NCAA 100m Champion Walter Dix
June 17, 2005
NCAA 100m Outdoor National Champion
|Two-time NCAA East Region Champion|
Two-time Atlantic Coast Conference 200m Champion (Indoor and Outdoor)
2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor 60m Champion
2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor 100m Champion
2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor 4x100m Champion
2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor 4x400m Champion
2005 Mondo East Region Athlete of the Year
Two-time Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year (Indoor and Outdoor)
|Six-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference Honoree|
|American Junior Record Holder|
|World Junior Record Holder|
|1st all-time in the outdoor 100m||10.06|
|1st all-time in the indoor 200m||20.73|
|3rd all-time in the outdoor 200m||20.18|
|anchor leg of the 3rd fastest 4x100m relay||39.30|
When Florida State signed Coral Springs High School's Walter Dix, they expected great things for a program that was looking to become a perennial top five track and field team. When that same Coral Springs High School graduate walked off the track at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, he knew that he helped put the track and field team in a position to crack the top five for the first time in 25 years.
Dix was an integral part of the nation's fourth-best recruiting class in 2005 and one of the top rookie groups to join the Seminole program. He started off breaking records, shattering Olympian Brian Dzingai's 200m indoor school record in just his second meet. Dix posted a time of 20.87 in the opening round of the race and followed that performance with a provisional qualifying time of 20.88 in the 200m final. He ran another provisional standard in the 60m finals (6.66) after posting a 6.76 in the preliminary race. Additionally, he long jumped 23'11.75" (7.31m) to take fifth place overall and the top collegiate spot in the event to wrap up the Niswonger Invitational.
At the Tyson Invitational, on the same track as the NCAA Indoor National Championships, he continued to excel, finishing in second place in the 60m final in a conference leading and career best tying time of 6.66. He also ran a then-career best, automatic qualifying time of 20.73 in the 200m to break the FSU record for the third time that season. He would go on to shatter the record two more times before the conclusion of the indoor season.
At his first Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Championships, Dix made his presence felt, helping the Seminoles edge Clemson by two-and-a-half points for the team title. He contributed 20 points with two event titles and ran a leg of the 1600m relay that successfully defended their title for the third consecutive season. He became the first freshman in school history to take two indoor titles in one meet and only the second person overall to win multiple indoor championships. Dix was the first Tribe member to win the 60m dash since it was instituted in 1998, breaking Clemson's streak of seven straight event championships. He is one of two FSU freshmen to win indoor conference titles in 2005.
For his performances at the conference meet, he was awarded USTCA Male Athlete of the Week and Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year honors. Dix joined current Seminole Rafeeq Curry as the only FSU student-athletes to win indoor freshman of the year honors. Curry was awarded the accolades in 2003.
Dix went on to wrap up his season at nationals, joining the group of five Tribe members traveling to NCAAs in Fayetteville, Ark. He set the world junior indoor 200m record in the preliminary race at nationals, running a 20.61 and then bettered the time in the finals, posting a 20.37. He finished first in his heat and second overall to contribute eight points toward the record setting team finish.
In his second race of the nationals meet, Dix had the top time in his flight and second overall in the 60m prelims in a career-best 6.60. He finished sixth overall in the finals with a mark of 6.70 to pick up his second All-American nomination and add three points, upping his contribution to the team score to eleven of FSU's 26 points.
The first event Dix competed in during the outdoor season started out on a high note, with the eventual conference, regional and national champion running the second fastest time in FSU school history and best mark in over eleven years with a wind-aided 10.13 at the Georgia Tech Invitational. He won the event in his first individual outing since earning All-American honors at indoor nationals. He also ran the third leg of the 4x100m relay that qualified for the second time this season (39.59) and moved into the final position on FSU's all-time top ten list.
The very next weekend, Dix continued to put on a show, running the fastest all-conditions time in the world this year, winning the 100m dash in 9.96 at the prestigious Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Competing in a field of eleven professionals and three collegians, the mark did not count towards the record books or the regional list due to the 4.5 illegal wind recorded during the race but made heads turn towards his potential to win a national championship.
Running for the first time in his career at a meet on his home track, Dix did not fail to let his fans down at the 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, held in Tallahassee, Fla., for the first time since 1992. Competing with the flu, Dix still amazed the crowd, tying the meet record of 10.23 in the 100m preliminary before bettering the mark in winning the final in 10.22 and his first outdoor event title. He continued to impress the Seminole supporters, onsite for the league meet, taking the 200m in a regional qualifying time of 20.64 in the prelims. He went on to take his second individual title of the meet, and third consecutive 200m ACC title for the Garnet and Gold, winning in 20.41. He also anchored the school's first conference winning, 4x100m relay for his third All-ACC outdoor honor.
Dix was rewarded again for his performances, earning Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Rookie of the Year, for his contribution to Florida State sweeping the league team titles. He is the first to sweep since Brendon Mahoney (Georgia Tech) in 2000 and it marks the second time Florida State has earned both indoor and outdoor freshman honors, with Garrett Johnson and Rafeeq Curry taking the awards in 2003. He was also named USTCA National Athlete of the Week.
His fastest, legal 100m time up to that point in the year came in Atlanta, just two weeks before the NCAA East Region Championship. Dix ran a 10.12 in the preliminary race of the 100m dash in the outing. The time moved him into a tie with NCAA Indoor 60m Champion DaBryan Blanton for the third fastest 100m time this year.
Dix quickly made haste of sharing third place on the national level with a record-setting regional mark at the NCAA East Region Championships at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island in New York City. On the first day of competition for the rookie, he broke the American junior record, FSU all-time, NCAA East Region and Icahn Stadium track record with a 10.06 clip to lead all qualifiers. The time is the third fastest junior time in the world, with the top mark being 10.01. He shattered the regional best, previously held by Clemson's Tye Hill and Airese Curry, of 10.29 and eclipsed a 26-year old mark by NCAA Outdoor 200m Champion Mike Roberson in 1979.
Prior to his 100m race, he opened the day running the 400m-relay in the preliminary race. The group finished as the top advancer in the heat (40.08). He followed that with a 20.41 clip to tie his best 200m time all season in the second heat of the preliminary race.
The ACC 100m and 200m champion picked up the wins in both events at the regional meet, in times of 10.22 and 20.23, his fastest times of the season at that point. He joined Garrett Johnson as the only Seminoles to win two 2005 NCAA East Region titles and only the third overall including Rafeeq Curry (2003 and 2005 Triple Jump Champion).
Again, he was named USATF Athlete of the Week for winning two individual titles and anchoring the 4x100m relay to an automatic berth at nationals. Dix added the honor of Mondo Regional Athlete of the Year to his list of awards.
Heading into the national meet, Dix had the top 100m time due to a voluntary withdrawal by Mississippi State's Steve Mullings and was the only rookie in the top 12. He stayed true to form advancing with the top 100m semifinal time in the event and winning the title in the finals. Dix is the first NCAA National Champion on the men's side since Phillip Riley in 1995. He is the first outdoor champion since Mike Roberson won the 200m in 1980 and the first five-time All-American since Olympian Walter McCoy.
In addition to anchoring the 4x100m relay to the finals with a season-best time of 39.30, he ran a personal-best time of 20.18 in the semifinals and finished in fourth place in the finals to cap off his season with his fifth All-American honor.