March 27, 2006 - by
FSU Track Hurdler LaKendra McColumn Rewarded for Hat Trick Performance, Nets ACC Weekly Honor

March 27, 2006

Tallahassee, Fla.
– Florida State senior hurdler LaKendra McColumn (Lithonia, Ga./Southwest Dekalb) earned her first Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Performer of the Week accolade for her home meet performance at the FSU Relays from March 22-25, 2006. She raced to regional qualifying times in the 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles as well as anchored the 4x100m relay team to a NCAA region standard.

“LaKendra had an awesome weekend,” said head coach Bob Braman. “She’s doing a great job across the board in all her events. Her 400m hurdles time is particularly outstanding for this early in the season. We’re excited about her chasing All-American honors.”

In her second meet of the 2006 campaign, her 400m hurdle time of 58.17, is the second fastest in the country this year behind only Texas’ Melanie Walker’s 56.87 clip. Stepping her game up to the next level, the three-time All-ACC honoree picked up her second NCAA East region mark in as many days, in winning the 100m hurdle in 13.86. The graduate student in her fourth and final season of eligibility came back on Saturday to anchor the 4x100m, that met the regional standard with a time of 45.48, to the second fastest time in the conference and sixth fastest in the country this season.

“I’m excited because it means a lot to be recognized as an outstanding athlete in one of the best conferences in the country,” said McColumn. “It really gets me on the right track because I was discouraged after (the) indoor (conference championships) because I didn’t score any points. As a senior, you want to score points in your final meets to help the team any way you can.

“This pushes me to keep doing more,” said McColumn, when asked about her plans for the remainder of the season. “I want to be consistent and maintain what I’ve started.”

McColumn, who also had a strong weekend at the Snowbird Invitational two weeks ago where she became the first women’s regional qualifier of the year, is the Seminoles top hurdler for the third consecutive season and one of the keys to the relay teams. She is one of a handful of FSU track team members returning to regionals for the fourth time since the meet began in May of 2003. It is the third time in her career she is entered in both events at the NCAA East Region Championships.

The group splits squads for the first time this season with the distance group heading to the Mt. SAC Relays in Palo Alto, Calif., and McColumn and the remainder of the squad traveling to Gainesville for the Diet Pepsi Invitational.

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