Dec. 17, 2004
Tallahassee, Fla. - The Florida State men's track and field program earned a No. 4 ranking for its 2004-05 recruiting class. The Seminoles were fourth behind No. 1 California, No. 2 Georgia and No. 3 Texas and ahead of No. 5 South Carolina. Four student-athletes who earned five high school All-American honors in 2004 will step onto the track in Garnet and Gold in 2005. The recruiting class is the best the Seminoles have signed during second-year head coach Bob Braman's five seasons in Tallahassee and one of the top in the program's 56-year history.
"It's definitely a top-five recruiting class, which is what I envisioned when I came here," said Braman in an interview with the Osceola in August of 2004. "Dix is the top sprinter in the nation, O'Neal is number three and Ricardo is top five. Garcia-Tunon and Burroughs, both top 15 in the nation, are added pieces to the puzzle. Our coaches did a great job."
Braman signed three of the fastest sprinters in the nation in Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, FL/Dwyer), Walter Dix (Coral Springs, FL/Coral Springs) and Kenny O'Neal (Oakland, CA/Skyline). Chambers and Dix were in the top three 100m times while Chambers was a top five 400m runner. Additional signees in the class include rookie Beau Burroughs (Tampa, FL/Jesuit) and Javier Garcia-Tunon (Miami, FL/Belen Jesuit).
Chambers was one of the nation's fastest 400m high school runners in 2004, recording a personal best 46.02 at the state track championships where he was second to Palm Bay's Xavier Carter. The high school All-American finished second in the 400m dash at the Nike Indoor Championships in the fourth fastest time in the nation.
Dix, a two-time All-American selection (100m and 200m) in 2004 by Track and Field News, held the distinction as the fastest high school sprinter in the nation. He ran Olympic standard times in the 100m and 200m dashes of 10.28 and 20.54, marks that shattered the Florida state high school records. The Coral Springs, Fla., native broke the 200m record for the first time with a 20.62 but bettered the time at the state regional meet. One of six SchoolSports Magazine's top high school athletes in the nation, he competed at the 2004 Olympic trials finishing sixth in his heat in the quarterfinals. Dix also competed in the long jump posting a mark of 24'.25" and was ranked fifth in the event towards the end of his senior season in high school. In 2003, he swept the 100m and 200m state titles and finished in second in the long jump.
O'Neal ran a leg of the high school All-America relay that posted the fifth fastest time in nation last season, clocking 40.95. The two-sport star (he also plays football for FSU) won the 100m California state title in 2003 and 2004. In 2002, O'Neal won the Georgia Class 5A state 100m championship. On the indoor track, he had the fastest 60m dash time in the nation of 6.68, a mark that would have earned him collegiate All-American honors in 2004. O'Neal will join the team at the conclusion of football season.
In the throws area, which is rich with talented upperclassmen, Burroughs enters FSU as a high school indoor All-American with two Florida Class 2A State titles in the shot put and discus under his belt. The Tampa, Fla., native ended the 2004 season as the 13th best high school thrower in the nation. He owns two Jesuit High School records (shot put - 56'7" and discus - 178'2") and was the first Tiger to win two individual state titles.
Garcia-Tunon won the decathlon at the state championship meet in 2003, while winning the 110m and 300m hurdles this season. He was honored as the recipient of the Miami Herald Scholar-Athlete award for his outstanding performance in the class and on the track. The hurdler and decathlete is top 15 in the nation in the hurdles and holds or shares nine Belen Jesuit High School records. He won the first annual flrunners.com Decathlon State Championships in 2003. Garcia-Tunon will participate in a number of events for the Seminoles.
The class of 2004-05 is expected to help the program transition from a conference and region power into one of the top track schools in the nation. The potential of Chambers, Dix, O'Neal, Garcia-Tunon and Burroughs is limitless and will bring the depth and long-term success the Tribe is accustomed.