June 6, 2006
Team Championships… The men’s team won the ACC Indoor, ACC Outdoor and NCAA East Region Team titles for the second consecutive season. This year, the Seminoles won the indoor championship by over 65 points and the outdoor crown by 42 points. The region meet was a lock midway through the final day of events with the Seminoles scoring 97 points, ahead of second-place and top rival Florida’s 64.
Racing For The Triple Crown… FSU is focused on winning a national championship and picking up the first “Triple Crown” in the program’s 57-year history. After winning the conference and regional titles, the last remaining team trophy for the Garnet and Gold bookshelf is the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Men’s Team Championship.
Top-Ranked Seminole Track Team… The Seminoles enter the national championships meet as the team to beat for the first time in program history. Trackwire 25 and the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) polls have ranked FSU as the top program all season. The final poll of the year will come out after nationals and will list each team according to their finish at nationals.
Braman Taking It To The Next Level… Since joining the staff in 2000 as head cross country and assistant track coach and moving into the head track position during the summer of 2004, Bob Braman has changed a top conference team into a regional and national powerhouse. The Seminoles have won all but one league title, successfully taken two of three regional team trophies and placed in the top five once during his short time as head track coach. The track world has recognized his success and that of his staff, as Braman has picked up nine coach of the year trophies since 2003 and all three assistants have earned regional and national coaching honors.
Women’s Team, Well Represented At National Championships… The eleven members of the Florida State women’s team that traveled to Sacramento, Calif., earlier this year is one of the best in the last few seasons for FSU. The team is led by indoor national runner-ups Lacy Janson and Natalie Hughes and returning All-Americans Evelyne Cynthia Niako and Alyce Williams.
Dandy Dozen Rankings… Trackwire 25 uses the individual Dandy Dozen rankings to project the team finish at the NCAA meets. According to the online poll, eight men plus the 4x100m relay hold 11 spots on the list that breaks down the top 12 in each event. Garrrett Johnson and Walter Dix hold the top spot in one event and are in the top seven in a second event. Rafeeq Curry, who is also entered in the long jump, is the country’s top-rated triple jumper and the 400m-relay is predicted to take the event championships. The sprinting group is well represented with Greg Bolden and Michael Ray Garvin rated in the 100m and 200m, respectively.
Janson Faces Johnson In Final Bout… The track and field media have been waiting for this opportunity all season. FSU pole vaulter Lacy Janson is at the top of her game and so is her fiercest college competitor UCLA’s Chelsea Johnson. Both share the distinction of being the only women in collegiate history to clear 15-feet in the vault and both have held the NCAA record at some time during the season. They face each other during the qualifying round on Thursday, June 8 at 4:30 pm Pacific Time.
2005 NCAA National Championship Recap… The men’s team tied for fourth scoring 34 points, 18 by national champion and seven-time All-American Walter Dix. Dix won the program’s first outdoor national championship since Mike Roberson won in 1980 and first overall since Philip Riley took the indoor 55m hurdle title in 1995. Ricardo Chambers, Tom Lancashire, Andrew Lemoncello and Dorian Scott earned individual All-American honors for top eight finishes as did the 4x100m relay that placed seventh.
Third Consecutive Season, Seminoles Looking For All-American 4x100m Relay… In 2004, the group that ran together all season, finished in third place and tied the fastest time in the nation. In 2005, a group that had the talent and less than two years of experience between four legs put together a seventh place finish. In 2006, a group that has exchanged at one meet this year but rated No. 1 in the country will look to continue the Seminole streak of All-American 4x100m relays. The only common denominator in all three groups is All-American Cedric Nabe, a sprinter who has missed a large part of the last two years with injuries. If the group, which has the second fastest time entering the national meet, makes it to the finals, they should extend a streak unlike no other in Seminole history.
Seminoles Successfully Defend Region Title… Five region champions fueled a 33-point gap between first and second place. The Seminoles won the team race for the second consecutive season competing at the Irwin Belk Track Complex on the campus of N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C. Walter Dix, Ricardo Chambers and Garrett Johnson defended their individual event championships and the 400m-relay took first and set a region record for the second time in three years.
Niako Fastest Sprinter In the League… Looking back on the last few years, Evelyne Cynthia Niako has fought through injuries and pain. Looking back on this year, Niako enters the national championship meet as a proud sprinter, leading the conference and among the best in the region in the 100m and 200m. Her times not only put her as the fastest 100m/200m runner in the ACC, she also moved into the top ten on FSU’s all-time list. Shedding the 400m dash after three years, the All-ACC honoree returns to nationals for the second time in her career looking to add another All-American plaque to her collection, as an individual and as a member of the 4x400m relay.
Johnson Scores Big In Record-Breaking Regional Performance… At one of the last stops on his farewell tour, Garrett Johnson made his region performance one for the crowd to remember. Throwing the shot put in front of a standing-room only crowd, Johnson led from his first throw at the beginning of the second flight. Although his first mark did not stand as the regional record, in a later attempt he erased the 2005 distance he set to take last season’s crown, with a farther mark of 66’10.75″ (20.39m). Prior to entering the shot put ring on Friday, Johnson already had six points under his belt with a season-best throw of 189’11” (57.88m) to take third-place in the discus.
Four Returning All-Americans On Roster For FSU… At the beginning of the season, head coach Bob Braman felt strong that the Seminole women would have a great year, largely due to the return of four All-Americans to competition. All healthy and ready to compete, Lacy Janson, Natalie Hughes, Evelyne Cynthia Niako and Alyce Williams are all entered in the meet this weekend. Janson and Hughes are rated second in the country in the pole vault and 1500m. Niako is the 16th speediest 200m runner and will anchor the women’s 4x400m relay. Williams, the lone transfer in the group, is 13th in the triple jump.
Lemoncello Lead Steepler After Region Championships… First he beat everyone in the conference winning the 2006 title and clearing each barrier faster than any one in league history, running 8:34.84. Then he took on the entire coast in winning the steeple event at the NCAA East Region Championship with a mark of 8:42.33. Clearly, senior Andrew Lemoncello has a goal in mind – be No. 1 in any race. He has one more race on his list and enters the competition with a good seeding, although unfamiliar at No. 2, and a favorite to win the individual title.
Dix Looking Like The Under Dog… This time last year, Dix was ranked first in the 100m and fourth in the 200m. This year, Dix is ranked seventh in the 100m and second in the 200m – have the times changed? According to Dix, who defended one of his two regional titles two weeks ago at the championship meet, he strives on being the underdog. The seven-time All-American was also ranked No. 1 and No. 7 during the indoor season. He ended the season with one national title and one national runner-up finish, better than projected.
Ricardo Remains Undefeated In 400m Races… Only one person on paper has a faster time this year than Ricardo Chambers. In actual races, not one person has been able to beat him. Since opening the season at the conference championships, the two-time All-American won the ACC 400m title and NCAA East Region title and has added his name to the record books in both events. At the league meet, he even anchored the 4x400m relay, grabbing the baton with the team in sixth place and ending the race with the quartet posting a second-place finish. He enters the meet as the second seed in the open 400m.
Region Recognizes Braman and Johnson… The USTFCCCA awarded Bob Braman South Region Coach of the Year and Garrett Johnson South Region Field Athlete of the Year. Braman earned the honor after leading the Seminoles to the program’s fourth overall outdoor conference championship and second NCAA East Region title. Johnson’s season has been record-breaking from start to finish including his latest outing in which he resets the region championships record. While it is Johnson’s first region athlete honor, Braman was honored by Mondo on behalf of the track coaches association with the 2005 NCAA Southeast Region Coach of the Year.
1600m-Relay Look For Top Eight Finish… The women’s 4x400m relay has the sixth fastest time in the nation entering the national championship meet. The mark of 3:31.43 was recorded in automatically qualifying with a third place finish at the regional championship in Greensboro, N.C. The quartet includes Alycia Williams, India Pettus, Kandia Batchelor and 2003 4x400m relay, All-American Evelyne Cynthia Niako.