GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A year to the day since unloading his previous personal-best hammer throw, Florida State senior Brandon Tirado found his groove again at the Florida Relays.
Tirado eclipsed his previous personal-best (61.58 meters) on all four attempts Thursday, highlighted by his top mark of 62.97 meters (206-7). That was good enough to claim his first Florida Relays title in his fourth appearance.
While Tirado provided the Noles with their lone outright victory of the day, sprinters Andre Ewers and DaeQwan Butler emerged as the top collegians in their events.
Ewers, continuing his comeback from an indoor season-ending injury, finished sixth overall in his season-opening 200-meter dash. The senior ran 20.69 (wind-aided) and finished three spots in front of Western Kentucky’s Kymari Gates (20.76), the second collegian in a field flush with professional athletes.
Seminole teammates Darryl Gay (21.16), Jhevaughn Matherson (21.34) and Roodolph Antoine (21.59) also logged wind-aided times.
Butler, competing in his first 400-meter dash since placing second at the ACC Indoor Championships, was seventh overall in 46.96. His closest collegiate competition came from Southeastern Louisiana’s Donovan Storr, who was 13th overall in 47.28.
Former Seminole and Bahamas Olympian Alonzo Russell ran 45.53 in his 400-meter season opener to finish second overall by .01 seconds.
Sophomore Addi Coggins turned in the top performance in the evening distance races, racing to a runner-up finish in the 5000-meter run with a personal-best time of 16:51.70. Freshmen Ella Swigler (17:27.33), Erin Phelps (17:32.75) and Sarah Parrish (18:18.80) also competed in the 5000.
Competing unattached in the men’s 5000, FSU freshmen Paul Stafford (14:28.07) and Matthew Newland (14:31.84) recorded personal-best times to place ninth and 10th overall in a field of 42.
Junior Conor McClain registered a mark of 55.15 meters (180-11) in the javelin.
The Seminoles return to action at the Florida Relays on Friday, with NCAA leaders Trey Cunningham and Cortney Jones competing in the 110- and 100-meter hurdles, respectively, as well as nation-leading discus thrower Shanice Love. Lauri Paredes will make her season debut in the javelin while Veronika Kanuchova will compete in the hammer. Women’s sprinters Ka’Tia Seymour and Karimah Davis are scheduled to race in the 100 and 400, respectively.
The men’s and women’s 4×400 relays will also compete in preliminary round action.
In addition to the action in Gainesville, Florida State’s distance runners will take to the track at both the Raleigh Relays and the Stanford Invitational.
In Raleigh, N.C., Althea Hewitt will open things up in the women’s 5000 Friday morning (10:27), with teammates Kayla Easterly and Jennifer Lima racing the same distance at 6:41 p.m., followed by Megan Mooney in the 7:33 p.m. section.
Istvan Szogi and Jacob Holmes will race in the men’s 5000, with their section set for 7:51 p.m.
Out in Palo Alto, Calif., NCAA 1500-meter leader Maudie Skyring drew a spot in the second session of the 1500, which will start at 9:42 p.m. (ET). Militsa Mircheva will race in the invitational section of the 10,000-meter run at 12:07 a.m. (ET), followed by freshman Elizabeth Funderburk, making her FSU track debut in the 1:19 a.m. (ET).
You can keep up with the Seminoles at all three locations via Twitter @FSU_Track or check the links to live results and live streaming below: