Gainesville, FL - Saturday belonged to the throwers on the Florida State track & field teams. Four throwers set new personal-best marks, highlighting a day that was relatively light on other competition for the Seminole men and women.
Redshirt sophomore Briana Cherry-Bronson set the tone for the day in the morning hammer competition, placing third with a mark of 52.77 meters (173-1), which moved her to third on FSU’s all-time list. After setting the school record indoors in the weight throw, Cherry-Bronson trails only Lakeisha Mose (57.22m/187-9) and Sarah Reed (54.46/178-8) among all-time ‘Noles.
Junior Chelsea Whalen, competing in the invitational women’s shot put, turned on her sixth and final throw of the competition for a lifetime best mark of 16.15m (53-0). That throw moved her into the top spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season and a share of the No. 2 spot on FSU’s career list, alongside Reed. The Nova Scotia, Canada native is chasing Allyn Laughlin’s school record of 16.17m (53-0.75).
Lakitta Johnson, another redshirt sophomore under the direction of throws coach Dorian Scott, won the collegiate shot put section with a lifetime best mark of 14.55m (47-9). Freshman teammate Kellion Knibb moved from ninth to fourth on her next-to-last throw of the finals.
The Seminole women weren’t alone. Junior Stargell Williams held on to his No. 2 ranking in the ACC with an outdoor shot put career-best of 17.05 (55-11.25) to place second in the collegiate division.
“The throwers did a great job and we had a lot in action today,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “They’ve really responded to coach Scott. They’re really buying in and getting better each week, which is always what you want to do in our sport, because it is a long season. … Coach Scott has done a big, big job with our kids and it’s a fairly large group.”
Scott, a former FSU standout in the shot put, is in his first season on the staff replacing long-time throws coach Harlis Meaders. Under Scott’s tutelage the core group of four women and three men continued their upward arc throughout the two-day competition at Percy Beard Track. On Friday, Markindey Sineus posted a career-best throw in the hammer, while Williams also offered up his top discus mark.
“It’s a nice group and it’s a group that’s going to get better and better,” Braman said. “They’re going the right way. If the rest of the team can follow their example we’re going to be in a good place in two weeks.”
That’s when the Seminoles head to Raleigh, N.C. with title aspirations for the ACC Championship meet. Next week will mark the final tune-up at home in the Seminole Invitational.
Pole vaulters Andrew LaHaye and Drew Marcello continued their solid outdoor seasons on Saturday, eaching clearing 5.10 meters (16-8.75) in a competition that was way-laid by an equipment issue that led to a long delay.
While the action on the track was limited, the FSU women’s 4x400 relay team of Sarah Chandler, Elizabeth Ichite, Marsha Ariol and Sage Waton, closed out the day with a season-best time of 3:41.20 to place 16th overall. Watson’s big anchor leg, in a split of 53.08, was instrumental in the Seminoles’ second-place finish in their heat.
In addition to collegians, former Seminole thrower Michael Putman also competed in the invitational shot put and discus. The FSU student who is representing Peru in his post-collegiate career, placed third in the discus (55.0m/180-5) and fifth in the shot put (18.63m/61-1.50).