May 27, 2005
Randall's Island, N.Y. - The first day of the NCAA East Regional Championships went pretty well for the Florida State track and field team. Redshirt sophomore Garrett Johnson won regional titles in twoevents and Dix broke a handful of 100m records and qualified in three events on Friday, May 27, 2005 at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island in New York. The men's team is in second place with 28 points behind Georgia.
Freshman All-American Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs) had another great performance, running 10.06 in leading all qualifiers in the 100m dash. The time is an American junior record, the third fastest junior time ever and broke the regional record. Dix shattered the NCAA East Region standard of 10.29, held by Clemson runners, Tye Hill and Airese Curry. He set a new FSU all-time best eclipsing a 25-year old mark set by the only Seminole Outdoor NCAA National Champion Mike Roberson.
Dix opened the day, anchoring the 4x100m relay. The men's squad posted the third fastest mark, running 40.08. Junior Ricky Argro (Orlando, Fla./Lyman) led the relay off for fifth time this season. He handed the baton to freshman Kenny O'Neal (Oakland, Calif./Skyline) who kept the relay in the top four through the third exchange to senior All-American Rhoan Sterling (Cambridge, Ontario/Toledo). Sterling preceded freshman All-American Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs), who anchored the relay to a first place finish in the heat. The top four teams were from the Sunshine State, with one-two finishes by Florida and FIU and a fourth place showing by cross-town rival Florida A&M.
Dix advanced in the second heat of the 200m dash, with a 20.41 time. The clip ties his fastest 200m time this season.
Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Baptist Academy) opened the day with his first regional championship title, throwing a personal best 199'4" (60.77m) in the first event of the day. It is five feet farther than his previous career best, which he set at the Georgia Tech Invitational. The mark moves him closer to the top of FSU's all-time list, just 13 feet shy of national champion Bradley Cooper. The indoor All-American was seeded third in the region entering the meet and hit the 60-meter mark for the first time in his career.
With six hours between start times, Johnson had enough time to rest and return to take the men's shot put championship. He threw 66'0.25" (20.12m) for his second championship in one day.
Senior All-American Dorian Scott (Springfield, NJ/Seton Hall Prep), who entered the regional seeded 13th, finished ninth in 170'9" (52.05m). The All-American thrower just missed his personal best distance of 172'7" (52.61m). In the shot put, Scott helped FSU hold down the top two spots on the east coast with a mark of 64'0.25" (19.51m) for second place. His distance is just three inches short of his all-time best and guarantees a place at nationals to end a stellar collegiate season.
The women's 4x100m relay started the day off strong advancing to the finals tomorrow at 4:30 p.m., with the seventh fastest, qualifying mark. Senior Sharneka Brown (St. Petersburg, Fla./Florida A&M) led the group off handing to junior All-American Evelyne Cynthia Niako (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson) running in the lane next to Miami. The Seminoles continued around the turn with Niako handing off to senior Olympian Kimberly Walker (Port of Spain, Trinidad/Polytechnic), holding the second place standing. In the final exchange, junior LaKendra McColumn (Lithonia, Ga./Stephenson) fought hard the last 100 meters for second in the heat.
Three of the four relay team members competed in additional events. After a two hour break between the 400m relay and the open 400m, Niako ran the individual event preliminary race, taking third in the heat in 54.75. In the 200m, the Seminole's returning All-American ran a 24.10 finishing in 15th place. Walker ran 11.70 in the 100m dash, finishing just outside of the top ten with an 11th place showing. McColumn took 12th in the 400m hurdles in 59.55. Sophomore Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton) led all qualifiers with the best time in the preliminary race, running 3:48.99. The reigning conference performer of the year will compete in the event finals at 4:52 p.m. on Saturday. Senior Ian Hornabrook (Queensland, Australia/Rend Lake College) posted a time of 4:04.29.
Freshman All-American Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) moved on to the 400m finals, winning his heat in 46.10. The indoor and outdoor conference champion leads the nation in the event and recorded the second fastest time in the preliminary race.
Junior Deanna Lane (Marietta, Ga./Pope) had the third fastest time in the first heat, running the second fastest time of her career. Freshman Laura Bowerman (Temple Terrace, Fla./King) ran a personal best in the 5000m run, crossing the line in 16:40.42.
Junior Shawn Allen (Crystal River, Fla./Seven Rivers Christian) competed in the high jump event, finishing with a no height. Redshirt freshman Tommy Noyes (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) was 18th in the 800m, running 1:52.77 in the preliminary race. Fellow rookie Elliott Wood (Sydney, Australia/Narrabean Sports) ran a 51.35 in the 400m hurdles, good for second in his heat and tenth overall. Senior Greg Johnson (Miami, Fla./FIU) posted a 54.11 mark in the 400m hurdles.
The second day of competition begins tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. with the women's discus. On the running side, the 400m-relay starts at 4:30 p.m.
Garrett Johnson (Discus, Shot put)