June 10, 2006
Sacramento, Calif. - Five top two finishes helped the Florida State men's track and field team to its first-ever NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in front of a crowd of 9,116 at the Alex G Spanos Sports Complex in Sacramento, Calif. The men scored 67 points ahead of LSU (51 points), Texas (36 points), Arizona (34) and Arkansas (33).
The men clinched the team victory with a second-place finish in the 1500m run by Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton). Indoor national champions Walter Dix and Garrett Johnson won outdoor titles. The nation's top-ranked triple jumper Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) added another individual national crown and Dix and sophomore Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) posted runner-up finishes in the 100m and 400m dash.
Lancashire clinched the team championships with a second-place finish in the 1500m run. The two-time All-American ran 3:44.20 to secure the first place position for the Seminole squad.
The title is the first for the Florida State men and the third track national title for the program. The women's 1984 outdoor team and 1985 indoor squads also won NCAA crowns. The men win the Triple Crown (conference, regional and national titles) for the first time in program history.
The title is the first for the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Seminoles doubled the all-time number of outdoor national champions with the three winners today.
The finish marks the highest team placing since taking third place in 1980 and only the fourth time in the program's history that a team has placed in the top 10 at outdoor nationals.
Dix won his third national title in taking the top spot in the 200m dash with a time of 20.30. He is one of three people to win a national championship in both the 100m and the 200m in the last ten years. Rookie Michael Ray Garvin (Upper Saddle River, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) was eighth in the group scoring one point and earning All-American honors.
Kicking off the point scoring barrage was Dix earned his eighth All-American honor with a second-place finish in the 100m. The incoming defending champion had the seventh fastest time of the year before Wednesday. It is his second NCAA runner-up finish this year after placing second in the 60m during the indoor season. Last year Dix, went one-four in the 100m and 200m, respectively. Dix is the second two-time All-American 100m runner since Jonathan Carter put together back to back top-eight finishes in 1995 and 1996.
Less than an hour later, Chambers added another eight-spot with a second-place finish in the 400m in an FSU school record 44.71. Chambers is the second two-time 400m All-American joining Olympian Walter McCoy on the short list. It is the fifth 400m national honor in program history.
The points kept rolling as Johnson completed the sweep of the indoor and outdoor shot put championships, hitting 66'7" (20.29m). He earned his fourth All-American honor and second of the meet, as he finished in fifth place in the discus yesterday.
By the time Curry wrapped up his first national title in the triple jump, the team title already belonged to the Seminoles. The ACC Long and Triple Jump Champion saved the farthest jump of his career for last. He hit the sand in 54'9.5" (16.70m), besting the FSU school record that he owned by 3.5 inches. This year Curry scored 13 points towards the team title, the most in his career and became the first Seminole to win the triple jump national championship.
Senior Andrew Lemoncello (St. Andrews, Scotland/Stirling) extended the team lead with a run of 8:39.45. He finished fourth for the second consecutive season, earning his third All-American honor.
The Florida State track and field team will be honored with a torch lighting at 8:15 p.m. on Monday, June 12, 2006 at Langford Green outside of Doak Campbell Stadium.