New York, New York! FSU Wins Regional Track Title
May 28, 2005
Randall's Island, N.Y. - The Florida State track and field men's squad won the 2005 NCAA East Regional Championship on Saturday, May 28, 2005 at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island in New York. The meet came down to the men's 4x400m relay with FSU ahead of Florida 89-84. With a second place finish in the 1600m relay, the Seminoles held on to their lead, winning 96-94, for the first title in three years of competition.
The 4x400m relay was comprised of senior Greg Johnson (Miami, Fla./FIU), freshman Elliott Wood (Sydney, Australia/Narrabean Sports), junior NCAA East Region Triple Jump Champion Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) and NCAA East Region 400m Champion freshman Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) ran 3:05.58 for the second fastest time in the meet.
Chambers won the 400m dash in his second fastest time of the year, 45.64. The nation's leading 400m champion cruised to his first region championship adding ten points to the team score.
Just minutes before running the relay, Curry picked up his second NCAA East Region Triple Jump Championship, with a regional meet record jump of 54'11.25" (16.75m). The five-time All-American heads to his third outdoor championship in as many seasons. Curry won the regional triple jump in 2003 during his freshman year. Teammate and senior captain Willie Johnson (Orlando, Fla./Edgewater) finished sixth in 50'10.25" (15.50m).
The women's 4x400m relay ran the best time this season, finishing first in the second heat and fifth overall in 3:38.50. First legs, junior Evelyne Cynthia Niako (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stone Mountain) and sophomore Dana Massiah (Trinidad & Tobago/Bishop Aenesty) kept the Seminoles in the top two spots through the first exchange. Getting the baton just three feet behind Clemson, junior Kim Adams (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stone Mountain) picked up the pace and passed Clemson's Sierra Hill on the third turn to hand off to junior anchor LaKendra McColumn (Lithonia, Ga./Southwest Dekalb) who cruised the final 400m for the heat win.
The men's 4x100m-relay had a strong second place finish, running 39.35 in the finals. The group, comprised of junior Derrick Baker (Miami, Fla./Northwestern), freshman Kenny O'Neal (Oakland, Calif./Skyline), senior Rhoan Sterling (Cambridge, Ontario/Toledo) and rookie Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs), earned an automatic berth to the NCAA National Championships. The win moved FSU into first place with 32 points after seven events and is the third fastest time on FSU's all-time list.
Dix became the second Seminole at the meet to win two regional titles in one meet, taking first in the 100m and 200m dashes. The 2005 ACC Rookie of the Year crossed the line in 10.22 in the 100m. In his third race of the day, Dix moved into third on FSU's all-time list and broke the region record with a time of 20.23 in the 200m. It is Dix's fastest time this season.
The women's 4x100m relay moved up two spots from their seventh place seeding, running a 45.41 to take fifth place behind the legs of senior Sharneka Brown (St. Petersburg, Fla./Florida A&M), Niako, senior Kimberly Walker (Port of Spain, Trinidad/Polytechnic) and anchor McColumn.
Junior Andrew Lemoncello (St. Andrews, Scotland/Stirling) finished third in the 3000m steeplechase, running 8:38.99 to earn an automatic berth to nationals. Lemoncello had an automatic qualifying mark in the 10000m run. Junior Barbara Parker (Norfolk, England/Loughborough) just missed an automatic berth in the 3000m steeplechase, running a career best 10:20.82 for three points. Parker's time moves her closer to the top of FSU's all-time steeple list, just 11 seconds out of first.
Junior LaToya Legree (Lithonia, Ga./Stephenson) was sixth in the triple jump, posting a mark of 42'6.75' (12.97m). Sophomore Lindsey Nelson (Jacksonville, Fla./Mandarin) found herself in the finals of the discus, jumping up three spots from her event ranking of 11th with a throw of 156'4" (47.66m). She was eighth overall, the fourth highest ACC finisher and the only sophomore in the top ten.
Redshirt junior Andrew Diakos (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) finished in eighth place for one point, throwing the hammer 191'1" (58.25m).
Sophomore Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton) was neck and neck with Providence's Liam Reale before two runners caught him coming around the turn in the final lap. The 2005 ACC Performer of the Year was seeded first entering the event and competing in unseasonably cold weather, crossed the line in 3:50.09, good for sixth place.