Madzivire shines at ACC

HARARE - Zimbabwean athlete Paul Madzivire got his 2014 season off to a good start after winning the long jump event at the Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship meet in United States last week.

Madzivire, who is a Florida State University State (FSU) fourth-year economics student, won the competition with a leap of 7,70 metres in his third attempt, prevailing over North Carolina State’s Jonathan Addison, who achieved the same mark on his fifth try.

This was Madzivire’s second ACC indoor long jump title in three years while his teammate Jalen Ramsey claimed the bronze with a jump of 7,36 metres.

Another FSU athlete Stefan Brits finished in fourth place.

“It feels great. I was extremely nervous coming into this competition. There was a lot on the line and a lot of pressure”, Madzivire told the FSU website.

“There are so many good jumpers out there and in the ACC there’s a lot of competition and anything can happen.

“This is the first meet where we actually come to and be a team. It’s so great that I have two other jumpers with me and we get to encourage each other, push each other and enjoy the competition."

This was the first time the former Gateway High School student was taking part in the competition since 2012.

Madzivire was sidelined in the previous years through injury.  FSU went on to claim both the men’s and women’s titles which delighted veteran athletics coach Bob Braman.

“Winning them both is hard to do, particularly indoors,” said Braman. “But track and field is a big deal at Florida State. Our administration supports it and leads the way, and our children take the baton. Their enthusiasm is just incredible, and they feed off each other. It is really fun to win them both together. We may never do it again, but we did it today.”

In a men’s meet that wasn’t completely settled until the closing men’s 4x400 relay, FSU finished with 96 team points.

North Carolina placed second at 89, while Notre Dame was third at 84. Duke (67) and Virginia Tech (65) rounded out the top five. FSU women led with 96, 5 points. Duke placed with 83 points, followed by Notre Dame at 65 and Miami at 62, and Virginia Tech rounded out the top five with 52 points.

With ACC Indoor Track and Field having expanded to 15 women’s teams and 14 on the men’s side, this year marks the first time since 1979 that the ACC men’s champion scored fewer than 100 points and the first time since the women’s championship began in 1987 that its winner failed to reach the century mark.

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