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Seminole Men Aim To Bring Home ACC Indoor Track Title

Published by
RunnerSpace.com/College   on Feb 22 2012, 11:27 PM

Seminole Men Aim To Bring Home ACC Indoor Track Title

FSU women will lean heavily on distance teams to place well.

 

BOSTON, Mass. – Bob Braman’s Florida State men’s indoor track & field team arrived here Wednesday on a mission to bring home an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship that evaded them last season and left a sequential gap in the trophy case after an eight-year run as champions.

 

The Seminoles, ranked No. 20 nationally, begin their quest Thursday at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, where the three-day ACC Indoor Championships will unfold.

 

By all accounts, the FSU men appear headed for a shootout with defending champion Virginia Tech. The Seminoles will lean heavily on a dynamic sprint group, while the Hokies’ strength comes in the pole vault and throwing events. According to Braman, how the results shake out in the other events will largely determine the 2012 champion.

 

“We don’t match head-to-head with Virginia Tech much on the men’s side, so when we do we’ve got to get those head-to-head wins,” Braman said.

 

Two-time ACC Indoor Track Performer of the Year Maurice Mitchell is the defending champion in both the 60- and 200-meter dash and will get plenty of support from fellow seniors Kemar Hyman and Horatio Williams in the sprints. Senior shot putter Michael Putman is the defending champion as well.

 

While the men go hunting a team title, a relatively young women’s team enter the meet with an eye on the future. Though the women are ranked No. 21 nationally, they lack the overall scoring depth to match up with second-ranked and defending champion Clemson for the ACC team title. Still, the Seminoles have finished third or better each of the last four seasons and would like to continue that string.

 

Women’s distance coach Karen Harvey’s group should provide a bulk of the scoring with outstanding depth in the mile, 3,000 and 5,000 meters.

 

“On the women’s side, we’re looking more at the nationals,” Braman said. “We’re not going multiple-event our distance kids. We’re going to have them ready to compete at nationals because we’re not ready yet to be a conference-contending team. If we do things well it’s not out of the realm of possibility that we could finish in the top 10 nationally.”

 

The action begins today for the FSU men when Chris Snow and Daniel Salgado begin competition in the heptathlon. Most of the Seminole men and women will get going on Friday with a full slate of events scheduled. The meet wraps up Saturday afternoon.

 

Fans can follow the action on a multitude of platforms, including @FSU_Track via Twitter, which will supplement extensive coverage, including recaps and photo galleries, at www.Seminoles.com.

 

The Atlantic Coast Conference will also provide a wide array of options to keep up with the action, including:

Twitter: @theACCchamps #ACCITF

Live results: http://www.theacc.com/championships/12-itf-live-results.html

On the web: http://www.theacc.com/championships/12-indoor-track-field-championship.html

Live video streaming:

Friday, Feb. 24 (3-7:45pm) - http://www.theacc.com/allaccess/?media=300400

Saturday, Feb. 25 (noon-4pm) - http://www.theacc.com/allaccess/?media=300402

 

Noteworthy:

 

‘Noles making their 21st ACC Indoor appearance

Entering its 21st season of Atlantic Coast Conference track & field competition, the Florida State men’s and women’s indoor teams head to Boston’s Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center for the annual conference championship meet. The Seminole men, ranked No. 20 in the latest USTFCCCA Division I poll, will try and regain the title they lost last year to Virginia Tech. The Hokies, who snapped the Seminoles’ streak of eight consecutive indoor crowns in 2011, are expected to provide FSU its most stringent challenge. Bob Braman’s squad will lean heavily on the sprints and field events to bring back FSU’s 10th ACC Indoor title. The Seminole women, who rank 21st nationally, will be chasing second-ranked Clemson. FSU boasts the league’s top distance contingent and will also rely on the jumping events for the majority of their points.

 

Fixtures at the front of the ACC pack

FSU’s program has enjoyed great success in its first 20 years of  ACC competition and appears poised for more moving forward:

  • ·         The Seminole men have not only been the top finisher nine times in 20 years, they have finished fourth or better 18 times. That stretch includes eight titles and two runner-up finishes in the last 10 years.
  • ·         The FSU women have only one indoor ACC title, but have finished third or higher 10 times, including each of the last four years. The ‘Noles followed their 2009 title with runner-up finishes in each of the last two seasons.

 

Mitchell positioned for historic senior finale

FSU senior sprinter Maurice Mitchell’s career is well-chronicled in the ACC record books, but the Kansas City, Mo., native enters his final Indoor Championships with a chance to make history:

  • ·         The two-time defending ACC Track Performer of the Year, Mitchell can become the first man in conference history to win the award three times. There have been four other two-time winners.
  • ·         Mitchell is also gunning for his third consecutive 60-meter dash title. With a win he would join Clemson’s Shawn Crawford as the only man to win three consecutive 60-meter titles.
  • ·         A repeat sweep of last season’s 60- and 200-meter titles would give Mitchell five career individual ACC Indoor crowns, tying former ‘Nole Andrew Lemoncello for the most in school history.

 

Seminoles loving two-for-one deal in long, triple jumps

No athlete dominated the ACC Indoor Championships quite like Kimberly Williams, who swept four triple jump titles and added a long jump crown last season as she closed out her career. Replacing Williams, however, hasn’t been as difficult as some may have anticipated. Seniors Amy Harris (long jump) and Michelle Jenije (triple jump) have each won a pair of meets in their specialties and are the top seeds heading into the ACC Indoor Championship.

  • ·         Harris (Birmingham, UK) has a season-best long jump of 6.36m (20-10.5), which ranks sixth nationally. She finished third at last season’s ACC Indoor Championship behind Williams and Clemson’s April Sinkler, both of whom have graduated. In addition to the long jump, Harris will also compete in the triple jump.
  • ·         Jenije (Tallahassee, Fla.), ranks third nationally in her speciality with a season-best effort of 13.15m (43-1.75). She was the runner-up to Williams in the triple jump at last year’s ACC meet.

 

Sprint contingent, improved field events key to FSU men

The FSU men saw its string of eight consecutive ACC Indoor Championship first-place finishes end with a 42-point loss to host Virginia Tech in 2011. Despite outscoring the Hokies 45-3 in the 60, 200, 400 and 4x400 relay, the ‘Noles were ultimately undone by Virginia Tech’s whopping 50-point advantage in the six field events. The ‘Noles appear stronger in both areas this year:

  • ·         FSU has four of the top nine seeds in both the 60- and 200-meter dash, and that does not include two-time defending ACC champion Maurice Mitchell, who is unseeded in the 60 and will debut in that event this week. Kemar Hyman, David Ambler, Paul Madzivire, Horatio Williams, Rachmil van Lamoen and Kieran Showler-Davis bolster the Seminole’ sprint corps. They also have the No. 1 seed in the 400 (Stephen Newbold) and  the 4x400.

More importantly, the ‘Noles have quality representation in five of six field events. They were shut out in four of those last year, despite wins by Ngoni Makusha (long jump) and Michael Putman (shot put). Putman is back, but so is Gonzalo Barriolhet (pole vault), who missed last season due to injury. Paul Madzivire is the top seed in the long jump, while Phillip Young is the No. 3 seed in the triple jump. Andrew LaHaye (pole vault), Stefan Brits (long jump) and Markindey Sineus (weight throw) are potential scorers as well.

 

Women’s distance crew once again leading the way

A year ago, FSU women’s distance coach Karen Harvey saw her crew contribute 34 points to the Seminoles’ runner-up total of 100.5 in the championship meet. Harvey’s group, one of the deepest and most dominant in ACC history, may be even more productive in 2012. The ‘Noles figure to score in all five distance-based events as they attempt to push heavy favorite, Clemson for top team honors.

  • ·         Junior Amanda Winslow, the defending mile champ, moves up to the 3000m, where she is the top seed.
  • ·         Grad student Hannah Brooks, who was fifth in the 800 last season, is back for an encore in that event, stronger than ever.
  • ·         The freshmen trio of Aubree Worden, Colleen Quigley and Linden Hall will try and match the 19-point haul the ‘Noles made in the mile last year.
  • ·         Newcomer Kayleigh Tyerman and veteran Jennifer Dunn are the second and fourth seeds in the 5000, an event that saw the ‘Noles shut out in 2011.
  • ·         By spreading the wealth among the four aforementioned events, the ‘Noles should be well-positioned - and rested - to make a run at the DMR title, after finishing fifth last season.

 

Beyond title hunts, Seminoles still have work to do for NCAA Championships

While the primary emphasis over the three-day ACC Indoor Championship meet will be on piling up league honors, Florida State also has an eye on strengthening its position for the NCAA Indoor Championships, March 9-10 in Nampa, Idaho. Thus far, only Kemar Hyman (60m) and Amanda Winslow (3000m) have locked in berths. The ‘Noles hope to add to that total this week and not be forced to lean to heavily on last chance meets in two weeks, to secure one of only 14 guaranteed spots.

  • ·         Horatio Williams (9th, 200), Michelle Jenije (3rd, triple jump), Amy Harris (6th, long jump) and Phillip Young (9th, triple jump) are well-positioned. Hannah Brooks (12th, mile) and Winslow (10th, mile) are in now, but on the fence with two weeks remaining.
  • ·         Maurice Mitchell has run in just one meet and needs to lay down good times to make his third straight trip in the 60 (unranked) and 200 (21st).
  • ·         The FSU men’s 4x400 relay team (30th), long jumper Paul Madzivire (t23rd) and David Forrester (29th, 3000m) and the women’s distance medley (unranked), have work remaining. 
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