TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Friday’s Seminole Twilight meet marks a final regular season tune-up for the Florida State track & field teams and a chance to recognize a group of 20 seniors whose careers are quickly winding to a close.
The day-long affair at Mike Long Track begins at 12 noon with the senior recognition – and the start of the hammer competition – and winds to a close with the final race set for 9:30 p.m.
“We’re excited to have one more opportunity to tune up for next week’s ACC showdowns,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “I truly believe track & field is a sport of momentum and we need to have that going our way for ACC’s.”
Before the Seminoles’ Tuesday departure for Coral Gables, Fla., site of the ACC Outdoor Championships (May 10-12), there is some unfinished business to tend to on home turf.
• ACC Indoor 60-meter dash champion Jayla Kirkland, fit and ready to put a season-long injury battle behind her, will double for the first time this season. She will compete in the 200-meter dash for the first time and try to slash her week-old 100-meter dash time (10.48);
• The Noles middle-distance crew will be busy with Madison Harris, Ginelle DeMone and Bert Freire chasing NCAA East Preliminary marks in the 800, while Emily Edwards, David Barney, Toby Hardwick, Michael Callegari and Istvan Szogi go after 1500-meter marks;
• Freshmen Trey Cunningham and Tyricke Dickens will race side-by-side for new PBs in the 110-meter hurdles, while Dickens will have an opportunity to get off the NCAA East bubble in just his third 400-meter hurdles race of the season;
• Senior throwers Austin Droogsma, Gleneve Grange and Ieva Zarankaite will compete for the final time at home. Droogsma will double in the shot put and discus, while Grange and Zarankaite will just compete in the discus;
• Sarah Candiano and Althea Hewitt will chase new PBs and ACC qualifying marks in the meet-ending 3000-meter steeplechase.
“There will be a few of our athletes trying to capture a spot on our ACC roster, but most are chasing region marks or working out their technique for the postseason,” Braman said. “There are some great post-collegians competing and that should bring the best out in our kids.”
For many other Noles, it’s a last opportunity to post a personal-best at the end of a long season.
The day of competition will be preceded by the recognition of a senior group, many of whom contributed to the Noles’ recent sweep of the ACC Indoor men’s and women’s team titles and look to do the same next week at Miami.
“This is also our annual recognition of graduating seniors,” Braman said. “It’s great to have 20 student-athletes taking that next step in their lives.”
Among the most decorated of that group are Droogsma and Grange. Droogsma has been a scoring contributor to three ACC men’s championship teams and ranks No. 2 all-time among Noles in the shot put. Grange holds the FSU record in the shot put, and like Droogsma, earned All-American honors in the shot put at the recent NCAA Indoor Championships. She was also a first-team All-American in the discus last season and was the 2017 ACC Women’s Outdoor Field MVP.
Two-time All-American Montel Nevers, All-Americans Kenneth Fisher and Corion Knight and All-Region cross country performers David Barney, Emily Edwards and Grant Nykaza are among the other senior Noles who will be recognized.
“Austin Droogsma and Gleneve Grange are two fantastic examples of hard work paying off,” Braman said of his co-captains. “Both have had fantastic results in competition, but they also had to learn how to be successful in the classroom. I’m proud of the people they’ve become. They’ll be fantastic ambassadors for Florida State for years to come.”
Admission to the meet is free. If you are unable to attend, live updates will be provided throughout the competition via Twitter @FSU_Track.