The ACC Outdoor Championships begin tomorrow in North Carolina and Florida State is looking to finish the season strong. The men's and women's teams both won the indoor championships earlier in the season. If the Seminoles win all four titles, they would be only the third program to accomplish that feat in the same year. Additionally, the women are looking to sweep cross country, indoor, and outdoor for the first time since 2009.
The women are ranked fifteenth nationally by the USTFCCCA and the team includes three defending event champions. The 3000 meter steeplechase defending champion is Colleen Quigley, shot put is Chelsea Whalen, and discus is Kellion Knibb. The team is hoping that these plus several top seeds, including the 4x100 relay team, can help them get revenge for the five point loss to Clemson last year mainly due to sprints and hurdles. "You can't win this meet without those points. You've got to have sprint-hurdle-relay points. I really like the way that group is emerging now,” Coach Bob Braman believes those events are the key to victory this year.
While the women are looking for revenge, the men look to repeat. They are ranked number five nationally and have won the outdoor title ten of the last twelve years. Despite this history, Braman believes there is still work to do. "It's going to be a challenge," Braman said, "but I don't think it's going to be a lot more difficult than perhaps it was last year, when we somewhat improbably won it.” Dentarius Locke returns for the Seminoles after being Meet MVP last year when he won the 100 meter dash. James Harris and Zak Seddon are returning champions as well. Harris is vying for the 200 meter title instead of the 400 meter title he currently holds and Seddon is looking to repeat as 3000 meter steeplechase champion.
The ACC Outdoor Championships will be streamed on ESPN3 from 5:30-8pm starting Thusday with finals in the 10,000 meters and the long jump. Qualifying for 400 meter hurdles, 200 meter dash and 1500 meter run will be contested as well. The event continues through the weekend.