TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With one eye on the fast-approaching Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, the Florida State track & field program will get one last tune-up this weekend, when it plays host to the annual Seminole Invitational meet, Friday and Saturday, at Mike Long Track.
Both the FSU men’s and women’s teams will be among a dozen schools, as well as some prominent unattached athletes, competing in the two-day event which gets underway Friday at 3:30 p.m. with the men’s high jump. Indoor school record-holder James Harris will make his FSU home debut in the opening event. Action on the track begins at 7 p.m. with the women’s 3000-meter run.
The men’s long jump will include sophomore All-American Stefan Brits, who is seeded fourth in a field which will also include 2011 IAAF World Championship silver medalist and former Seminole great Ngoni Makusha. Former FSU All-Americans Kimberly Williams and Amy Harris will compete in the women’s long jump. FSU newcomer Stacey Alvarez will make her debut in the javelin alongside teammate and 2012 NCAA finalist Chelsea Whalen.
“It’s not a big meet, but every first heat looks good from 100 meters through 1500 and the relays look solid too,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “We’ve got some monster field events.”
Friday’s abbreviated running slate, which features the 3000, the steeplechase and the 5000, gives way to a full schedule of action Saturday, with the women’s triple jump set for 12 noon, along with the 100-meter hurdles.
The Seminole men and women will compete in both the 4x100 and meet-closing 4x400 relays, with the goal of securing times worthy of spots in the fast heat at next week’s ACC Championship meet in Raleigh, N.C.
Former Seminole and 2012 Olympian Lacy Harper (Janson) will compete in the pole vault on Saturday.
On the track, the 1500-meter men’s and women’s races figure to produce quality times. On the men’s side, FSU freshman Zak Seddon will get in a quick tune-up for the ACC meet and lock horns with former Colorado All-American Stephen Pifer.
“It’s going to the metric 1500, but we’re going to challenge the four-minute equivalent,” Braman said. “They’re going to run fast.
“The women’s 1500 field is hot, with All-American alum Hannah Brooks and coach Karen Harvey’s posse of Amanda Winslow, Colleen Quigley and Georgia Peel.”
Braman doesn’t sense any complacency among his athletes, who are pointing toward the April 18-20 conference meet at NC State.
“I sense that there’s a lot of excitement with the kids to get after it this weekend,” Braman said. “We can’t just show up at the conference meet and get after it. We’ve got to start the engines now. I have the sense that we’re hungry to do some things this weekend; that they’re rounding into shape and want to hit something big to carry some swag into the conference championships.”