February 22, 2006 - by
FSU Track Returns to Defend Title Hopes

Feb. 22, 2006

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida State (No. 4/4) men’s and women’s track and field open the championship season this weekend at the 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at Rector Fieldhouse on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. The heptathlon and pentathlon events begin tomorrow while the bulk of the events take place on Friday and Saturday, February 24-25, 2006.

Track Rankings… In the national polls, the Seminole men are still in a tie for fourth, coming off a bye week. Trackwire 25 projected FSU and Wisconsin to score 32 points at the national meet. The women are in the Top 25 in the nation again moving down one spot to tie for No. 22 with Oregon, Minnesota and Washington State. Trackwire 25 has all four teams scoring ten points.

Dandy Dozen… Redshirt senior All-American Lacy Janson is the top pole vaulter in the country while redshirt senior All-American Natalie Hughes is ninth in the mile run. All-Americans senior Rafeeq Curry and redshirt junior Garrett Johnson hold the top spots in the nation in the triple jump and the shot put, respectively. Sophomore All-American Ricardo Chambers is second in the 400m to LSU’s Xavier Carter while 2005 NCAA National Champion Walter Dix is sixth in the country in the 200m and eighth in the country in the 60m.

All-ACC Candidates… At least eight men and three women plus both relays have the potential to finish in the top three in the league and earn All-ACC honors. Dix leads the 200m dash while fellow rookie Chambers is second. Chambers is tops in the conference in the 400m. Senior All-American Andrew Lemoncello leads all 5K runners by ten seconds. Curry and senior Johnta Griffin are 1-2 in the triple jump and 1-5 in the long jump. Johnson is the favorite in the shot put by four feet. Sophomore Matt Frith is poised for third in the heptathlon. On the women’s side, three-time pole vault league winner Janson is the favorite by over a foot while Hughes has two seconds on her closest competitor in the 3000m. Senior All-ACC honoree Deanna Lane is favored to move into the top three, sitting at fourth as is freshman Susan Kuijken at 3000m and All-American Evelyne-Cynthia Niako in the 400m.

Tyson Recap… Running at the host site of the 2006 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, three individuals met automatic qualifying m arks while nine individuals and the women’s 4x400m relay met the provisional standard. Garrett Johnson threw his third automatic qualifying mark of the season, tossing 66’2.5″ (20.18m) to move into first place in the country in the shot put. Janson won her fifth pole vault competition of the season and met her fifth qualifying standard of the season. Lemoncello shattered a 24-year old record in the 5000m run while Hughes picked up her second qualifying mark in a second event. Chambers recorded his fastest 400m time of the season.

2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Recap… The men’s team edged Clemson by 2.5 points in the team race to take its third consecutive indoor team title. It was the closest finish in conference history and the sixth overall (counting indoor and outdoor seasons) in the last seven attempts (beginning with 2002 outdoor). The title came down to the final event, the men’s 4x400m, where FSU had to finish first in order to win. Overall, the men won six events and both relays. The men’s team swept the ACC accolades, with Braman earning Coach of the Year, Tom Lancashire taking Performer of the Year and Dix claiming top rookie honors. Janson won her third pole vault title, becoming the first in conference and school history to win the event that many times. The women finished sixth in the team standings with 52 points.

ACC Best… The most points an FSU men’s team has scored is 164 points in 2004… The women’s highest point total is 128 in 2000… Three Seminoles hold meet records of which one is currently on the roster. Janson set the league championship pole vault height in 2003 clearing the bar at 14’0. Former Garnet and Gold team member Jeff Bray holds the men’s pole vault height at 18’0.5″ set in 1993. Tonya Carter set the 60m dash in 2000 with a mark of 7.15.

Curry, Dix and Janson Have Most ACC Titles… Curry, Dix and Janson have the most titles of any current Seminoles. Janson and Curry have three individual titles in the pole vault and the triple jump, respectively. Curry’s overall total is four including the 2004 4x400m relay win. Dix has one in the 60m and another in the 200m and to his credit a relay crown as a leg of the 4x400m.

Perfect Record… Braman is two-for-two in ACC Championships meets, winning team titles in 2004 and 2005, in just his first years with the program. The 2005 ACC Coach of the Year is tied for fifth all-time with his predecessor Terry Long and UNC’s Nick Craddock with two. Florida State has four indoor championships overall and seven overall. The team is third in indoor championships behind Maryland (26) and Clemson (12).

All-ACC, All Seminoles… Of the 14 men who placed in the top three at the 2005 ACC Championships, 10 (including legs of the relay) return to competition at this year’s meet. The women’s team returns two of three conference honorees in addition to the two All-Americans (Natalie Hughes, Alyce Williams) who redshirted last year.

Curry Keeps Streak Alive… FSU has won the last six triple jump titles including three by Curry. It is the longest active winning streak in any event by any program in the league. Clemson had the longest active streak until last season, winning seven consecutive 60m dash titles until Dix broke it with a win.

Lemoncello is a Record Breaking Machine… Since joining the Seminoles in Tallahassee, Andrew Lemoncello has been a man on a mission. He has broken three records through the middle of his fourth season (two cross country, one indoor, one outdoor) and became the first All-American since 1981. He ran the fastest 8K cross country time breaking a 25-year old record. Last season, he moved into the top spot in the 3000m steeplechase bettering a mark set in 1976 (Bobby James – 8:52.70).

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