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FSU Mens track wins Eighth Consecutive, Ninth Overall, ACC Indoor Title


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BLACKSBURG, Va. –The 13th ranked Florida State men’s track and field team continued its Atlantic Coast Conference streak Saturday by capturing its eighth consecutive, ninth overall, ACC Indoor Championships title. Scoring 107 points, the Seminoles won a total of six medals including two gold medals.

“We had a tough day today with the mile and everyone falling down,” FSU Head Coach Bob Braman said. “We had some things to overcome today. I really felt the kids competed hard today. The 200m was unbelievable. The guys sprinters did a great job. For Matt Leeder to come back to get pushed in the mile then get back on the track and finish second in the 3000m was fantastic. Darrin Gibson was unbelievably good. Our two guys in the pole vault did a good job.”

The Seminoles dominated the 200m with top three finishes from Charles Clark, Maurice Mitchell and Brandon Byram. Leading the pack was Clark with an impressive time of 20.67 that is noted as the senior’s first NCAA automatic qualification and now leads the NCAA as the fastest performance of the season. Following in second place with a personal record was Mitchell who earned an NCAA provisional time with 20.87, the fifth best performance in the NCAA this season, while Byram, who already owns an NCAA automatic time, took third place with a time of 21.04. All three men scored 24 points for FSU.

Clark, Mitchell and Byram all teamed up again alongside Darrin Gibson to battle in the 4x400m relay that saw FSU posting a season-best time of 3:11.38 to take third place. The six points contributed by the foursome secured FSU’s crown.

Opening the day on the track were distance runners David Forrester and Matt Leeder in the mile run. As both ‘Noles started the race strong holding the first two spots, both men were pushed back to finish in seventh and eighth place, respectively, due to aggressive movement from all the competitors on the track. Forrester clocked in a time of 4:12.52 to score two points while Leeder finished in 4:13.17 posting one point.

In his second event of the day, the 3000m, Leeder again had to deal with aggressive movement on the track as the ‘Nole was in second place towards the end of the race when he got pushed and fell to third place in the last lap to finish with a time of 8:12.02. After the violation was called and the competitor was disqualified, Leeder advanced to second place to win a silver medal and score eight points.

Running the nation’s ninth-best 60m dash was Mitchell with a notable time of 6.66 that earned ten points for FSU. Mitchell’s time is also noted as his second NCAA provisional qualification. Newcomer David Ambler joined Mitchell in the event as he ran a time of 6.76 to finish in fifth and post four points.

FSU saw pole vaulters contributing seven points in Gonzalo Barroilhet and Andrew Lehaye. While Barroilhet finished in fifth place with a mark of 5.10m/16-08.75, it would be LaHaye who would set a personal record in the event with the same mark taking sixth place.

As one of the busiest athletes in the meet, Marlon Woods hit the track for his first of two events of the day in the 60m hurdles where he finished in eighth place with a time of 8.16 to get one point for FSU. In his second event, the triple jump, Woods leaped a mark of 14.87m/48-09.50 to finish in eighth place and score one point. Joining Woods in the triple jump was Aaron Steele as he took seventh place with a mark of 14.96m/49-00.25 to contribute two points.

Sophomore Michael Putman kicked-off the day in the field events as the sophomore posted a mark of 17.07m/56-00 in the shot put to finish in seventh place and score FSU’s first two points of the morning.

Scoring two points in the 400m dash as he finished in seventh place was junior Pablo Navarette as he crossed the line in 48.56.

Finishing in fourth place with a time of 1:52.27 and posting five points for FSU was Gibson in the 800m run.

“We’ve got to be a lot better outdoors if we want to continue winning,” Coach Braman said. “I liked the way we competed.”

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