Ka’Tia Seymour already enjoyed a freshman season that was beyond expectations.
Her encore has been pretty good, too.
Seymour already owns Florida State’s school record in the 100 (11.13 seconds) from 2018 and is poised to claim her second straight ACC Outdoors title in the event on Friday in Charlottesville, Va. The sophomore from Palatka, Fla., has been working to improve her starts out of the blocks and feels prepared to meet her goal of defending as ACC champion.
“Knowing that I’m close to where I need to be is really motivating,” Seymour said. “Knowing that I’m able to hit that mark that I want to hit. It just helps me stay focused and I know that time is coming and it could be anytime now.”
And anytime could be the next few days. Seymour will run in the 200-meter preliminaries on Thursday night and then the 100-meter prelims on Friday night. She is the favorite in the 100 and also the top seed in the 200 and, if she can pull off the 100-200 double she would be the first FSU woman since Tonya Carter (2000).
Seymour was a heralded high school runner, capturing the 100 and 200 state titles in Class 2A in back-to-back seasons. The 2016 Florida Gatorade Girls Track Athlete of the year, Seymour chose FSU for its family atmosphere.
“When I first came I just loved the family vibe from everyone,” Seymour said. “Not just the athletes, people around campus showed me some love. They just showed how Florida State is lovable and caring and a good place to be.”
Her freshman season was quite the start to what could be a stellar career. Seymour won a pair of ACC titles and earned five All-America honors while leading the Seminoles to an ACC indoor title (she won the 200 indoors that year). In the outdoor season in 2018, she broke the 100 record with a run of 11.13.
“Being able to have a record at a university it’s not like having a record at a high school,” Seymour said. “Coming to a university where great people have been doing things from 30 years ago and people have come close to that record but not able to take it down. Knowing that I was able to do it, it motivates me a lot.”
How Seymour runs in the 100 and 200 will go a long way in determining if the Seminoles can grab their third ACC title in six years. FSU is consistently one of the ACC’s top women’s track and field programs, capturing 10 straight top-3 finishes in the league’s outdoor championships.
Seymour thinks FSU has a very good chance to win the title, especially with a deep group of competitors. And few run in the high-pressure meets like Seymour.
“Ka’Tia is at her best when the stage is the biggest,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “She’s chomping at the bit to race the championship meets. She’s capable of breaking ACC records if the weather allows.”
On the men’s side, sophomore Trey Cunningham is the top seed in the 110 hurdles. The 4×100 relay team of Darryl Gay, Jhe-vaughn Matherson, Michael Timpson Jr. and Andre Ewers is also the No. 1 seed.
Ewers, the 2018 ACC Championships Track MVP and Performer of the Year, has missed time due to injury but is competing in Charlottesville. The defending 100 and 200 champion will attempt to become the first FSU athlete to sweep both events in consecutive years and join NC State’s Danny Peebles (1986-87) and Clemson’s Tevin Hester (2015-16) as the third to do so in ACC history.