Tallahassee, Fla. - In front one of the largest home crowds in school history, Florida State track and field blasted off to an excellent start in day one of the NCAA East Regional Championships. The Seminoles moved seven runners into tomorrow's finals along with the 4x100m relay team. Competition continues through Saturday, May 31.
"Great race, collegiate best for both of them. They looked like they could do better, though. I think they both could make the top five. That would be a nice plus for us to find a point or two that maybe wasn't on the books."
Just seven weeks after pulling his hamstring in the same event on the same track, senior All-American Walter Dix posted the third-fastest time in the 100m prelims to qualify for tomorrow's finals. Dix, the defending NCAA Outdoor champion in the 100m, will compete for a trip to Iowa on Saturday alongside teammate Michael Ray Garvin who crossed the line in fourth with a time of 10.22.
"The 200 guys were great," said head coach Bob Braman. "Those guys all looked controlling in their heats."
Dix and Garvin also put up a good showing in the 200m dash, but they were shown up by sophomore Charles Clark. The young All-American smoked the competition with a 20.55, the fastest time in the prelims. Garvin finished second with a 20.73 followed by Dix with a 20.80. All three will battle it out in the finals tomorrow for a chance to head west for nationals.
Freshman Ngoni Makusha gave the home crowd a big show in the men's long jump with a new regional record leap of 26' even. Makusha blasted the competition in his second leap of the day to take his first regional championship crown.
"I think it's a great rehearsal," said Braman of Makusha. "He's a guy that tries to take the whole team on his back sometimes and he needs to calm down a little bit, so it was good for him to get two really solid jumps in."
In the relays, the Florida State men's 4x100m team put itself in a good spot for tomorrow's finals with a third-place time of 39.83. Junior Michael Ray Garvin took the lead-off leg before passing the baton off to freshman Brandon Byram. A perfect hand-off to senior Drew Brunson put the Seminoles in the lead and Clark took it across the line first in Florida State's heat.
Sophomore Pilar McShine set her personal-best time in the 800m with a 2:05.73 to move into the Saturday finals as the number two seed.
"Pilar was awesome," said Braman. "She looked like she could score at nationals right now but we're just trying to get her there."
Hannah England led the way for FSU in the women's 1500m prelims. The sophomore from Oxford, England, topped the competition with a first-place time of 4:21.59 to qualify for tomorrow's finals. Junior Susan Kuijken also qualified for the finals with a ninth-place mark of 4:22.38.
Senior Elliott Wood conquered the competition in the men's 400m hurdles with his best career time. The Australia-native topped his heat with a time of 50.47 for a third place seed going into tomorrow's finals. He'll be joined by fellow senior Javier Garcia-Tunon who took second in his heat, seventh overall with a personal-best 50.56 mark.
In the men's 1500m, freshman Daniel Roberts clocked the eighth-fastest time of the day with a 3:48.53 to advance.
Teona Rodgers took charge of her heat in the women's 100m hurdles. The freshman from Tampa, Fla. crossed the line with a time of 13.66 to finish fifth overall.
Freshman Gonzalo Barriolhet crossed the line eighth in the men's 110m hurdles. The decathlete just made the cut for tomorrow's finals with a time of 13.78, inching out teammate Brunson by four hundredths of a second.
"We need to finish the job tomorrow," said Braman. "We need clean handoffs in the 4x100m, take care of business in the steeplechase, the 1500 and the 800m. We've got to finish those things up and maybe sneak Roberts in, maybe sneak the quarter hurdlers in."
Events get under way in the morning at 10:00 a.m. with the men's hammer throw and concludes with the 4x400m finals at 7:30 p.m.
FSU Track & Field have success on Day One
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