FSU track team secures spots in NCAA national meet

Sprinter Amir Willis made it through in both the 100-meter and 200-meter for the FSU team headed to the NCAA national meet.
Photo courtesy FSU athletics

Special to the Outlook 

Florida State men’s track and field team finished the 2023 NCAA East Regional Championships by adding seven more bids to the NCAA Championships that will be held in Austin, Texas, beginning June 7.

Milton Ingraham, Jeremiah Davis, Ismael Kone, David Mullarkey, and James Rivera punched their tickets individually, in addition to the 4×100 relay team of Denzell Feagin, Taylor Banks, Amir Willis, and Kone.

“The men had a great night,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “We competed as hard as we have all season.”

Ingraham started the day with a strong performance in the discus, finishing with a mark of 59.76m on his third attempt for third place.

The 4×100 relay advanced after placing fourth with a time of 39.30.

After qualifying for nationals in the long jump on Wednesday, Davis added the triple jump to his event list for Austin, finishing sixth with a mark of 15.98, which he performed on his third attempt.

Willis made it through in both the 100-meter and 200-meter. In the 100-meter dash, Willis crossed the line in ninth place at 9.99, ahead of Banks, who placed 15th at 10.08.

In the 200-meter, Willis led the way for the Noles in fifth place (20.05), finishing ahead of  Kone, who grabbed the last qualifying spot in 12th place at 20.40.

Mullarkey will be competing in his first NCAA nationals after finishing in seventh place in the 5,000-meter at 13:55.29. James Rivera moved up from 12th to take fifth place in the 400-meter hurdles, qualifying for his first nationals at 50.74.

Meanwhile, the women’s team also closed out the 2023 NCAA Regional Championships on Saturday at Hodges Stadium.

Caisa-Marie Lindfors, Alexandra Webster, Dajaz DeFrand, and Alyson Churchill will join Stella Weinberg at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas from June 7-10 following their performances on Saturday.

“It was another really good night for the Noles,” Braman said. “The ladies had bests by Daja, Alyson, and Alexis, and the 4×100 automatically qualified. Caisa got her ticket punched as well.”

Just off her ACC title, Lindfors started the day by finishing 12th in the discus, with a mark of 52.70, which she threw on her second attempt.

The 4×100 relay claimed the final NCAA qualifying spot, finishing 12th at 44.34 behind Ava Klein, Kaniya Johnson, Tyra Wilson, and Faith Banks.

Webster ran her personal best in the 100-meter hurdles, qualifying for her first NCAAs with a time of 13.00. Webster also competed in the 400-meter event, finishing 23rd in a time of 1:01.19.

DeFrand led all freshmen in the 100-meter field, clocking her personal best at 11.05 for fourth place in order to qualify for nationals. DeFrand later placed 13th in the 200-meter race at 23.08.

Churchill ran the second-fastest time in Florida State history in the 5,000-meter, crossing the line at 15:33.83 for third.

Amani Heaven also competed in discus with Lindfors, finishing 29th with a throw of 48.38. Kayla Pinkhard posted her season best in the triple jump at 12.91m on her last attempt for 20th place.

Banks (54.64) placed 21st in the 400-meter and Emmy Van den Berg followed in 19th place at 16:11.58, which was her personal best.

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