IOWA CITY, Iowa – Coming off a successful season-opening performance last week at the Clemson Invitational, the Florida State men’s and women’s indoor track & field teams will compete in the two-day Larry Wieczorek Invitational, Friday and Saturday, at the University of Iowa’s world-class facility.
The 200-meter banked track inside the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex was recently purchased from Portland, which hosted the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships on the lightning-quick surface.
The Seminoles will compete against the host Hawkeyes as well as Iowa State and Northern Iowa in a four-team, unscored meet, named in honor of Iowa’s longtime head coach and multi-time Big Ten champion.
Debuts will about for Noles
Some of FSU’s most highly touted athletes will make either their collegiate or season debuts this weekend, including a pair of 2016 Olympians. Graduate student Kellion Knibb, who represented Jamaica in the discus at the Rio Games, will open up her final indoor season in the shot put. Militsa Mircheva, who ran the marathon in Rio but sat out the fall cross country season, will make her Seminole debut in the 3000 meters.No fewer than 17 Seminoles will compete for the first time this season.
Most notable from that group are four stars putting on the FSU vest for the first time:
Eleonora Omoregie, a January arrival from Italy where she is a two-time national runner-up in the high jump with a personal-best of 1.86 meters (6-1.25);
Carmela Cardama Baez, who missed her freshman track season due to injury, but qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championships in the fall. The Spaniard is also set to race in the 3000;
Veronika Kanuchova set the Mike Long Track Record last spring in the hammer throw (PB, 69.48) while competing unattached, and is a three-time Slovakian silver medalist. She will open up her Seminole career in the weight throw;
Freshman Carlos Becker, who plays safety for the FSU football team, will compete in the long jump where he soared 7.62 meters (25-0) as a high school senior last year.
Among other established Noles set to open the indoor season are Harry Mulenga (3000), Bridget Blake (3000) and Peta-Gay Williams (60 hurdles).
Turning heads in the opener
The Seminoles will be challenged to match the productivity of the opening indoor meet of the season at Clemson, where they recorded six event wins, added six marks to the all-time top 10 list and piled up a whopping 38 personal-best performances on the Tigers’ new track.
Jogaile Petrokaite won the long jump with the No. 8 mark in the nation (6.31m/20-8.5), which earned her ACC Field Performer of the Week honors. Gleneve Grange captured the shot put in her FSU debut, posting the No. 5 mark in program history (15.67/51-5).
Emmanuel Onyia finished third in the men’s shot put (8.01/59-1.25); the fifth-best indoor mark among Noles all time, while Brandon Tirado was runner-up in the weight throw (17.28/56-8.5) to check in at No. 10 on the FSU list.
On the track, Shauna Helps used the sixth-fastest time (23.77) by a Seminole to claim her victory.
You can follow the action via Twitter @FSU_Track or stay abreast with live results Live results at hawkeyesports.com/tracklive. A paid live stream of the meet will also be available through Hawkeye All-Access on hawkeyesports.com