FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – With the postseason on the not-to-distant horizon Florida State’s indoor track & field teams are taking a divide and conquer approach to the weekend schedule, competing at both the Tyson Invitational and the David Hemery Valentine Invitational meets Friday and Saturday.
The Seminoles are hunting ACC and NCAA Championship qualifying marks, with a large contingent of sprinters and jumpers leading the charge at the Randal Tyson Track Center, while the distance crew visits Boston University’s Track & Tennis Center.
It’s a strategic move based on proven records of production at the respective venues, which is why there will be no shortage of talent to push the Noles to season-best performances at either meet.
Certain NCAA qualifiers abound in the sprints and jumps at the Tyson Invitational.
FSU junior Andre Ewers, who leads the NCAA in the 60-meter dash, will be joined by five other men ranked among the top 10 in that event. Ewers will also make his season debut in the Invitational 200, where five of the nation’s top 12 will also line up.
Similar challenges await the women’s sprint duo of Shauna Helps and Ka’Tia Seymour, who will also double in the 60 and 200. While Seymour and Helps rank 16th and 22nd nationally, they will be challenged by a trio of LSU runners and two from Auburn who hold the top five spots in the 60. That depth of talent carries over into the 200, where Helps is No. 9 in the nation but second-fastest in the field.
Trey Cunningham and Cortney Jones are facing equally stacked fields in their respective 60-meter hurdle events. Jones’ pursuit of a top-16 national ranking and a trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships for the first time must go through a field where she ranks 10th-fastest – and the sophomore currently sits at No. 22 on the national list.
Cunningham is fastest in the field at 7.74, but he’ll renew acquaintances with some long-time rivals from his prep days, including Amere Lattin, Damion Thomas and John Burt.
Graduate transfer Kenneth Fisher and freshman Jakub Andrzejczak, who is making his Seminole debut, are stalking NCAA qualifying marks against a stout Invitational section field on Friday. And while Armani Wallace’s trip to the NCAA meet in the triple jump is secure – he owns the No. 4 mark nationally – teammate and 2017 All-American Montel Nevers will try and join him with a qualifying standard in Saturday’s Invitational section.
In Boston, the women’s distance squad takes center stage on Friday, with a host of Noles trying to add their names to the ACC qualifying list. While Militsa Mircheva already owns conference championship qualifying marks in the mile and 3000, she will be hunting a breakthrough in her 5000-meter season debut.
Freshman Jodie Judd will try and add a 3000-meter qualifying mark after locking down a spot in the mile two weeks ago in Arkansas.
Emily Edwards, Maudie Skyring and Madison Harris are chasing standards in the mile, as is Ginelle DeMone in the 800.
Saturday’s schedule belongs to the men, where junior Michael Hall earned a spot in the fast heat of the mile, where the possibility of dipping below four minutes for the first time is very real. Hall and Istvan Szogi are already in the ACC field for the mile, as is sophomore Bert Freire in the 800, but the rest of the distance crew has yet to solidify their spots.
Steven Cross and Caleb Pottorff not only have their eyes on the 14:23.54 qualifying standard for the 5000, they have designs on securing a spot in the ACC fast heat of the event, which will likely require efforts of 14:10 or better.
You can keep track of the Noles throughout the weekend via a variety of platforms. As usual, live updates will be provided through the @FSU_Track Twitter account, or by following live stats from both meets:
David Hemery Valentine Invitational
Streaming options will be provided at both meets as well. The SEC Network+ will begin coverage of Friday’s Tyson Invitational at 5:30 p.m. (ET) at:
Flotrack will begin its live coverage from Boston Friday at 1 p.m. to subscribers at: