Seminole Track Headed to Arkansas for National Championships
March 10, 2005
Tallahassee, Fla. - The indoor season comes to a close this weekend for FSU with the 2005 NCAA Indoor National Championships taking place Friday, March 11 from Saturday, March 12, 2005. The Seminole men are projected to finish among the top ten programs in the nation for the first time since 1974 team that took seventh. Senior Lacy Janson (Sarasota, Fla./Cardinal Mooney) returns to indoor nationals for the first time since taking the 2003 NCAA Pole Vault title.
2005 FSU NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TRAVEL SQUAD
60m - Walter Dix(7th)
200m- Walter Dix (5th)
400m- Ricardo Chambers (4th)
Mile run- Tom Lancashire (7th)
Triple jump - Rafeeq Curry (2nd)
Shot put - Garrett Johnson (1st)
Pole vault - Lacy Janson (2nd)
2005 Season Highlights... Lacy Janson and redshirt sophomore Garrett Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Baptist Academy) both automatically qualified for nationals at the 2005 Florida Intercollegiate Championships. Johnson recorded the farthest throw in the NCAA and the second farthest throw in the world at that time. Janson kept her in the top two in the nation all season. She enters nationals seeded second in the event.... In just his second meet of the season, All-American Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) crushed an eleven year old indoor school record in the triple jump, en route to earning ACC Performer of the Week honors as well as an automatic berth to the national championships meet... Freshman Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs) permanently etched his name in Seminole history when he was named ACC Rookie of the Year, after winning two titles in his first meet and helping the 1600m relay to an event-winning and team-title clinching performance... In one final attempt at an automatic bid to nationals, sophomore Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/ Turton) exploded in Gainesville, shattering the FSU school mile run record with a mark just over four minutes at 4:00.64... Freshman Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) ended the season on a great note, carving his name amongst the best to ever run for FSU with an automatic qualifying and Florida State school record breaking mark in the 400m at the Cyclones Last Chance Meet.
Curry By His Lonesome... Curry is the only Seminole who is returning for three consecutive years to the national championships meet. Since joining the program, the three-time ACC Triple Jump Champion has yet to miss the meet and has brought home All-American honors with each trip. Curry took home All-American honors after placing sixth in 2003 as a rookie and fifth in 2004. Curry has also won the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships the past three years.
In Good Company... Every person in the Seminoles travel party holds the school record in their respective event. All have set the mark during the 2004-05 season with the exception of Janson, who posted her school-best pole vault height during her run at the 2003 NCAA National title. The group has another thing in common - all are Atlantic Coast Conference Champions.
This Time, Last Year... The Tribe took four people to nationals and returned with three All-Americans. Vicky Gill, Natalie Hughes and current Seminole Rafeeq Curry earned the honors for their top finishes in their respective events. Gill took fourth in the 5000m run while Hughes was fifth in the mile run. Curry, making his third appearance this season, was fifth in the triple jump. Former Seminole Rachel Evjen finished in 13th place in the 5000m, just missing earning the national honor.
Seminoles Top Nationals Finishes... 1985 marked the FSU women's track team's best finish at nationals, culminating what was supposed to be a rebuilding year with an indoor national championship title. FSU won by two points over Texas after losing two of the best student-athletes in Seminole history (Marita Payne and Randy Givens) to graduation. The men's highest team finish came 31 years ago in 1974 when FSU took seventh place at the indoor national championships.
Gainesville Good to Noles... With the season coming to an end, FSU almost wishes the 2005 NCAA Indoor National Championships were being held down the road in Gainesville. Some of the best marks of the season have come in the Stephen F. O'Connell Center. The final performance for the indoor season came last Thursday, March 3, 2005 with the Gator Fast Times Open Qualifier. Lancashire posted his record breaking performance while others did their best to qualify for the upcoming nationals meet. Senior Olympian Kimberly Walker (Port of Spain, Trinidad/Polytechnic) tied her season best performance in the 55m dash, running a 7.05 for second place. Garrett Johnson posted his fourth automatic qualifying mark of the season with a throw of 64'10" (19.76m). Junior captain LaKendra McColumn (Lithonia, Ga./Southwest Dekalb) posted a mark of 8.00 seconds in the 55m hurdles for third place. Junior transfer Johnta Griffin (Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge) competed in the triple and long jump events, taking fourth and third in the events, respectively. Senior Willie Johnson (Orlando, Fla./Edgewater) finished right behind Griffin in fifth place in the triple jump.
1985 Indoor Recap... Then-head coach Gary Winckler faced the task of replacing six women's team members who amassed 62 All-American honors entering January of 1985. Little did he know the Seminoles took what would be a rebuilding year and turned it into a national championship campaign. Then-sophomore Michelle Finn would be the catalyst of the program, picking up an individual national championship in the 55m dash. The return of seven-time All-American Esmeralda Garcia - after a three-year absence - proved vital as she won the indoor triple jump to help FSU edge Texas by two points.
Men Win ACC Championships... The Florida State men's track and field team won its third consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship and fourth since joining the league in 1992. The win came down to the last event, the 4x400m relay. FSU had to successfully defend the event title for a third time in order to win the overall league championship. The last minute additions of freshmen Walter Dix, who won the 60m and 200m events earlier that day, and individual 400m champion Ricardo Chambers to the relay proved beneficial, as the Tribe successfully defended the event title and completed the come from behind win over the Tigers in the squad race. Individual event winners included both relays (1600m and distance medley), freshmen Walter Dix (60m and 200m) and Ricardo Chambers (400m), sophomore Tom Lancashire (mile) and juniors Rafeeq Curry (triple) and Andrew Lemoncello (3000m). Senior Lacy Janson won her third indoor pole vault title and sixth overall conference championship in as many tries.
FSU Sweeps League Honors... Head coach Bob Braman and the men's squad were recognized for their valiant effort at the conference championships, taking home coach, performer and rookie of the year honors. Braman earned the indoor honor, in just his second season, and added it to his men's cross country coaching nod from the 2003 season. Lancashire is the first Atlantic Coast Conference Most Valuable Performer from FSU since Phillip Riley in 1994. At the championships, Lancashire accounted for 25 points including anchoring the distance medley relay to its second consecutive title behind a four-minute mile, taking his first individual event title in the mile, after placing second the season before, and scoring points in the 3000m run to end the multi-day meet. Rookie Walter Dix, who also had a strong case for league MVP, scored 30 points en route to being named ACC Rookie of the Year in his first conference championship, winning the 60m and 200m dash titles and then running the third leg of the team-title clinching 4x400m relay.
Women Take Sixth at ACCs... The FSU women's team finished in sixth place with 52 points. Senior Lacy Janson won her third indoor Atlantic Coast Conference Championship while junior Deanna Lane took second place in the pentathlon, with a provisional-qualifying 3751 points and contributed nine points towards the team finish. Kim Walker was a runner-up in the 60m dash, running a career-best 7.53 for All-ACC honors and eight points of the Seminole's team points. Sophomore Lindsey Nelson (Jacksonville, Fla./Mandarin) and junior LaToya Legree (Lithonia, Ga./Stephenson) finished in fifth place in the shot put and triple jump, respectively. Junior Evelyne-Cynthia Niako's (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson) sixth place finish in the 400m dash was sparked by a season-best mark for the All-American, who ran a 56.04 in the prelims and a 56.14 in the finals. Arkansas Alright for FSU... Three Seminoles set school records at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., the site of the 2005 NCAA Indoor National Championships. Rafeeq Curry recorded an FSU- and career-best mark of 54'00.50" (16.47m) to win the event and secure his third consecutive berth at the nationals meet. Tom Lancashire bested the FSU school record he set in the indoor mile run in 2004, posting a provisional qualifying time of 4:02.33, good for third place. Walter Dix shattered the 200m school record for the second time in his fifth meet, running a career-best time of 20.73.