TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Numerous Florida State track and field athletes are having so much success s on their home track that they’re setting themselves up to compete on it in two months at the NCAA East Regional meet. The Seminoles recorded four more regional qualifying marks on Saturday (March 29) during the final day of the 29th Annual FSU Relays.
“It was a really good weekend across the board,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “There were a lot of great races and really fast times in both the collegiate and high school meets. This was a good chance for us to showcase our facility to a lot of top athletes.”
For the second day in a row, the quartet of Drew Brunson (Snellville, Ga.), Brandon Byram (Gallatin, Tenn.), Michael Ray Garvin (Upper Saddle Rivers, N.J.) and Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, Va.) had an impressive run. The relay posted a time of 39.38 to take second and qualify for the NCAA Regionals.
Notching an impressive mark in the final event of the meet was the women’s 4x400m relay. The group of Hshkeni Richmond (Sufferin, N.Y.), Dana Massiah (Arima, Trinidad & Tobago), Kandia Batchelor (Tampa, Fla.) and Keyla Smith (Daytona Beach, Fla.) ran a regional time of 4:36.02 that was just edged out for first place.
Also putting down a mark in that event was the group of Hubert Mitchell (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Pablo Naverette (Santiago, Chile), Kevin Williams (Kingston, Jamaica) and Brian Chibudu (Harare, Zimbabwe) ran a time of 3:07.54 to take second.
During the women’s meet, the team of Ashley Cruder (Denver, Colo.), Teona Rodgers (Tampa, Fla.), Auja Pughsley (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Nicole Marcus just missed qualifying with a time of 45.79.
The NCAA Indoor champion in the pentathlon, freshman Gonzalo Barroilhet (Santiago, Chile) acquired an NCAA regional mark in the pole vault. He posted a career-best height of 5.35m (17-06.5) to take second.
Winning the 800m with an NCAA Regional mark was freshman Pilar McShine (Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago). She crossed the line with a top time of 2:06.59 – which is the second-fastest in the nation so far during the outdoor campaign and first in the ACC - that is more than three seconds under the regional mark. The 800m was good race on the men’s side as Stephen Wilson (Brandon, Fla.) posted a time of 1:50.51, just missing the regional mark by .11 to take fourth.
“We’re starting to build a good list of regional qualifiers and a lot of them have been training hard so we’re excited to see some of their performances that are down the road when they’ve had some rest,” Braman added. “We have a lot of athletes who are right there and if they can stay healthy and continue to work hard we could have a big group competing at home during regionals.”
The Seminoles had a pair of good races in 1500m run. Freshman Justin Harbor (Bunnell, Fla.) crossed the line in 3:57.52 to take fourth. In the women’s competition, junior Lydia Willemse (Forest, Ontario) took sixth in a time of 4:35.44.
Competing unattached, freshman Michael Putnam (Miami, Fla.) took fourth in the discus with a mark of 48.29 (158-05). Former Seminole Rafeeq Curry uncorked the second-longest triple jump in the world with at leap of 17.22m (56-06.0) that reset the meet and track records.
The Seminoles are in three different locations next weekend, taking part in the Texas, Stanford and Florida Relays.