June 11, 2005
Sacramento, Calif. - Florida State freshman Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs) made school history today, becoming the first men's national champion in 25 years, winning the 100m dash in 10.21 on Friday, June 10, 2005 at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships at Alex G. Spanos Stadium in Sacramento, Calif.
"I hope it says a lot for Florida State track and field," said Dix, who was favored to win entering the meet and also ran the men's 4x100m relay team that finished in seventh place, earlier in the day. "I felt the same way at indoor because I contributed 11 points towards the team score. It is just about bringing Florida State track and field to the forefront."
The last Seminole to win an outdoor national championship was Mike Roberson, who took first in the 200m dash in 1980. Since then, only one other Tribe member has picked up a national title, Philip Riley in 1995 in the 55m hurdles. Dix beat a field that included NCAA Indoor 60m Champion DaBryan Blanton and defending champion NCAA 200m Champion, Arkansas' Tyson Gay.
Junior All-American Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) advanced through the qualifying round, posting a 53'9" (16.38m) on his final jump. The ACC and NCAA East Region Triple Jump Champion was fourth overall and second in his flight behind national leader BYU Rodrigo Mendes. Curry moves on to his sixth national meet final in three years, nailing the jump on his final attempt. He was the leading finisher among conference and region representatives at the championship event, just ahead of senior captain Willie Johnson (Orlando, Fla./Edgewater), who capped off an amazing career as a Seminole, jumping 50'10" (15.49m), good for 17th in the field. He finished with the fifth farthest jump in the region and second longest mark among conference representatives.
"I'm happy," said Curry, right after wrapping up the qualifying round. "That's the most consistent I've ever been, hitting 53-feet on all my jumps, so I can't complain. Plus these jumps don't count (towards the final standings). The most important thing is to get to the next day and that's it."
The men's 4x100m relay, comprised of junior All-American Derrick Baker (Miami, Fla./Northwestern), freshman All-ACC Kenny O'Neal (Oakland, Calif./Skyline), senior All-American Rhoan Sterling (Cambridge, Ontario/Toledo) and Dix took seventh in 39.33, the second fastest time recorded by the squad this year. The relay had the tenth fastest time this season, heading into the opening round of the national meet, and was a surprise entry in the finals.
Junior Andrew Lemoncello (St. Andrews, Scotland/Stirling) moved FSU into the top 15 teams at the meet, scoring five points in a fourth place finish in the 3000m steeplechase. Lemoncello earned the first All-America honor of his career, clocking an 8:30.12 in the final. He was the second fastest conference and regional representative and broke the school record he set during the preliminary race.
Freshman Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) was the third fastest qualifier in a heat that included Olympian Darold Williamson from Baylor, running a 44.94 to move on to the finals.
Senior Dorian Scott (Springfield, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) finished in eighth place in the shot put, throwing 61'5.75" (18.74m). He hit the mark on the third of six throws, only fouling once during the series. The ACC Shot Put Champion nailed the 18-meter mark three times in six attempts.
Junior LaToya Legree (Lithonia, Ga./Stephenson) posted a mark of 42'2.25" (12.86m) in the triple jump qualifying round, finishing seventh in her flight and 15th overall. The All-ACC honoree improved her mark from her last nationals' outing in 2003, when she jumped 41'3.25" (12.58m).
Junior Deanna Lane (Marietta, Ga./Pope) finished the day in 16th place with 3,273 points in the heptathlon, through four events. The ACC runner-up cleared the 100m hurdles in 13.91 before reaching a height of 5'5.25" (1.66m) in the high jump. She rounded out the day with a 37'8" (11.48m) in the shot put and a 200m time of 25.42.
Overall, the Seminoles are in fifth place through ten events with 18 points. They trail Arkansas, Florida, BYU and Virginia Tech heading into the final day. Four All-Americans take the track for FSU with Chambers hitting the track in the 400m at 9:00 p.m. EST, sophomore Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton) in the 1500m at 9:20 p.m. EST, Dix in the 200m at 10:10 p.m. and Curry in the triple jump at 8:30 p.m.