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Seminoles win both team titles in one of the most balanced ACC Championships in recent history.
Virginia's Lavender (Women'sTrack), Maryland's LaFond (Women's Field), Notre Dame's Giestling (Men's Track) and North Carolina's Hicks (Men's Field) earn individual MVP honors.
CLEMSON, S.C. – Atlantic Coast Conference track and field fans saw double on Saturday afternoon.
Florida State became just the fifth program to sweep both the men’s and women’s ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships, as the Seminole men left Clemson with their 10th overall title and the FSU women claimed the trophy for the second time.
The Seminoles joined Clemson (1992), North Carolina (1995 and 1996) and Florida State’s 2009 teams as ACC Indoor Championship double winners.
“Winning them both is hard to do, particularly indoors,” FSU veteran coach Bob Braman said. “But track and field is a big deal at Florida State. Our administration supports it and leads the way, and our kids take the baton. Their enthusiasm is just incredible, and they feed off each other. It is really fun to win them both together. We may never do it again, but we did it today.”
In a men’s meet that wasn’t completely settled until the closing men’s 4x400 relay, FSU finished with 96 team points. North Carolina placed second at 89, while Notre Dame was third at 84. Duke (67) and Virginia Tech (65) rounded out the top five.
Florida State’ women led with 96.5 points. Duke placed with 83 points, followed by Notre Dame at 65 and Miami at 62, and Virginia Tech rounded out the top five with 52 points.
With ACC Indoor Track and Field having expanded to 15 women’s teams and and 14 on the men’s side, this year marks the first time 1979 that the ACC men’s champion scored fewer than 100 points and the first time since the women’s championship began in 1987 that its winner failed to reach the century mark.
“It’s a lot different with 15 teams, and a lot more fun,” Braman said. “You don’t have the big point totals. Notre Dame was really good, and my old buddy Harlis Meaders (North Carolina’s head coach and former FSU assistant) really has them going now. We knew it would be close. You can’t lose any points; you have to get everything you can. And today, we really had a good meet.”
The Championship’s Most Valuable Performer awards went to highest-scoring male and female track student-athlete and the highest scoring men’s and women’s field scorers on each side.
Men’s track MVP honors went to Notre Dame’s Chris Giesting (one gold medal, 18 points), while North Carolina’s AJ Hicks (one goal medal, 15 points) earned men’s field MVP. Virginia’s Jordan Lavender (one gold medal, 19 points) earned women’s track MVP honors, while Maryland’s Thea LaFond (two gold medals, 25 points) earned women’s track MVP.
Florida State’s men held a six-point lead over Notre Dame and a nine-point edge on North Carolina heading into the meet’s final event – the 4x400 relay. With less than a second separating the contending teams’ top times during the course of the season, the issue hung in the balance. But the Seminoles held the upper hand, needing no worse than a fourth-place finish.
FSU, North Carolina, Pitt and Notre Dame – showcased four squads ranked among the nation’s top 15 in the event. But the outcome became academic when Notre Dame lost the baton on the first lap of the second leg. Pitt wound up placing first, followed by North Carolina and Florida State.
The real boost had come earlier for the Seminoles, who received a huge gold medal performance from Jonathan Reid in the triple jump. Reid’s effort – coupled with a fourth-place by teammate Owen Reid – pushed FSU out to a 13-point lead just after Notre Dame had tied up the team scoring and UNC had closed within three.
“You have a track event and a field event going at the same time, and you might not think we feed off each other,” Braman said. “But we do. The triple jump was huge. It was a big swing … it all happens in 30 minutes, and they do hear all that cheering (from the other event) while they are competing. Makes it just a little better, absolutely.”
Dentarius Locke also prevailed in the 60-meter dash to give FSU an added Saturday boost. The Seminoles were consistent throughout in other areas, picking up points with top-eight finishes in a number of events.
The FSU women held just a four-point lead on Duke entering Saturday’s closing session. The Seminoles earned some breathing room behind gold/silver medal runs by Colleen Quigley and Linden Hall with the nation’s top two mile times of the indoor season. Marecia Pemberton added a winning effort in the 60 meters, and FSU stayed comfortably ahead the remainder of the afternoon.
“Once you have positive things happening within your team, it has a domino effect,” Pemberton said. “When Colleen and Linden went out and did that in the mile, I was warming up. When I heard what had happened, I said to myself, ‘OK, this is your time. If they can do it, and your team is doing what they have to do, then you have to do what you have to do as well.”
With their second ACC title, the Seminoles broke a four-year championship run by Clemson, which had placed first every year since FSU last won in 2009.
“Every year, I’ve had to watch Clemson win that trophy,” Pemberton said. “It’s good to finally win it for ourselves.”
Please see below for brief recap or each event and the complete men’s and women’s team scoring.
The closest and arguably most exciting race of the day took place in the 60-meter dash, where two of the nation’s elite runners staged a too-close-for-the-naked-eye-to-call finish. Florida State’s
Locke’s time of 6.622 edged that of Clemson’s Tevin Hester, who was clocked at 6.624. Georgia Tech’s Broderick Snoddy took the bronze at 6.77.
Miami’s Artie Burns, who entered this week’s competition tied for fifth nationally in the 60-meter hurdles, grabbed the gold on Saturday with a time of 7.74. Virginia’s Drequan Hoskey took the silver at 7.79, and Syracuse’s Donald Pollitt the bronze at 7.82.
Notre Dame placed 1-2 in the 400-meter dash with Giesting taking the gold at 46.43 and Patrick Feeney the silver at 46.54. Pitt’s Micah Murray claimed the bronze with a time of 46.87.
In the 800 meters, Georgia Tech junior Brandon Lasater used his patented strong closing kick for a first-place finish of 1:51.38, edging Virginia freshman Mike Marsella (1:51.41). Defending champion Tihut Degfae of Virginia Tech was third at 1:51.44.
Virginia Tech’s Grant Pollock took the mile run with a time of 4:09.30, just ahead of Notre Dame’s J.P. Malette at 4:09.58. North Carolina’s Isaac Preston took the bronze at 4:10.46.
Pitt’s Carvin Nkanata became the first non-Florida State sprinter since 2003 to win the 200 meters with his time of 21.25. Notre Dame’s Giesting took the silver at 21.31, and FSU’s Locke the bronze at 21.39.
In the 3,000 meters, Isaac Presson took the gold medal in 8:15.20. Notre Dame’s J.P. Malette placed second at 8:16.33, and Virginia’s Thomas Porter took the bronze at 8:18.
Florida State’s Jonathan Reid, second nationally in the triple jump, delivered his big first-place finish with a distance of 52-10¼ (16.11m). Virginia’s Aaron Worrell took the silver at 51-3¾ (15.64m), and his Cavalier teammate, Ryan Satchell, placed third at 50-10¼.
Virginia Tech continued its tradition of strong showing in the pole vault as Hokie freshman Torben Laidig took the gold medal at 17-10½ (5.45m). Virginia Tech also took the silver medal, as Chris Uhle vaulted 17-6 ½ (5.35), gaining the tie-breaker edge on Georgia Tech’s Nikita Kirillov.
Miami’s Isiah Simmons successfully defended his title in the men’s shot with a tthrow of 61-2¾ (18.66m). Duke’s Stephen Boals took second at 59-4¼, while Miami freshman Gian Ragonesi took the bronze at 57-3½ (17.56).
Pitt finished strong in the 4x400 relay, with Micha Murray, Nkanta, Desmond Palmer and Brycen Spratling leading the field at 3:10.12.
In the 60-meter dash, Florida State’s Pemberton led with a time of 7.73, followed by Syracuse’s Shaina Harrison at 7.37 and Clemson’s Whitney Fountain at 7.44.
The mile run saw Florida State’s Colleen Quigley hold off teammate Hall for a first-place finish of 4:34.8, just off the ACC record of 4:34.11 set by former FSU standout Susan Kuijken in 2009. Hall took the silver at 4:34.94, and Notre Dame’s Kelly Curran placed third at 4:43.39. The converted times by Quigley and Hall ranked second and third nationally heading into the NCAA Nationals at Albuquerque, N.M., March 14-15.
Notre Dame’s Jade Barber raced to a gold medal finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.19. Florida State’s Anne Zagre took second place at 8.31, and NC State’s Alexis Perry had the bronze medal finish at 8.38.
Virginia’s Jordan Lavender took the 400-meter run in 52.75, followed by Notre Dame’s Margaret Bambgbose at 53.61 and Florida State’s Elizabeth Ichite at 53.99.
Virginia Tech took the top two spots in the 800-meter run, led by Amanda Smith at 2:06.69. Hanna Green followed at 2:08.20, an Duke’s Amina Banks was the bronze medalist at 2:08.327.
Miami freshman Shakima Wimbley took the 200 meters gold medal in 23.58. Virginia’s Lavender followed at 23.96, and NC State’s Paisley Simmons claimed the bronze in 24.29.
The 3,000 meter run saw North Carolina’s Annie LeHardy lead the field at 9:20.03, while Virginia Tech’s Sarah Rapp took the silver medal at 9:21.03. Defending champion Juliet Bottorff of Duke claimed the bronze at 9:27.18.
In the closing 4x400 relay, Wimbley’s strong anchor carried Miami to a winning time of 3:38.54. Kelsey Balkwill, Taneisha Cordell and Jamika Glades ran the first three legs of the victory, which helped push the Hurricanes’ to their fourth-place overall team finish.
In the field events, Maryland’s Thea LaFond added to Friday’s heptathlon victory with a winning triple jump of 43-6½ (13.27m). Clemson’s Mimi Land followed at 42-9½ (13.04m), and North Carolina’s Tristine Johnson was the bronze medalist at 42-3 ½ (12.89m).
Miami’s Amber Monroe took the shot put gold medal with a throw of 56-4½ (17.17m). North Carolina’s Sarah Howard took the silver with a throw of 54-4½ (16.57m), edging NC State’s Tremanisha Taylor had a bronze throw of the same distance. Howard gained the edge by throwing a greater distance on an earlier attempt.
The pole vault was equally close, with both Virginia Tech’s Martina Schultze and Duke’s Megan Clark registering 14-5¼ (4,40). Schultze earned the gold medal on the tie-breaker, and Miami’s Alysha Newman took the bronze at 14-3¼ (4.35m). Schultze claimed the pole vault gold medal for the second straight year.
The top three finishers in each individual event and the members of each gold medal relay team earned All-ACC honors.
Compete final results can be accessed at http://theacc.co/ITFlivestats, and additional information will be available at @ACCTrackField and Tags #ACCITF on Twitter.
MEN’S TEAM SCORING
1. Florida State 96
2. North Carolina 89
3. Notre Dame 84
4. Virginia Tech 65
4. Duke 67
6. Virginia 54
T7. Georgia Tech 44
T7. Pitt 44
9. Miami 39
10. NC State 32
11. Clemson 23
12. Syracuse 17
13. Wake Forest 9
14. Boston College dns
WOMEN’S TEAM SCORING
1. Florida State 96.5
2. Duke 83
3. Notre Dame 65
4. Miami 62
5. Virginia Tech 52
6. Maryland 50
7. North Carolina 49
8. Clemson 45
9. NC State 39
T10. Syracuse 32
T10. Virginia 32
12. Pitt 26
13. Georgia Tech 12.5
14. Wake Forest 11
15. Boston College 7