May 2, 2006
Greensboro, N.C. – The Florida State No. 1/1 men’s and No. 14/15 women’s teams have more trophies to add to the collection after wrapping up the 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Winston-Salem, N.C. on April 22. The league announced the yearly award winners today (May 2), tabbing third-year head coach Bob Braman as the top coach in the conference, senior seven-time All-American triple jumper Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) as the men’s best performer and freshman steeplechaser Lydia Willemse (Forest, Ontario/St. Christopher) as the top women’s competitor.
“Obviously, I’m deeply honored by the award,” said head coach Bob Braman. “I feel like this is not only a tribute to the student-athletes but to our coaching staff because it would not be possible without them. Rafeeq is the top triple jumper in the nation, he came in and defended his (triple jump) title and as a senior leader, put extra points on the board in winning the long jump and running the (4x100m) relay. Lydia is having a great first season at FSU and this honor is reflective of all the hard work and training she puts in on a daily basis.”
Braman was honored for the second consecutive year after leading the Seminoles to their second straight outdoor championship and fourth overall team title. The men’s team picked up six individual event crowns while establishing three meet records in the shot put (Garrett Johnson), 1500m (Tom Lancashire) and 3000m steeplechase (Andrew Lemoncello). He was awarded the same honor during the indoor season by the conference and additional coaching honors by the NCAA South Region.
Curry successfully defended his title in the triple jump winning the event with a leap of 50’09.50″ (15.48m), just one day after surprising the crowd and his competition with a mark of 25’05.25″ (7.75m) in winning the long jump. Between warming up for the triple jump and actually starting his series, the six-time ACC Champion ran the third leg of the second-place, 4x100m relay that finished in 39.89. His career-best long jump moved him into the top five in the long jump in the country this year.
The top triple jumper in the country became just the seventh athlete since 1963, when the long jump and triple jump events were held at the same championship, to win both events in the same meet. The 2003 ACC Indoor Rookie of the Year joins former Seminole and 2001 ACC Performer of the Year Joe Allen as the only two athletes to win both ACC jumping events in the last 26 years.
Curry is only the fourth Seminole to win the performer honor. Current junior Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton) led the sweep in conference honors in 2005 and former Seminole Craphonso Thorpe won in 2003. The pair join Curry and Joe Allen on the award list that dates back to 1954.
Willemse was named ACC Freshman of the Year for her second-place, 3000m steeplechase finish. Her mark of 10:27.01 was her season-best and the seventh fastest in the nation this year. She met the regional qualifying time for the second consecutive meet and helped the women’s team to a second-place finish. She joins Laura Bowerman (2005) as the only other Seminole women’s newcomer to win the award started in 1999.
ACC Women’s Coach of the Year – Amy Deems, Miami
ACC Women’s Performer of the Year – Laura Gerraughty, North Carolina
ACC Women’s Rookie of the Year – Lydia Willemse, Florida State
ACC Men’s Coach of the Year – Bob Braman, Florida State
ACC Men’s Performer of the Year – Rafeeq Curry, Florida State
ACC Men’s Rookie of the Year – Travis Padgett, Clemson