Jan. 21, 2006
Albuquerque, N.M. – Six automatic and provisional qualifying marks, four indoor facility records and event wins and one FSU school record. That’s just one weekend for the Florida State track and field program.
The Seminoles took their top rankings and student-athletes to the track and field capital of the country for the weekend, competing at the Modrall Sperling Lobo Invitaitonal at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico on Saturday, January 21, 2006. Senior All-American Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) broke the FSU school record in automatically qualifying for nationals, redshirt senior Lacy Janson (Sarasota, Fla./Cardinal Mooney) set her third indoor facility record of the year and newcomer Alyce Williams (Palm Coast, Fla./George Mason) won her first event in the Garnet and Gold.
“The team did a good job,” said associate head coach Harlis Meaders. “The student-athletes that were experienced held up to the rankings, which based on competitors like Rafeeq Curry and Garrett Johnson scoring, and they came out and had great meets. Some of the newcomers like Greg Bolden, did a great job overall, in their first competition for us. Alyce did a great job in winning her first triple jump competition in her first meet back from a redshirt season. This is just the first meet in looking ahead to a long season.”
The nation’s top triple jumper in the country proved his worth on Saturday afternoon, breaking the FSU school record, setting the Albuquerque Convention Center track record and bettering his career-best mark of 54’00.50″ (16.47m). Curry, who has earned the moniker as the most consistent Seminole on the squad, easily won the event by more than a meter, with a mark of 54’5.5″ (16.60m). Curry, who was rated the top jumper in the nation by the Dandy Dozen and is one of the top three indoor returning jumpers according to placing at nationals last season, entered the meet with the second-farthest jump in the conference and sixth nationally with his provisional distance from the Florida Intercollegiate meet.
“Rafeeq jumped 52-mid and (assistant coach Dennis Nobles) and I were going to pull him out to be careful because we didn’t want him to overdo it,” continued Meaders. “He asked coach to go again and did a great job. We didn’t realize he broke the record when he jumped but we knew immediately it was a great technical jump.”
As if a record-breaking performance in one event was not enough for Curry, he provisionally qualified and finished in second place in the long jump in a career-best mark of 24’9.75″ (7.56m). Senior Johnta Griffin (Orlando, Fla./Florida A&M), who qualified in the long jump at the Florida Intercollegiates, hit 24’1.5″ (7.35m) to help FSU place 2-3 in the event. He also finished fourth in the triple jump with a distance of 48’9.5″ (14.87m).
Competing against the second-rated thrower in the nation in Arizona’s Sean Shields, redshirt sophomore Garrett Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Baptist Academy) threw another NCAA automatic qualifying mark and picked up the event win in the shot put, tossing 63’9″ (19.43m). He bettered his nation-leading mark from last weekend and moved up on the list of NCAA Indoor Championship qualifiers.
Lacy Janson continued her streak of event wins, qualifying marks and facility records, vaulting 13’3.5″ (4.05m) in taking the title in the pole vault. It marks the third facility record this season for the four-time All-American. Fellow vaulter, freshman Tori Allen (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrenceville Central), inched her way closer to her career-best mark with her season-topping 11’11.75″ (3.65m) to tie for seventh place. Allen has steadily improved her pole vault heights in just three meets.
“The women’s team did a good job,” said Meaders. “We had good competition against some big programs – LSU, Texas A&M and our team performed well which gets us off to a good start.”
Alyce Williams provisionally qualified in winning the triple jump with a distance of 41’11.5″ (12.79m). The five-time CAA Champion from George Mason, finished just ahead of senior captain LaToya Legree (Lithonia, Ga./Stephenson), who posted a mark of 40’9.75″ (12.44m) for fifth-place. Williams and seniors Kim Adams (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stone Mountain), Alycia Williams (Palm Coast, Fla./George Mason) and captain Evelyne-Cynthia Niako (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson) also ran the relay, recording a time of 3:45.90 for the fourth-place.
Sophomore two-time All-American Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) was the top collegian in the 400m, running a provisional qualifying standard of 47.06. The indoor quarter-mile, FSU school record holder, who is rated as the top 400m runner in the nation, debuted for the first time in the event this season and finished .51 of a second behind Olympian and 2002 NCAA 400m Champion Alleyne Francique.
Junior transfer Greg Bolden (Morrow, Ga./Albany State) made his Seminole debut well worth the watch, battling Floridian (LSU’s) Xavier Carter in the 60m. The NCAA Division II Champion Bolden finished just one-hundredth of a second behind Carter, who is rated seventh according to the dozen rankings. After a stellar performance in the 60m, Bolden ran the 200m, taking sixth in 21.75.
Redshirt senior Andrew Diakos (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) narrowly missed the provisional qualifying standard in the weight throw, recording a distance of 61’2.75″ (18.66m) to take runner-up placing.
Senior Sarah Reed (Punta Gorda, Fla./Illinois) posted a career-best throw in the weight throw, tossing 55’3.5″ (16.85m) to finish eighth. She also competed in the shot put, taking tenth with a distance of 43’1″ (13.13m). Junior thrower Lindsey Nelson (Jacksonville, Fla./Mandarin) threw 45’3.5″ (13.80m) in the shot put, good for eighth place.
In other sprinting action, Niako competed in the 400m, taking seventh place in 56.20. Alycia Williams followed her in eighth with a clip of 56.27. Adams rounded out the top 12 with a mark of 58.34. Seniors Deanna Lane (Marietta, Ga./Pope) and LaKendra McColumn (Lithonia, Ga./Southwest Dekalb) finished 7-8 in the 60m hurdles, running a career-best 8.59 and 8.64, respectively.
Fellow newcomer Ronald Wright (Baltimore, Md./Barton Community College) ran 22.13 to finish 10th in the 200m and 7.02 in the 60m.
Junior Matt Hurley (Tallahassee, Fla./Chiles) cleared a height of 16’0.75″ (4.90m) to take tenth-place in the pole vault. Redshirt freshman Javier Garcia-Tunon (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit) improved on his season-best 60m hurdle mark, running 8.45 to finish 11th.
Gator Invitational (Gainesville, Fla.)
Sophomore Matt Wenike (Tallahassee, Fla./Chiles) continued to improve in the weight throw, posting a career-best 50’10” (15.49m) in the meet on Saturday at the Stephen F. O’Connoll Center in Gainesville, bettering his personal best mark by almost two feet. Redshirt sophomore Travis Dane (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) finished three spots behind his teammate in 13th place with a throw of 48’10.25″ (14.89m).
Freshman Tim Reen (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter) posted a mark of 6’6.75″ (2.00m) in the high jump to finish in sixth place.
Sophomore Matt Frith (Jacksonville, Fla./Bolles) jumped 19’9″ (6.02m) in the long jump, threw 37’4″ (11.38m) in the shot put and finished in 7.00 in the 55m.
Senior Jean Baptist (Orlando, Fla./Florida A&M) crossed the finish line in the 55m in 6.64, improving on his mark from the Florida Intercollegiate. Freshman Willie Gaines took second in his heat, running 50.71 in the 400m.
Junior Jacob Peacock (Pensacola, Fla./Woodham) vaulted to a height of 15’1″ (4.60m) to finish seventh in the men’s pole vault. In the 55m hurdles, Peacock finished in 8.77.
Sophomore Leilani Caraballo (Miami, Fla./Lourdes Academy) took ninth place in the pole vault, clearing a height of 10’6″ (3.20m). Sophomore Quiana Holsey (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville) ran 1:01.29 in the 400m.
Sophomore Domonique Andrews (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale) ran 8.96 and freshman Shannon Stuckman (Gainesville, Fla./P.K. Yonge Laboratory) paced the group with a 9.18 in the 55m hurdles preliminary race. Andrews also competed in the 55m dash, clocking 8.08, while sophomore Naikeya Heath (Killeen, Tex./Killeen) crossed the finish line in 7.45. Sophomore Porsche Bonnett (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) was right on her heels with a clip of 7.76 to finish seventh in her heat. Junior Nakeisha Adams (Miami, Fla./Miami Northwestern) was sixth in her group with a time of 7.60. Freshman Irayiza Andrews rounded out the final heat with a time of 7.88.
Heath was the second fastest qualifier in her heat in the 200m preliminary race, recording a mark of 25.95. Running out of the final 200m grouping, Adams, Bonnet and Stuckman finished 2-3-4, with times of 26.63, 26.82 and 26.89, respectively.