July 5, 2008
EUGENE, Ore. –
A week after Florida State sprinter Walter Dix punched his ticket for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, he has a chance to qualify in another event and four of his current and former teammates have a chance to join him in China next month. Five Seminoles will be in action on Sunday’s final day of the United State Track and Field Olympic Trials.
Television coverage of Sunday’s action is from 7-9 p.m. (EST) on NBC. In order advance to the Olympics, a competitor must make the finals of their event and finish in the top three amongst competitors with the “A” standard.
Dix (Coral Springs, Fla.) is one of the favorites to advance in the finals of the 200m dash. Second in the 100m finals, he has drawn lane three for the event after running a season-best 20.09 in the semifinals. The three-time NCAA Champion in the event, Dix set the collegiate record last year with a 19.69 during the NCAA East Regionals.
Joining him in the finals will be sophomore Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, Va.). Clark finished fourth in the first heat of the semifinals – the top four from each heat advanced – with a time of 20.48. He has drawn lane 1 for tomorrow’s race. The race is scheduled to go off at 7:25 p.m.
The first Seminole in a final on Sunday will be former National Champion Lacy Janson in the pole vault. She was one of nine vaulters to clear a top height of 4.30m/14-01.25 during Thursday’s prelims. She cleared 4.20m on her first jump then got over 4.30m on her second attempt. The competition starts at 6:40 p.m.
Along with Dix, former triple jump National Champion Rafeeq Curry has one of the better chances of making the Olympics. He had the second-best jump during the prelims – 16.71m/54-10.00 – and is one of only four competitors left in the competition that has achieved the Olympic “A” standard of 17.10m. The jumping commences at 6:15 p.m.
While the four other Seminoles are in the finals, senior hurdler Drew Brunson (Snellville, Ga.) still has one round left to go before the finals. He moved on to the semifinals by running a time of 10.40 during the quarterfinals that is just .01 off his career-best time. Brunson runs his semifinal heat, where he has drawn lane six of heat two, at 6:15 p.m. with hopefully a return to the 8:30 p.m. finals.
To date, Florida State has six current and former track and field athletes qualified for the Olympics. Joining Dix in Athens will be freshmen Ngoni Makusa (long jump – Zimbabwe) and Gonzalo Barroilhet (decathlon – Chile) as well as FSU alumni Brian Dzingai (200m – Zimbabwe), Dorian Scott (shot put – Jamaica) and Ricardo Chambers (400m – Jamaica).