March 11, 2006
Fayetteville, Ark. – The Florida State No. 4/4 men’s track and field team concluded one of the best indoor track and field seasons in the program’s 57-year history with a third place finish to 42-time national champion Arkansas. Behind six All-American honors from five men’s team members, FSU scored the most points in school history with 41 and had the highest team finish since a seventh-place performance in 1974.
Two NCAA Indoor Track and Field National Champions and seven All-Americans return to Tallahassee after the 2006 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Randal Tyson Track and Field Center in Fayetteville, Ark on Saturday, March 11, 2006. The Seminole men finished third to Arkansas (53 points) and LSU (45 points).
The women’s program tied for 15th place with UCLA with 16 points behind two NCAA runner-ups in redshirt seniors Lacy Janson (Sarasota, Fla./Cardinal Mooney) and Natalie Hughes (Grand Junction, Colo./Palisade). It marks the third time in four years that the program has placed in the top 20 at the end of the indoor season and is the highest team placing since finished sixth in 1986.
After earning All-American honors and running the seventh fastest 200m time ever in the world, sophomore six-time All-American Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs) put on another show, finishing second in the 60m dash in 6.62. In finishing in the top eight in both events, Dix moves into number three all-time on the All-American list, behind Olympians Walter McCoy and Mike Roberson. Teammate Greg Bolden (Morrow, Ga./Albany State) took seventh place in 6.70 after entering the meet with a ninth place seeding, to contribute two points towards the team score.
“It was great having Greg out there,” said Dix. “I never have anybody in the NCAA finals with me. That helps a lot because he felt what I felt. We went through it at the same time. We’ll always have that bond that most people don’t have going through the same race, step by step to the end.”
“I already knew I was going to make it to the finals because all season long I have been consistent all season,” said Bolden. “It helps to have Walt in there because together we can get the maximum amount of points. With your teammate in the finals, your chances of scoring are always going to improve.”
Redshirt senior Natalie Hughes (Grand Junction, Colo./Palisade) ran one of the best races of her life to earn the NCAA runner-up placing in the mile run and her second All-American honor in the event (sixth overall). Hughes, who entered the meet as a provisional qualifier with the tenth fastest time in the country, finished in 4:40.18, just one second off her FSU school record time of 4:39.17. She put the women’s team on the board with eight points.
“It’s a great start,” said Hughes. “Now, I’m definitely ready for outdoors. The race was good because the other runners kept going wide on the straightaways, which is smart. I was right in the middle so every time they would come right in on me. It got dicey but I stayed out of trouble for the most part.
“I feel great” she continued. “Of course you always feel like you could have gone faster and I know I could of but it’s the championship race and you just try and run smart. It turned out well there’s only one other way I could have been better.”
Janson concluded her indoor career with an NCAA runner-up finish shattering her FSU school record and personal best mark in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 14’9″ (4.50m). Top finisher UCLA’s Chelsea Johnson recorded the same height and earned the win due to less missed attempts.
“For Natalie and Lacy, they had great performances,” said head coach Bob Braman. “They both were NCAA runner-ups in their fifth year and they put us in top 20 in the country. That is unbelievable for them and our program.”
For one of the fastest tracks in the country, the men’s mile, which featured top-ranked junior Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton) ran a slow pace, literally. The ACC mile champion earned his second All-America honor in the event, running 4:13.38 to take fourth place.
Senior All-American Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) jumped 53’4.5″ (16.27m) on his sixth and final attempt in the finals, earning his seventh All-American honor in as many tries, with a third-place finish in the triple jump.
This meet concludes the indoor season for Florida State. The Seminoles return to the track for the outdoor season when they host the biggest outdoor meet of the season in the FSU Relays from March 22-25, 2006.
The meet will be broadcast on Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 2:30 pm on ESPN2.
Walter Dix 200m National Champion
Garrett Johnson Shot Put National Champion
Walter Dix 60m Second place
Natalie Hughes Mile Second place
Lacy Janson Pole Vault Second place
Rafeeq Curry Triple Jump Third place
Tom Lancashire Mile Fourth place
Greg Bolden 60m Seventh place