May 31, 2003
FAIRFAX, Vir. –
The Florida State men’s and women’s track and field teams finished its competition at the NCAA East Regional meet at George Mason University on Saturday by qualifying 11 times for the 2003 NCAA Championships. The Seminole men qualified seven athletes in six events, led by Brian Dzingai who will compete in the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the championship meet.
Dzingai finished third in the 100m dash with a time of 10:39 and placed fourth in the 200m dash at 20.73. Fellow runner Danyne Brown qualified for the 110m hurdles with a fifth-place finish at 13.99. Brown added an eighth-place finish in the 400m hurdles (53.51).
The Seminole men commanded the shot put with a first and second place finish. Dorian Scott took home the regional title with a throw of 18.87 meters. Joining Scott in the shot put at the NCAA meet will be Garrett Johnson, who finished second with a toss of 18.28 meters.
In the men’s pole vault competition, Jeff Atkinson finished second by clearing 5.06 meters. All five Seminole men will be competing at their first NCAA outdoor championship.
The Seminoles qualified two athletes in the men’s triple jump competition with freshman Rafeeq Curry and sophomore Willie Johnson. Curry won the event recording a season best outdoor jump of 52′ 9.5″ (16.09m), while Johnson established a personal best mark of 51′ 10.5″ (15.81m) to finish third.
In women’s action from Saturday, Natalie Hughes ran away with the regional title in the 1500-meter run with a top time of 4:19.94. In the 800m run, Laura Gerber finished third with a time of 2:05.46. Hughes and Gerber are returning All-Americans in their respected events.
Senior Makiba Batten will her third and final appearance as a Seminole at the NCAA Championships in the discus competition. Batten finished in fourth place establishing a mark of 174′ 5″ (53.16m) to earn a spot at the championships in Sacramento, Calif.
Overall, the men’s team finished second at the East Regional meet with 74 points and the women ended the meet in sixth place with 41 points.
Saturday’s qualifiers for FSU will join previous qualifiers Vicky Gill, Joep Tigchelaar, Lacy Janson and Kolby Jones at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in Sacramento, Calif. in two weeks.