March 12, 2004
Tallahassee – With the first day of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships completed, the Florida State athletes who traveled to Fayetteville, Ark., started to show the nation its growing strength on the track.
“Our girls ran phenomenal today,” said first-year head coach Bob Braman. “Whenever you go to nationals, there’s so much pressure. I couldn’t have asked them to do anymore than they did.”
Senior Vicky Gill (Lancashire, England/St. Andrews) crossed the tape fourth in the 5000m final in a time of 16:00.62, breaking the record she set in the first meet of the season. Gill, who earned her second track All-America honors, was seeded eighth overall in the event.
“Vicky ran an indoor personal best time,” Braman continued. “Rachel’s 3K split was an eight second lifetime best. She was sticking with Vicky even at the 3000m mark. I couldn’t be prouder of all our girls.”
Senior Rachel Evjen (Eau Claire, WI/Northwestern), competing for the first time in the national spotlight, finished 12th overall in 16:25.38. Evjen began the meet seeded 14th.
Junior Natalie Hughes (Palisades, CO/Palisade) placed fifth in the preliminary of the women’s mile, qualifying for the finals with a time of 4:39.17. Hughes’ time bested her previous mark and school record of 4:42.69, set at the Husker Invite on February 14, 2004. The former Palisade standout was 14th in the nation in the event.
“Whenever you qualify automatically at nationals, it’s huge because of all of the pressure,” said Braman. “Natalie, along with the rest of our group ran great races.”
Sophomore Rafeeq Curry (Miami, FL/ACE Academy) will compete in the men’s triple jump final beginning at 5:45 p.m. Hughes will race in the mile final at 6:05 p.m. while Gill will be competing in her second event – the 3000m run, on Saturday, March 13 at 7:25 p.m.
For live results or more information, please visit www.hogwired.com or www.ncaasports.com. A complete recap will be available after the conclusion of the meet on www.seminoles.com.