ACC Network Extra, 12 p.m. https://noles.co/2DQkwhd
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Without scoring a single point Friday, the 11th-ranked Florida State women not only managed to hang on to their team lead, but actually strengthened their position in pursuit of a fifth ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championship title.
Conversely, the Seminole men scored 26.5 points to climb three positions and into third place entering the final day of action at Virginia’s Lannigan Field. Still, they trail the host Cavaliers by 42.5 points and second place Virginia Tech by 25.5 as they chase their 14th team title as the defending champions.
How it all plays out is anyone’s guess as Saturday’s forecast calls for deteriorating conditions as the approach of a storm front prompted conference officials to alter the schedule. The men’s discus will start the day at 10 a.m. and the final running event – the men’s 4×400 relay – is slated for 2:50 p.m.; a full four hours earlier than initially scheduled.
Saturday Revised Schedule: https://theacc.co/otf19sched
“We often practice in the mornings at full speed, so we should be prepared for the schedule change,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “It’s more of a mindset than a physiological adjustment. We’ll keep our routine the same.”
The Noles were clearly in the right frame of mind of Friday’s competition under sun-splashed skies and breezy conditions.
While the Seminole women saw their 14-point overnight lead trimmed to two – FSU leads with 39 points followed by Louisville (37), Notre Dame and Virginia (34) – they were nothing less than sensational in qualifying round competition on Friday.
Junior Cortney Jones lowered her own school record in the 100-meter hurdles to 12.72 and enters Saturday’s final as the favorite. So does Ka’Tia Seymour, who broke the facility 100-meter dash record (11.27) and is joined by Jayla Kirkland (11.43) in the final.
Karimah Davis (53.47) and Janae Caldwell (PB 53.77) qualified second and fifth for the 400-meter final, while Maudie Skyring advanced to the 800-meter final on time (2:07.41) with the fifth-best time.
“Our ladies took care of business today,” Braman said. “There weren’t many finals today so we had to focus on qualifying. Cortney and Ka’Tia were spectacular and look ready to compete for national titles.
“Janae ran a really gutsy race and Karimah looks so smooth and easy. Jayla and Maudie became double finalists with their strong races today.”
In addition to the Friday qualifiers, top-seeded Shanice Love (discus), second seeds Militsa Mircheva (5000), Eleonora Omoregie and Kayla Maczuga (high jump), as well as the 4×100 relay, provide the Noles with plenty firepower on the final day.
“The ladies are in a great position to pull this off, but we’ve still got a ton of work to do.”
The Florida State men came out firing Friday as well.
• Decathletes David Lott (three) and Hunter Napier (four) combined for seven personal-best performances over the final five events to finish second and sixth, respectively, good for 11 team points;
• Sanjae Lawrence came up big with a sixth-round shot put mark of 18.16 meters (59-7) to nab a fifth-place finish;
• Senior Brandon Tirado posted a career-best fourth-place finish in the hammer with a mark of 62.27 meters (204-3);
• Christoff Bryan, in his first competition of the season, cleared 2.03 meters (6-8) for a share of seventh place.
Senior Michael Hall closed out the night with a new personal-best in the 3000-meter steeplechase, racing to a fourth-place finish in 8:55.57.
“I couldn’t ask any more from our men,” Braman said. “Their doing all they can to make up for the injuries.”
Trey Cunningham, the No. 1 seed in the 110-meter hurdles, was held out as a precaution with an eye toward having him ready for the region meet in two weeks. They were also without Tyricke Highman, a projected scorer in both hurdle events.
The decathletes were the tone-setters to Friday’s big move. Lott, who has been limited by injury himself since placing fifth in the heptathlon at the ACC Indoor Championships, ran 14.97 in the 110-hurdles in the first of three consecutive personal-bests to begin his ascent from seventh to second place.
“The main goal was to just hang in there – we have some top guys out – so I could score as many points as I could to balance things out a little bit,” said the junior transfer from Kennesaw State, who took over No. 10 on FSU’s all-time list in the decathlon with a personal-best of 6,682 points.
Napier, competing in his first decathlon while representing the Noles, rallied from ninth place with three events remaining with outstanding performances in the pole vault (4.40m/14-5.25) and javelin (PB 50.83m/166-9) to earn second-team All-ACC honors. He eclipsed his previous decathlon best by more than 200 points with his 6,249-point total.
“I was just happy the coaches brought me and put that faith in me,” Napier said. “Things turned out and I’m really happy.”
“Our multi men did a fantastic job and kept us in the chase,” Braman said. “So did Sanjae, Brandon and Mike Hall with his fourth-place to close out the night.”
Strong qualifying by the men in the 100 and 400 will also provide the Noles with the potential for big points on the final day. Andre Ewers (10.16) led four qualifiers in the 100-meter dash, joined by Bryand Rincher (10.21), Jhevaughn Matherson (PB 10.24) and Michael Timpson Jr. (10.40).
Kyle Fearrington (46.78) and DaeQwan Butler (47.14) advanced to the 400-meter final.
With entries in only eight of 12 events on Saturday, the Noles will by leaning on production from Armani Wallace and Jacore Irving in the triple jump, Lawrence in the discus and both Ewers and Timpson in the 200. FSU is also the top seed in the 4×100 relay.
“We’re on pace to score about 20 points better than we are seeded to, but I’m not sure if it’ll be enough. We need a break to go our way or possibly an unexpected breakthrough. It looks like it’ll come down to less than 10 points between the three teams.”
You can follow the action via Twitter @FSU_Track and on Instragram @fsu_track, and ACC Network Extra will air live coverage beginning at 12 noon on Saturday.
A complete recap will be posted to Seminoles.com at the conclusion of the day.