Jacksonville Sports Day

ON TRACK: FSU’s Six-Win Friday Includes a Pair of Meet Records at Bama

Photo by Bob Thomas/FSU

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Lauri Paredes and Andre Ewers set Crimson Tide Invitational meet records Friday as the Florida State track & field teams produced six more victories to cap a productive two days of competition at the Sam Bailey Track & Field Complex.

Matching the mark that earned her bronze at 2018 NCAA Championships, Paredes won the javelin with a throw of 55.17 meters (181-0); her second victory in as many meets this season. The sophomore from Paraguay took the lead in the second round and never let it go as three of her five marks eclipsed the record held by Penn State’s Lauren Kenny (53.93m) since 2013.

Ewers followed a short time later by taking down the field of 28 in the 200-meter dash, and in the process, smashing the meet record set by former Alabama star Diondre Batson (20.61) in 2013. The Seminoles’ senior standout used a late surge past current Crimson Tide star and former junior college rival Keitavious Walter to win in 20.40.

That winning time vaulted Ewers, who is still rounding into form from an indoor season-ending injury, into the top spot nationally.

“Dre is starting to look like 2018 Dre,” FSU coach Bob Braman said of his veteran, who was the runner-up in the 200 at the 2018 NCAA Championships. “That was a big win over one of the nation’s top 200 men, and on his own track.

“Lauri was spectacular, as she always is. I liked her consistent series, especially on a wet surface.”

Light showers throughout much of the day didn’t seem to phase the Noles, at least competitively. In addition to Paredes, the seventh-ranked women received wins from senior Jogaile Petrokaite in the long jump, Nicole Breske in the pole vault, Kate Bernicke in the open 1500 and Maudie Skyring in the 800.

Skyring, who won Thursday night’s invitational 1500 in a personal-best 4:18.65, kicked past former Mississippi State star Ffion Price on the homestretch to claim the 800 in 2:10.37. The junior from Australia was the only athlete to win two events in the meet, matching her FSU Relays double last month.

“That was a nice double for Maudie,” Braman said. “She’s definitely ready for a big one in California next weekend.”

Petrokaite scored her first win since 2017 by overtaking the field on her sixth and final attempt with a leap of 6.13 meters (20-1.50). Breske smashed through the 13-foot barrier for the first time since last April at Auburn with a winning pole vault clearance of 3.97 meters (13-0.25).

“That’s a really nice win for JoJo,” Braman added. “She handled the rain better than the field and ended up beating some really good jumpers. And it was a huge win for Nicole. She’s been chasing ghosts for about a year. Today she was in a groove and near her lifetime best.”

Bernicke, a sophomore who didn’t make the cut for Thursday night’s invitational 1500 section, nipped Indiana State’s Jessi Conley at the finish line with a closing kick to win in a personal-best of 4:35.24. In all, five of FSU’s seven women’s 1500 runners posted personal-best times at the meet.

FSU’s women won seven of the 14 events they competed in and posted 10 personal-bests. Freshman Trentorria Green registered two Friday, placing sixth in both the long jump (5.79m/19-0) and triple jump (12.24m/40-2). Summer Schafers added a long-awaited personal-best in the pole vault (3.72m/12-2.50) to finish seventh. Janae Caldwell added a 200-meter PB (24.08).

Among other encouraging developments, junior Eleonora Omoregie finished third in her first high jump competition of the year – indoors or outdoors – and placed third with a clearance of 1.75 meters (5-8.75). It was her top clearance outdoors since 2017.

Junior transfer Ashley Miller made her 100-meter hurdles debut for the Noles, placing third in 13.55. Senior Shauna Helps’ season debut in the 100-meter dash produced an 11.55 result.

While Ewers produced the lone win of the weekend for the men, a handful of Noles made their season debuts, including Kasaun James and Darryl Haraway in the 100-meter dash.

In all, there were six personal-best on the day for the eighth-ranked men. Most prominent among them were Jacore Irving’s fourth-place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 15.30 meters (50-2.50); his first outdoor effort over 50 feet.

Conor McClain also recorded a milestone, placing sixth in the javelin with a lifetime-best throw of 60.77 meters (199-4), his first throw over 60 meters and his best effort since the 2017 season.

Among the other PB efforts on the day were a pair from Alabama native Trey Cunningham who stepped away from the hurdles for a week to record bests of 10.64 in the 100 and 21.27 in the 200. Darryl Gay also recorded a new wind-legal 100-meter best (10.56). Multi-eventer Hunter Napier recorded a PB in the shot put (10.90m).

James and freshman Jhevaughn Matherson ran 10.46 and 10.50 to win their respective 100-meter dash heats and finish fourth and fifth overall.

The meet also marked the debut of freshman D’Marcus Adams, fresh off spring football practice, who ran 14.54 for sixth in the 110-meter hurdles, behind teammate Tyricke Highman (4th, 14.16).

“Overall, we got a lot of work done on the ACC level, not as much on the NCAA level,” Braman said. “I know some of our top dogs are looking ahead to next weekend.”

Most of the event groups head to California next week and will split up to compete at the Mt. SAC Relays, Bryan Clay Invitational and Long Beach Invitational.

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