Aug. 7, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Even though it’s been less than two months since the Florida State men’s track and field team hoisted it second national championship trophy in the row, the Seminoles are already preparing for a run at their third title as head coach Bob Braman announced the 2008 indoor and outdoor schedules.
“This is almost identical to the same schedule we’ve had the last two-three years and we’ve found that it’s been a successful formula,” Braman said. “It’s a very good schedule for preparing us to be at our best in late May and early June with the focus of winning the national championship. In the regular season the highlight for the sprinters and field athletes is the Texas Relays and for the distance group it’s the Stanford Invitational.
Florida State opens its defense of its titles with a pair of home meets as FSU plays host to the Snowbird Invitational (March 21-22) and FSU Relays (March 27-29). Later in the docket the Seminoles play host to the Seminole Invitational (April 11-12) and the Seminole Twilight (May 10).
Just as it has been in the past few years, the biggest weekend of the regular season will come at the beginning of April. The sprinters and field athletes will travel to the Texas Relays (April 3-5), while the distance delegation heads to the West Coast for the Stanford Invitational (April 4-5). Once again this year FSU will take part in the prestigious Penn Relays (April 24-26).
The men’s team will look to capture its sixth ACC Outdoor Championships in the last seven years when the league summit commences April 17-19 in Atlanta. The NCAA East Regional meet will take place May 30-31 at an undetermined site and the Seminoles will try to join Arkansas, UTEP and Southern California as the only schools to win three-straight outdoor titles at the 2008 NCAA Championships, June 11-14, in Des Moines, Iowa.
“The ACC meet is the earliest conference meet in the nation and we’ve found a way to make it work for us and still be ready for regionals and nationals,” Braman added. “We don’t train through it or peak for it like we do regionals or nationals, but as coaches we have to think nationals first. However, the mindset is a little different for the athletes because you can’t tell them that it’s not as important because they want to beat their rivals and on the men’s side they want win their 11th and 12th titles in the last seven years.”
The indoor season kicks off January 11-12 with the Virginia Tech Opener but it’s the later portion of the schedule where the competition ramps up. A tough three-week stretch begins February 1-2 at the Nebraska Invitational, followed by the New Balance Invitational (February 8-9) and the Tyson Invitational (February 15-16), which is held on the same track where the NCAA Championships are competed.
Florida State will try to tack on its sixth-straight indoor title when North Carolina plays host to this year’s ACC Championships, February 29 through March 1. The indoor season comes to a close March 14-15 at the NCAA Indoor Championships, hosted by Arkansas.
“During the indoor season we’ve got three major meets right in the heart of the regular season that will help us get ready for the NCAA Championships,” Braman added. “We’ve got the Nebraska Invitational, the New Balance in New York City and the Tyson Invitational in Arkansas and those are three meets that we can use to put up some national leading teams and NCAA qualifying marks.”
With the exception of the 2004 outdoor title, the men’s team has won the last 10 ACC Championships. FSU has also finished in the top 10 of every NCAA Outdoor and Indoor Championships since 2005. The women’s team is coming off its best showing ever at the NCAA Outdoor meet with a 13th-place finish.