Friday and Saturday.