June 8, 2005
Sacramento, Calif. - Florida State associate head coach Harlis Meaders and assistant coach Ken Harnden received recognition for the success of the 2005 Seminole men's track and field team. Meaders was awarded the NCAA East Region Assistant Coach of the Year while Harnden was named National Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2005 Outdoor Track and Field campaign by the United States Track and Field Coaches Association (USTCA). The awards were announced at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships banquet on Tuesday, June 7, 2005.
Both were instrumental in the Seminoles sweep of the 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, bringing home the first NCAA East Regional Championships and earning a second-place ranking in two of the nation's top track and field polls. Meaders was the top throwing coach in the region while Harnden led the sprints, hurdles and relays groups.
Harnden works with All-American freshmen Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs) and Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer), who have collected six individual conference titles this year, three All-American indoor honors, and three individual regional titles. Both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays finished first at the ACC Championships and second, only to one of the nation's top relays, at the NCAA East Region Championship, earning automatic berths to the national championships.
During his tenure, five sprinters have recorded six marks to join FSU's all-time top ten list. Harnden is responsible for two of the three top 400m-relays in Florida State school history. In 2004, former Seminole Brian Dzingai and current Seminoles Derrick Baker, Rhoan Sterling and Cedric Nabe shattered a 27-year old record three times and tied the nation's top 4x100m relay time during the preliminary race (38.92). That group earned All-American honors for a third place finish at nationals. Five school records have been set in just two seasons under Harnden's tutelage (2004 Indoor - Brian Dzingai, 200m; 2005 Indoor - Ricardo Chambers - 400, Walter Dix - 200m; 2005 Outdoor - Ricardo Chambers 400m, Walter Dix - 200m).
Harnden is in his sixth year with the Seminoles and second as a full time coach, working with the sprinters, hurdlers and relays. In his first season (2004), he returned from nationals with one All-American relay and one individual All-American in Olympian Brian Dzingai.
Harnden was a two-year letterwinner at the University of North Carolina, where he won an NCAA Championship in the 400m hurdles and was a member of the 4x400m relay team that won the NCAA title in 1995. Harnden was a two-time Olympian for his native country of Zimbabwe in 1996 and 2000, a three time participant at the World Championships and a two-time finalist in the 400m hurdles. He also garnered a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in the quarter hurdles in 1998.
Meaders led a throws corps that boasts two of the top five shot putters in the nation in redshirt sophomore All-American Garrett Johnson and senior All-American Dorian Scott. Both throwers have gone back and forth setting school and conference records and winning conference and regional titles. Scott picked up big shot put wins at the Texas Relays and the ACC Championships. Johnson also excels in the discus, rated fourth in the country and first in the conference and region. He swept both events at the NCAA East Region Championship and took second at the conference.
Current assistant coach Dennis Nobles was named the top national assistant for his excellence in field events during the 2003 season.
The national athlete and coach of the year awards will be following the championships.