June 8, 2006
Sacramento, Calif. – Senior Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) is the first Seminole to put points on the board for the team, with a sixth-place, career best mark in the long jump. The top-ranked Florida State track and field squad ended the second day of the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in a tie for 14th place with three points.
Entering the meet, 14 people all season out-jumped the seven-time, triple jump All-American. At the end of the day today, Curry had sixth place in hitting hit the sand in a lifetime best distance of 25’6.75″ (7.79m). The ACC Long Jump Champion had the best jump among all NCAA East Region jumpers including Florida’s Mike Morrison who was picked to finish fourth (but placed seventh). The FSU triple jump record holder moved into a tie for fourth place on FSU’s all-time, long jumpers performers list and is one of only two long jumpers to crack the Seminoles’ top four since 1988.
In the women’s pole vault, redshirt senior Lacy Janson (Sarasota, Fla./Cardinal Mooney) cleared the bar at 13’5.25″ (4.10m) in the qualifying round, to move onto the finals on Saturday at 11:45 a.m.
Redshirt junior Garrett Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Baptist Academy) continued the streak of field event qualifiers, taking the top spot in the shot put with a throw of 66’3.25″ (20.20m), almost three feet ahead of the next competitor. The favorite in the event, he hit the mark on his first attempt and passed on the next two in the series.
Fellow shot putter Sarah Reed (Punta Gorda, Fla./Illinois) ended her season and Seminole career as one of the top 20 shot putters in the country this year. The All-ACC honoree tied her career best mark of 50’6.75″ (15.41m) in tying for 18th in the preliminary round.
Dix stepped to the starting blocks in the first running event of the day to defend his NCAA 100m title. The seven-time All-American moved through the first round with no problem, placing in the top four of the second heat in 10.36. He faced another fast competitor in the semifinals in Clemson’s Travis Padgett and UTEP’s Churandy Martin where he crossed the tape in 10.26. Despite not finishing first in either heat, the seven-time All-American is set for the 100m final on Saturday, June 10.
“(Saving my strength) is something I learned last year,” said Dix, who was not winded after either race. “I see a lot of these new guys that are not catching on. Come Saturday they will catch on quick. I’m trying to save it for tomorrow. I wanted to have as much rest in my legs as possible because I need my strength.
“In the first heat, there was definitely a nice little breeze. In the second heat, I was just going off the person in front of me.”
This is the first consistent competition the defending national champion has faced all year and arguably the most strenuous due to the extra rounds. He was hampered earlier in the year with leg and hamstring cramps.
“My leg is definitely feeling good,” Dix commented after the semifinals. “I’m not too focused on my leg right now as I am focused on winning an NCAA title. I’m going to run until its dead. We’re trying to win this meet, that’s our goal.
In the women’s 400m hurdles, McColumn debuted at her first national championships meet with a mark of 58.75. The top Seminole hurdler will race in lane one of the second heat tomorrow at 6:20 p.m.
On the men’s side, sophomore hurdler Elliott Wood (Sydney, Australia/Narrabean Sports) recorded a 50.76 in the first heat. He advanced through to the semifinals with his fastest time on U.S. soil this season. Redshirt freshman Javier Garcia-Tunon (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit) ended his season with a lifetime best 50.25.
Later on in the day, redshirt senior Natalie Hughes (Grand Junction, Colo./Palisade) and junior Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton) earned berths in the finals of the 1500m. Hughes ran 4:17.13 in the first race of the day while Lancashire clocked in at 3:40.62, his fastest race of the season. FSU is the only school with two 1500m runners in the top ten in both the men’s and women’s races.
Bolden, the NCAA Division II 100m National Champion, finished fifth in the first heat with the second fastest at-large time of 10.43 of the preliminary race. In the semifinals, the 2006 NCAA Indoor All-American did not advance, running 10.43.
The women’s 4x400m relay seeded sixth entering the meet, had the fourth fastest time in the third heat with 3:34.56. Three of the seven fastest 1600m-relays did not advance to the finals.