TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The second and final day of what Florida State track and field coach Bob Braman called the “best ever” Seminole Invite came to a close Saturday just before 6 p.m.
And when all was said and done with the day’s events, Braman had reason to smile about his program’s accomplishments in what was the second of three home meets this season at Mike Long Track.
“This was a great two days of action,” Braman said. “Auburn and Georgia Tech both had some talented athletes here and we ran a lot of our stars. Brandon O’Connor had an amazing day running three events and Maurice Mitchell was Maurice Mitchell. Charles Clark did well in the 200 (meters), Marecia Pemberton was phenomenal and the women’s distance runners were great. Ciaran O’Lionaird is a 10000 meters guy but he did a fantastic job in the 1500 meters.
“The women’s throwers did really well.”
As Braman mentioned, O’Connor had a busy day running in the 200m and 400m dashes and manning the second leg of FSU’s winning 4x400m relay team. In that relay, O’Connor teamed with Tremaine Grant, Darrin Gibson and Mitchell to post a victorious time of 3:09.82 to edge out an unattached squad that featured Olympian and former FSU star Walter Dix.
O’Lionaird, who is already in the top three in the country this outdoor season in the 10000m run, achieved a 3:41.02 in the 1500m run for the win. The senior’s superb time in the event is his personal record and is the current best in the nation and 14th in the world this year. Also in the men’s 1500m, David Forrester (3:45.53) finished second and Mike Fout (3:47.15) fourth.
“That was incredible,” Braman said about O’Lionaird’s suprising performance. “It was huge.”
In the women’s 1500, Jessica Parry ran to victory with a 4:19.80 to come extremely close to her personal record of 4:19.08. Newcomer Violah Lagat did run a personal record with a 4:23.92 for second place.
Mitchell, who owns the world’s fastest 200m dash, won the men’s 100m with a time of 10.28. His teammate, Kemar Hyman was almost as quick with his 10.38 and second-place finish. David Ambler registered a 10.53.
The last time Teona Rodgers competed in the 100m hurdles at Mike Long Track, she set a personal record. A few weeks after accomplishing that feat at the FSU Relays, Rodgers topped herself again with a new personal record of 13.25 in a first-place finish in the event Saturday.
Like Mitchell, Pemberton achieved victory in the 100 meters. Pemberton ran a blazing 11.34 to take the title and Rodgers was third with an 11.66. Bianca Smith ran a 12.04, Briana Emanuel a 12.35 and Morgan McGhee a 12.45.
Also snagging a win on Saturday was Gibson in the men’s 800m run. Gibson recorded a 1:49.11 in the event as John Grellner ran a 1:53.38 and Daniel Silva had a 1:58.81.
Senior Allyn Laughlin then won the women’s shot put. Her 50-06.00 was enough for the win and FSU’s Kamorean Hayes (49-00.25) and Chelsea Whalen (48-01.25) were second and third, respectively.
In the women’s 2000m steeplechase, Astrid Leutert crushed her competitors by over 30 seconds with an incredible 6:37.92. Emily Ness was second with a 7:08.15.
Following Rodgers’ dominating performance in the hurdles, both Grant and Justin Byrd competed in the men’s 110m hurdles. In that event, Grant placed second with a time of 13.94 and Byrd followed closely with a third-place finish on a 14.35 clip.
Grant would go on to win the men’s 400m hurdles with a time of 52.11 as Andrew Jacobs was second with a 53.65. Brix Gomez rounded out the top three in the event with a 54.24, Maxwell Hyman was 54.95 and Miles Sparks ninth with a 55.53.
In the men’s hammer throw, junior Trevor Andrews placed third with a toss of 161-02 while David Lhamonie was fourth with a distance of 158-09. The women’s hammer throw saw Shanea Rufus earn a second-place finish with a 159-04 mark.
Latera Davis then registered another second-place finish for the ’Noles. Davis leapt 40-00.75 in the women’s long jump.
In keeping up with the runner-up trend, O’Connor reeled off a 46.97 in the men’s 400m dash. In that race, Clark placed 10th with a time of 49.16 and freshman Terill Gibson was 18th with a 50.89. Chris Snow posted a 51.14 and Collin Lomagistro had a 51.31.
In the women’s 800m run, Christal Washington ran a 2:11.03 for a second-place finish while Lyndsey Spragins ran a 2:15.43.
The men’s shot put had Michael Putman finish second with a 60-00.50.
Marsha Ariol finished fifth in the women’s 400m hurdles with a 1:04.12.
Pemberton placed third overall in the women’s 200m dash with a time of 23.67, followed by Davis (24.51) in seventh place, Emanuel (25.13) in 12th, and Smith with a time of 25.16 placing in 13th.
Clark and O’Connor finished in the Nos. 2 and 3 spots, respectively, in the men’s 200m dash. Clark finished the race in 21.00 and O’Connor in 21.09 while Kevin Williams finished in seventh with a time of 21.45.
In the men’s pole vault, Warren Harper placed seventh with a jump of 15-01.00. Drew Marcello earned a 14-07.25 and John Kennedy a 14-07.25, too. The women’s pole vault resulted in a 10th-place finish for Juila Gibson (9-06.25).