Feb. 18, 2005
Tallahassee, Fla. - At the end of day two, the Florida State men's track and field team sits in second place with 40 points while the women's squad is tied for eighth with 14 points at the 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in Chapel Hill, N.C. The men's team picked up big points in the distance medley relay (DMR) and the long jump.
The men's DMR won for the second year in a row, turning in a time of 9:53.55 to put ten points on the board and close the gap between first- and second-place. Behind the legs of sophomore Chris Nickinson (Pensacola, Fla./Washington), senior Greg Johnson (Miami, Fla./FIU), junior Kenny Jesensky (Orlando, Fla./Coastal Carolina) and sophomore Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton), FSU earned All-ACC honors in the event and contributed to the team scoring.
"It was a really exciting first day," said head coach Bob Braman. "The two highlights of the day were the long jump, where we picked up 19 points and the men defending their DMR title. Lancashire ran a four-minute mile to catch the Virginia runner and take first place by two-tenths of a second. He anchored that win which is huge heading into the second day. Everyone came out of the stadium with a big buzz. We're down by some points but we qualified really well so tomorrow should be really exciting."
Florida State added 19 points in the long jump competition, taking second, third, fifth and eighth places. Junior All-American Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) jumped 24'5.75" (7.46m) to provisionally qualify in the event and put eight points on the board for FSU. Junior Johnta Griffin (Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge) was 2.25 inches behind him in third place with a mark of 24'3.5" (7.40m) while senior Courtney Wright (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone Community) took fifth (four points) with a jump of 23'10.75" (7.28m). Senior All-American Willie Johnson (Orlando, Fla./Edgewater) rounded out the point scorers, finishing in eighth place and a distance of 23'4" (7.11m).
"The long jump was particularly exciting," continued Braman, entering the league meet with a target on his back, as the defending champions. "How we placed was a big turning point for us. Curry, Griffin, all the way down the line, did a great job for us. In the last few years, that has been an event where we haven't scored that many points. We did a nice job of putting it all together."
Junior Andrew Lemoncello (St. Andrews, Scotland/Stirling), reigning ACC Cross Country Champion, took third place in the 5000m run with a mark of 14:21.76, scoring six points for the Seminoles.
In the men's sprints, four qualified for the finals in the 60m dash, two in the 200m dash and the 400m dash. Rookie Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs), junior All-American Derrick Baker (Miami, Fla./Northwestern), freshman Kenny O'Neal (Oakland, Calif./Skyline) and sophomore All-American Cedric Nabe all made it through to the finals of the 60m dash. Dix and freshman Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) qualified for the 200m event while Chambers and newcomer Elliot Wood (Sydney, Australia/Narrabeen Sports) will represent the Noles in the 400m.
In the 800m run, sophomore Tommy Noyes (Canton, Ohio/Hoover) finished first in the preliminary race with a time of 1:53.49 followed by junior Robert Cooper (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) and Jesensky, who recorded seventh and eighth place finishes.
Senior captain Ian Hornabrook (Southport, Australia/Rend Lake) finished first in the mile preliminaries in 4:11.86 while Lancashire took second in 4:14.02, to move on to tomorrow's finals.
Junior Barbara Parker (Norfolk, England/Loughborough) won the 800m preliminary race in 2:13.02. She then led the women's distance medley relay, comprised of Parker, freshman Kandia Batchelor (Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough), sophomore India Pettus (Cleveland, Ohio/Trinity) and freshman Kirsten Hagen (Blacksburg, Va./Christiansburg), to an eighth place finish in 12:05.34.
Junior Marla Jackson (Jacksonville, Fla./Stanton College Prep) recorded a season-best mark of 5'7" (1.70m), good for fifth place and four points towards the team scoring.
Senior Olympian Kimberly Walker (Port of Spain, Trinidad/Polytechnic) ran a season-best time of 7.55 to qualify for the 60m dash finals. Junior Evelyne Cynthia Niako (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson) qualified for the finals in the 400m taking second in her heat with a mark of 56.04.
The Seminoles conclude the final day of the three-day championships meet, tomorrow. The field events begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 19 with the women's shot put and triple jump while the running events start at 12:30 p.m., with the mile run. For updated results and more information, please check the track and field page on Seminoles.com.