Birmingham, AL - The Florida State women’s distance crew, led by event winners Georgia Peel and Colleen Quigley, paved the way for the Seminoles Saturday at the Birmingham Crossplex Arena.
Peel and Quigley set Auburn Invitational meet records in the mile (4:45.02) and 3000 meters (9:18.85), respectively, as the distance teams – both women and men – opened up their indoor track & field seasons.
“We were very similar to last weekend, where most of the people were competing in their first competition of the year,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “It was good to get out there on the oval. Basically we had some good openers and set the table.”
As has been the case throughout women’s distance coach Karen Harvey’s tenure, the Seminoles were the dominant force against a field which included a host of SEC schools, featuring Vanderbilt, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.
With Peel, a sophomore, setting the pace in a time that currently ranks sixth in NCAA Division I, the Seminoles also received a third-place finish from Hannah Walker (4:48.20) and a seventh-place showing by Pippa Woolven (4:53.80). Both of those marks are personal-best for the junior transfers from the University of Birmingham in the UK. Walker’s time is currently the 12th-fastest in Division I.
Quigley, a junior and one of the top distance runners in the country, registered the nation’s fourth-best time over 3000 meters. She was followed closely by redshirt sophomore Linden Hall, who finished third in 9:22.37. Hall’s time currently ranks sixth-fastest in Division I and is good for No. 8 on FSU’s all-time list.
“It was evident today that our group really did their homework in December,” Harvey said. “Colleen and Georgia had some really nice wins and we also saw a bunch of personal-bests.”
A pair of freshmen shot putters led the Florida State men’s team. In just their second meet, Austin Droogsma and Chadrick DaCosta advanced to the final and finished seventh and eighth respectively, each recording new career-bests. Droogsma uncorked the 11th-best indoor throw in FSU history at 16.72 meters (54-10.25), while DaCosta checked in with the 13th-best mark (16.61m/54-6).
“That was a great job for the throwers,” Braman said. “They definitely led the way along with the women’s distance group and the good news is those guys are freshmen.”
A pair of sophomores turned in the top performances among Seminole middle-distance runners. Otniel Teixeira, a transfer from USF, placed ninth in his first collegiate mile race (4:11.02). Jacob Burton, who was eighth as a freshman at the ACC Indoor Championships in the 800, opened his second season of competition by placing 10th in 1:53.43. That time was one second faster than he ran a year ago in his collegiate debut in the same meet.
“Otniel and Burton did a pretty good job,” said Braman, who is already looking ahead. “In two weeks we’ll have a full complement of kids going to Arkansas for the Razorback Invitational and have a much better gauge for where we are heading into the conference.”
The Seminoles will return to action next weekend in the Silver & Cherry Invitational at the University of New Mexico, which is also the site of the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships.