A familiar face was at USF’s final home track and field meet Saturday, as the Bulls hosted Florida A&M University, Connecticut, Alabama and Mississippi.
Rattlers coach Rey Robinson is a former USF coach and good friend of Bulls coach Greg Thiel. Robinson helped form USF’s track and field program when he and Thiel were assistants under Bob Braman in the early ’90s.
“I come here every year,” Robinson said. “I make sure I put this meet on my schedule because of our relationship. Coach Thiel is one of my best friends, and we’ve been keeping contact with each other since I left in ’99.”
Robinson isn’t just another coach. He’s a former co-world record holder in the 100-meter dash and was part of the 1972 Olympic team.
“Just a wonderful man,” Thiel said about Robinson. “(He’s) a great guy in the sport all over the world and one of the greatest sprinters ever.”
Equipment malfunction: Pole vaulter Jonathon Miller, who is a three-time Conference USA champion and school record holder, finished second when he cleared 16 feet, 6 inches.
“I was really hoping to jump higher today,” Miller said. “On my second-to-last jump, I grabbed the wrong pole. (It was) a stupid mistake, but you’ll get over it.”
Two timers: The men’s 4 x 100 meter relay team, which consists of Tiawo Egun, men’s soccer player Jordan Seabrook and football players Anthony Gaines and Ryan Gilliam, ran its best time of the season (41.37) and is close to breaking the school record of 41.1 seconds from 1996.
“Gilliam, Gaines and myself, we came from other sports,” Seabrook said. “(Now) we have full time to train and get ready to run this race, and our time is going vastly down.
“Obviously our first goal is to get the school record, but our goal ultimately is to go even faster than that.”
Although athletes have been known to participate in track to get it in better shape for other sports, Thiel said Seabrook is just as much of a track runner as he is a soccer player.
“People say Jordan is a soccer player, but Jordan is a two-sport guy,” Thiel said. “He’s on a scholarship with us and soccer, so it’s not like he’s a soccer guy that’s running track. When (soccer coach) George (Kiefer) and I recruited him, we recruited him specifically for the two sports.”
Coming in first: Although the Bulls didn’t place well as a team in the 4-Way Meet, the men came in third and the woman finished last. Four USF athletes won their individual events: Megan Malone (pole vault), Derek Lincoln (1500-meter run), Patrick Martin (400-meter hurdles) and Errol Blackmon (high jump).
– Kevin Smetana