January 16, 2020 – by Bob Thomas
Vets, Newcomers Opening At Vanderbilt Invitational
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Florida State’s nationally-ranked men’s and women’s indoor track & field teams will be represented by a select group at the two-day Vanderbilt Invitational.
Only five members of the top-ranked men’s team are scheduled for action. The 11th-ranked women’s team will be led by a large group of distance runners, including six athletes who helped the Noles to a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in the fall.
“I’m really excited to see our distance ladies open their season,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “They had an incredible cross country season and will be a big part of our ACC Championship chase next month.”
Competition begins Friday at 5 p.m. (ET) with senior Nadia Maffo opening her season in the weight throw. The second-year Seminole ranks third all-time at FSU with a 2019 season-best mark of 20.40 meters (66-11.25) and has made significant offseason gains.
FSU’s long jumpers get going an hour later, with senior transfer Fabian Edoki launching his Noles career. Edoki was a first-team All-American with a sixth-place finish at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships while representing Middle Tennessee State. He is the defending meeting champion in the long jump after landing his indoor personal-best of 8.01 meters (26-3.5).
“It’s always exciting to see newcomers to the program get their season debuts,” Braman said. “Fabian is a key piece to our NCAA Championship run so it’s great to get him back on the runway.”
He will be joined in the event by Isaac Grimes, who earned ACC Field Performer of the Week honors after his season-opening victory at the Orange & Purple Elite last week. Grimes’ winning mark of 7.91 meters (25-11.5) set the facility record and ranks second in the NCAA. Grimes is also scheduled to compete in the 60-meter dash on Saturday.
Junior All-ACC performer Jacore Irving is slated for double-duty in the long jump and the triple jump on Saturday.
Sophomore Trentorria Green will also double up in the horizontal jumps after opening up last week with a new personal-best in the triple jump.
Friday’s action will conclude with the women’s distance medley relay team taking the track at 9 p.m. The quartet of Ellie Wallace (1200m), Kimmie Cunningham (400), Yasmine Abbes (800) and Maudie Skyring (1600) should provide
Redshirt freshman Amani Heaven will launch her collegiate career Saturday at 12 noon when she competes in the shot put.
“Amani was a high school star and I’m sure she’s chomping at the bit after a redshirt year,” Braman said. “She’s shown great progress and looks to be the real deal.”
Senior Sanjae Lawrence and sophomore Milton Ingraham will get their season’s started in the men’s shot put, which is set for 3 p.m.
Saturday’s action on the track will begin with the unseeded section of the 3000-meter run at 11 a.m., where redshirt freshmen Erin Phelps and Ella Swigler will be joined by junior Kate Bernicke.
Senior Ginelle DeMone, who missed much of the 2019 track season due to injury, will open up in the seeded section of the women’s mile, where she will be joined by Abbes, a true freshman. Their race is set for 3:10 p.m.
The final event of the day including Noles will be the women’s seeded section of the 3000-meter run, where eight FSU athletes are entered in the field of 19. It will be the indoor debut of redshirt freshman Elizabeth Funderburk and freshman Rebecca Clark, and the track debut of junior transfer Lauren Ryan.
Tennessee native and junior Addi Coggins, redshirt sophomore Kayla Easterly and senior Megan Mooney will be joined by Skyring and Wallace.
You can follow the “nearly live” results throughout the competition here http://www.cfpitiming.com/liveresults/2020_Indoor/Vandy_invitational_2020/ in addition to periodic updates via Twitter @FSU_XC.