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(Photo by Sara D. Davis, theACC.com)
Florida State men hold narrow lead over Duke; Seminole women also hold first place
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (theACC.com) – The Florida State men and women will seek to join elite company when the final session of the Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships get under way Saturday at the Belk Track at Fetzer Field.
Both Seminole teams ended Friday’s session atop their respective leader boards. If they can maintain their holds on the top spots through Saturday finales, Florida State will own a sweep of this year’s ACC track and field titles after winning both the men’s and women’s indoor championships early last month. Only two other ACC programs have swept both the men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor titles in the same year – North Carolina in 1995 and Florida State in 2009.
FSU’s men held a narrow 48-46 lead over second-place Duke through at the close of Friday’s session. Syracuse held third place with 33 points, followed by host North Carolina with 23. Seven events have been completed, with the bulk of the finals slated for Saturday.
The Seminole women led with 67 points through eight events. Virginia Tech held second with 37 points, followed by Duke and North Carolina with 33 points apiece.
Friday’s session, which focused mostly on field events and running preliminaries, produced several interesting individual results.
Wake Forest sophomore Jessie Merckle successfully defended her ACC title in the women’s javelin throw with a meet-record toss of 177 feet (53.94 meters). Merckle edged Virginia Tech freshman Eva Vivod, who owns the nation’s top throw so far this season and whose effort of 176-8 (53.85m) on Friday also topped the previous ACC Championship mark of 52.89m set by Virginia’s Inge Jorgensen in 2004. Virginia Tech also claimed the bronze medal on Friday as sophomore Sabine Kopplin threw 169-7 (51.70m).
Meanwhile, Virginia Tech’s Martina Schultze won her third straight outdoor women’s pole vault championship – and her fifth overall including a pair of indoor titles. Schultze struck gold with a vault of 14-4 ½ (4.38m). Miami’s Alysha Newman was second at 14-0 ½ (4.28), holding the tie-breaking edge over Duke’s Megan Clark.
Florida State’s James Harris also held the edge over Clemson’s Torian Ware in a battle of men’s high jump All-Americans. Harris held the gold medal edge after both competitors finished at 7-1 (2.16m). Duke’s Tanner Anderson took the bronze at 6-11 ¾.
Miami sophomore Isaiah Simmons also staged a successful ACC Championship defense with a gold medal throw of 62-0 ½ (18.91m) in the men’s shot put. Clemson’s Marcus Brown placed second at 59-5½ (18.12m), and Virginia’s Filip Mihaljevic was third at 58-4½ feet (17.79m).
The women’s shot provided a bit of drama as NC State’s Tremanisha Taylor threw a winning distance of 54-0½ (16.47m) on her final attempt. Taylor finished ahead of Miami’s Amber Monroe (51-11½, 16.14m) and Duke’s Michelle Anumba (52-10¼, 16.12m). Taylor became the first Wolfpack woman to win the shot since Lawanda Henry claimed back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.
Duke dominated the men’s decathlon, grabbing all three podium spots. Robert Rohner, who led following Thursday’s opening round, stayed in front with 7,233 points. Buoyed by a strong showing in the pole vault, Ian Rock captured the silver medal with 7,122. Curtis Beach, the ACC and national men’s indoor heptathlon champion, won going away in the closing 1,500-meter event to take the bronze with 6,997.
After entering the day leading the women’s heptathlon, Florida State freshman Grete Sadeiko applied the finishing touches during Friday’s closing three events (long jump, javelin and 800 meters) to earn the gold medal with 5,706 points. North Carolina junior Xenia Rohn followed with 5,483 and Wake Forest freshman Alyssa Thompson took the bronze with 5,343. Sadeiko is just the second FSU woman to win the ACC Championship heptathlon and the first since Chinette Johnson won three straight years from 1998 through 2000.
The men’s and women’s steeplechase runs closed out Thursday’s competition. Virginia’s Kyle King raced to victory in a time of 8:48.47, followed by Syracuse’s M.J. Erb at 8:51.56 and Virginia Tech’s Jared Berman at 8:53.85.
Florida State’s Colleen Quigley became the third woman to repeat as ACC steeplechase champion, leading with a time of 10:09.50. Notre Dame’s Alexa Aragon followed at 10:11.52, and FSU’s Pippa Woolven took the bronze at 10:20.61.
The top eight finishers in each ACC Championship event earn team points. The top three finishers in each individual event and the four members of each winning relay team receive All-ACC recognition.
The final day of ACC Championships competition is scheduled to begin Saturday at 11 a.m. with the men’s javelin throw. Finals are set in seven field events and 20 running events
ESPN3 plans to begin coverage at 4 p.m. with veteran announcer Jerry Massey providing the play-by-by play. The broadcast can also be accessed at theACC.com. Live results will be available throughout the Championship at http://theacc.co/OTFlivestats.
For complete coverage of the 2014 ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, please visit http://theacc.co/OTFchamp
MEN’S TEAM STANDINGS
1 Florida State 48
2 Duke 46
3 Syracuse 33
4 North Carolina 23
5 Virginia Tech 21
6 Clemson 19
7 Virginia 18
7 NC State 18
9 Miami 17
10 Notre Dame 15
11 Pitt 6
11 Maryland 6
12 Wake Forest 3
WOMEN’S TEAM STANDINGS
1 Florida State 67
2 Virginia Tech 37
3 Duke 33
4 North Carolina 33
5 NC State 30
6 Miami 26
7 Wake Forest 20
8 Notre Dame 19
9 Syracuse 12
10 Maryland 11
11 Clemson 8
12 Pitt 5
12 Boston College 5
14 Georgia Tech 3
14 Virginia 3