Noles shift to outdoor season, gearing up for FSU Relays

Florida State track and field will host six teams as part of the FSU Relays, which begin on Thursday at Mike Long Track.

The Seminoles fared well in the indoor competition, with Trey Cunningham leading the way as national champion in the 60-meter hurdles. Outdoor competition began last weekend in Miami and Auburn, with Kelechi Nwanaga (javelin), Sean Watkins Jr. (400 meters), Jacore Irving (triple jump), Sukeil Foucha (800 meters), Riley Bahr (3000 meters) and Luke Reid (3000 meters) each picking up victories in their respective events.

Amir Willis was also among the standouts as he took third in the 100 meters (personal-best 10.25) at the Hurricane Invitational. Willis was also named ACC performer of the week.

“It’s really going to be a chance for us to set the standard for us going into the outdoor (season),” said Willis, who will run the 100 and in the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. “Stay tuned. This year we really have a good group of individuals. We can do something special this year.”

FSU will compete against Dartmouth, Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Florida, Syracuse and UNLV in the two-day college portion of the FSU Relays. While the college events wrap up on Friday afternoon, high school competitors will have their opportunity on the track and in the field beginning Friday evening and continuing Saturday morning.

Willis and DaeQwan Butler were first-team All-ACC during the indoor season. Each sprinter praised assistant coach Ricky Argro as a reason why they picked FSU, with Willis finding a new home after running at Akron and Butler joining FSU after his prep career in Fort Lauderdale wrapped up.

“When I went on my visit and I talked with Rick, me and him clicked,” Willis said. “It was different from all the other coaches. With Rick, he made me feel like family.”

Butler will also run the 200, while he and Willis each will run a leg on the 4×400 relay.

“You don’t want to let your teammates down in a relay,” Butler said. “Especially at your home track.”

Cunningham named ACC performer of year

Florida State hurdler Trey Cunningham picked up another honor following his stellar indoor season as he was named the ACC Men’s Track Performer of the Year. Cunningham also won the award back in 2020.

“Trey’s won about every award you can win this season so it’s appropriate for him to win the ACC Performer of the Year award as well. He had a phenomenal season, and we can’t wait for him to get started on his outdoor season,” coach Bob Braman said.

Cunningham dominated the ACC this season in the hurdles on his way to his fifth straight ACC title in the 60m hurdles, becoming the first ACC athlete to do so. Cunningham broke his own ACC record in the 60m hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a time of 7.38 on his way to a national title. He is also the only athlete in NCAA history to run 7.42 or faster four separate times.