Sprint, long jump duos cap productive meet
By Bob Thomas
LUBBOCK, Texas – Florida State’s indoor track & field teams capped a productive weekend at the Texas Tech Invitational last Saturday. The 12th-ranked women likely secured two more NCAA Indoor Championship qualifying marks, while the top-ranked men fortified two qualifying positions in the long jump.
Junior Ka’Tia Seymour laid down the fastest 200-meter opener of her career to finish third overall, while classmate Jayla Kirkland placed fifth overall.
Competing in the fastest section which produced three of the nation’s top-four times, Seymour finished third in 23.13 behind NCAA leader Anavia Battle of Ohio State (22.86) and North Carolina A&T’s Cambrea Sturgis (23.10). In the process of blasting her previous-best opening 200 – 23.39 last year at Clemson – Seymour took over the No. 4 spot nationally, and likely sealed her second trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 200 after narrowly missing a qualifying mark as sophomore.
“I feel really good, mostly because I knew that I had great training this entire fall and getting toward the [start of] the season,” Seymour said. “I knew I was going to run something pretty good. The lane [four] was tough, mostly because this track is completely different than other tracks we run on for the 200, but I’m really proud of what I’ve done.”
Kirkland was even more of a disadvantage running out of lane 3 in the second heat, but she didn’t let that phase her, charging past a field that including defending NCAA 60-meter champion Twanisha Terry of USC off the final curve, she won in 23.38 and ranks No. 8 nationally in the event.
All of the fireworks for the FSU men came in the seeded long jump flight and the Noles didn’t disappoint.
Junior transfer Isaac Grimes won his third consecutive event title in as many attempts this season, and did so in impressive fashion. Battling teammate Fabian Edoki for the top spot from the first round through the finals, Grimes closed the day with back-to-back, career-best 8.00-meter marks (26-3).
“It was what I was looking for in my run-up and approach and it kind of came together,” Grimes said.
Edoki actually led the competition after the first round, landing a season-best mark of 7.82 meters (25-8) – the first of two on the day – setting the tone for the day and motivating Grimes.
“We practice together every day and we’re in competition at practice,” Grimes said of Edoki and Darius Clark. “We’re always going head-to-head, trying to pop something off. Then it’s, ‘OK, it’s my turn to pop something off.’”