March 1, 2006 - by
FSU Track Heads To Last Chance Meets For Final Qualifiers

March 1, 2006

Tallahassee, Fla. – With the overlap of indoor and outdoor season beginning this week (February 28), some of the Florida State track and field program is gearing up for the indoor championships and setting up for the first home meet of the season. On tap for this week are two last chance meets (Iowa State and Florida Fast Times) and the first of four home events this year, the Snowbird Invitational.

Iowa State NCAA Qualifier (Ames, Iowa)

4x400m relay (Women)
Walter Dix
Greg Bolden
Ronald Wright

Florida Fast Times (Gainesville, Fla.)

Tori Allen
Rafeeq Curry
Andrew Diakos
Johnta Griffin
Natalie Hughes
Matt Hurley
Lacy Janson
Tom Lancashire
LaToya Legree
Andrew Lemoncello
Barbara Parker

Chambers Posts Fourth Fastest 2006 World 400m Time in Record-Breaking Meet

Sophomore All-American Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) ran the fastest time ever at an ACC track meet (45.93) breaking the original record set in 1992 by North Carolina’s Reggie Harris (45.94). The time is the fourth fastest indoor time in the world this year and is second in the nation to fellow Florida native LSU’s Xavier Carter. He betted the FSU standard he set at the Florida Fast Times meet in 2005. If that performance was not enough for the crowd, Chambers came back an hour later to win the 200m with a provisional time of 21.13, just five-hundredths of a second short of adding another automatic qualifying clip to his resume. Chambers also became just the fifth two-time winner in the 400m in league history. Virginia’s Kellen Blassingame took second place in a time of 46.73, while Eric Seely of Wake Forest placed third (47.43).

200m-400m Double Common For Florida State

Chambers winning the 200m and 400m titles is very common for Florida State. The Seminoles have won both events since 2004. It started with Brian Dzingai winning the 200 and Sean Campbell taking the 400m in 2004. Last year, NCAA 100m National Champion Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs) and Chambers finished first in the 200m and 400m, respectively. As expected as it is for FSU to place tops in both events, it is only the third time since the conference started running the 200m in 1988, Chambers is the third person ever to win both titles in one season. North Carolina’s Reggie Harris (1992), ACC record holder until Chambers bettered the mark last weekend, and fellow Tar Heel Milton Campbell (1997) are the other two on the list. Fittingly, current sprint coach Ken Harnden ran at UNC during the mid-1990s.

Distance Medley Mishap

The women’s distance medley relay team won the league crown in a very interesting way. During the third lap of the third leg of the DMR (800m portion), every team but Florida State handed off early. If that were not enough, four teams did not complete the extra lap and were forced to stop early. FSU completed the DMR correctly and earned a provisional qualifying time and the 12th fastest time in the country. From the 800m exchange, the official scorer tracked the 3800m time, which ended up being the time used for placement and point scoring purposes. The Seminoles ran a 10:42.08 3800m time and an 11:16.83.

Repeat Offenders

Of the nine individual winners at the 2006 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships, six defended league crowns from prior years. Rafeeq Curry and Lacy Janson won their fourth indoor championships while Ricardo Chambers, Tom Lancashire, Andrew Lemoncello won their second title in as many seasons. Garrett Johnson earned his second shot put win in three years of competition.

Diakos and Wernke In Good Company

Redshirt senior Andrew Diakos (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) and sophomore Matt Wernke (Tallahassee, Fla./Chiles) are having career-years in the 35-lb. weight throw. Diakos entered the season with a 63’3.25″ (19.25m) mark in the event while Wernke’s is new to the area on the collegiate level this year. In taking fourth place at the conference championships, Diakos’ hit an all-time distance of 65’6.25″ (19.97m), improving almost two-feet over the course of the season. Wernke’s success is also monumental in that his opening throw at the Clemson Opener was 49’0.75″ (14.95m) and in his last competition, he scored one point for the team in hitting 58’4.75″ (17.80m) – a nine-foot, four-inch upgrade.

Long Distance Wins Long Jump At Conference

Senior Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) and junior Johnta Griffin (Orlando, Fla./Florida A&M) had to have career-long jumps to win the ACC long jump competition on Friday (February 24) afternoon. The winner, N.C. State’s Dexter Adams hit the sand at a career-best distance of 25’6.75″ (7.79m) to take the title. If Griffin’s second-place mark was jumped in any of the last eight conference championships, then the two-time All-ACC selection would also be a conference champion. Curry’s third-place jump of 25’0.5″ (7.63m) would have won six of the last eight championships.

Running Sweeps

For the second consecutive season, Florida State picked up wins in at least six of ten running events at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships. Last year was one of the Seminoles’ best seasons, with FSU garnering seven titles in the running events. In 2003, FSU won two running events and in 2005, the Seminoles picked up five victories.

Multi’s Event Includes Multiple Competitors

When the ACC conducted the first heptathlon in 2004, Florida State was not represented at all among the 13 competitors on the men’s side. In 2005, the Seminoles added one person to the event and this year two competitors finished in the top nine and one scored points towards the team title. Sophomore Matt Frith (Jacksonville, Fla./Bolles) placed ninth in 2005 and seventh in 2006 while junior Jacob Peacock (Pensacola, Fla./Washington) took ninth after hitting personal best marks in each of the seven events at the league championships.

Wright Right There

Junior transfer Ronald Wright (Baltimore, Md./Barton County Community College) missed qualifying for the 60m final by three-thousandths of a second at the ACC meet. Running a season-best 6.878, he was beat out by Virginia’s Reuben Jones who sprinted 6.875. Wright came back in the 200m with the third fastest advancing time (21.57) and a fourth place finish in his first conference championship.

Record Setting Conference Championship For Seminoles

Entering the ACC meet, Florida State held four meet records overall – the women’s distance medley relay, the women’s 60m dash and the men’s and women’s pole vault. After all was said and done, the 2006 Seminole squads broke two new records and bettered two previous marks. The women’s DMR shaved almost 16 seconds off the previous time of 11:32.39, with the new mark of 11:16.82. Lacy Janson picked up her fourth title with her second ACC meet, record-breaking height, clearing the bar at 14’1.75″m (4.31m). Garrett Johnson improved on the shot put standard, winning with a mark of 66’2.25″ (20.17m) while Ricardo Chambers torched the track with a 400m clip of 45.93. It marks the third time a men’s team has broken two or more records at the same meet. The last time the men’s squad set a record was in its second year in the league in 1993 when Jeff Bray set the pole vault meet record at 18’0.5″ (5.50m).

All-ACC Team
Men’s Team (8)

Greg Bolden, Florida State – 60m
Ricardo Chambers, Florida State – 400m, 200m
Rafeeq Curry, Florida State – Triple Jump, Long Jump
Johnta Griffin, Florida State – Long Jump
Garrett Johnson, Florida State – Shot Put
Andrew Lemoncello, Florida State – 3K, 5K
Tom Lancashire, Florida State – Mile Run
Tommy Noyes, Florida State – 800m

Women’s (5)

Natalie Hughes, Florida State – Mile Run, DMR
Lacy Janson, Florida State – Pole Vault
Susan Kuijken, Florida State – 3K, DMR
Barbara Parker, Florida State – DMR
Hshkeni Richemond, Florida State – DMR

Automatic and Provisional Qualifiers
Automatic (3)

Garrett Johnson, Shot put
Lacy Janson, Pole vault
Rafeeq Curry, Triple jump

Provisional (15)

Greg Bolden, 60m
Ricardo Chambers, 400m
Rafeeq Curry, Long jump
Andrew Diakos, Weight throw
Walter Dix, 200m
Johnta Griffin, Long jump
Natalie Hughes, Mile run and 3000m

Susan Kuijken, 3000m
Tom Lancashire, Mile run
LaToya Legree, Triple jump
Andrew Lemoncello, 5000m
Evelyne-Cynthia Niako, 200m
Alyce Williams, Triple jump
Distance Medley Relay (W)
4x400m Relay (W)

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