Aug. 15, 2008
BEIJING, China – Through the first day of competition, Florida State sprinter Walter Dix is still on track to accomplish his goal of winning an Olympic medal. On Friday (August 15) he moved through the first two rounds of the 100m dash at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.
The two-time NCAA Champion in the event, Dix opened his first Olympics with at time of 10.35 to take third in his heat. A few hours later he returned to post a time of 10.08 to finish second in his round two heat. It was the eighth-fastest time in the second round and just .02 behind Jamaica’s Asafa Powell, who won Dix’s heat.
He’ll compete in the first heat of Saturday’s 100m semifinals at 8:05 a.m. (EST). Dix drew lane six with world record holder Usain Bolt right beside him in lane seven. The top four finishers in each heat and the next fastest runner advance to the finals at 10:30 a.m. (EST) on Saturday.
“It was a good start to the Olympics for Walt,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “When you compete in the Olympics for the first time you can get caught up in the moment, but he’s very focused and knows what he needs to do to advance. We’re all excited for Walt, he’s got a great chance to make it to the finals and anything can happen once you get in that race.”
Also moving through on the first day of track competition was volunteer assistant Kevin Sullivan. Competing in his third Olympics, he ran an opening-round time of 3:36.05 to finish fifth in his heat of the 1500m and earned an automatic spot in the semifinals. Sullivan was seventh overall. He will take part in heat two of the semifinals on Sunday, which is schedule to start at approximately 10 a.m. (EST). The top five from each heat and the next two fastest runners move on to Tuesday’s final.
Three former Seminoles were in action on Friday, but they did not advance. Former national champion Dorian Scott of Jamaica had a top throw of 19.94m/65-5 in the shot put to take 15th. Great Britain’s Barbara Parker ran a time of 9:51.93 to take 36th in the 3000m steeplechase. Also running for the Union Jack was Tom Lancashire and he turned in a 1500m time of 3:4340 to place 37th.
In addition to Dix, two more Seminoles will be in action on Saturday. Freshman Ngoni Makusha (Mandedza, Zimbabwe), who won the NCAA Outdoor national championship in the long jump, will compete in the second qualifying flight of the event at 8 p.m. (EST). The second-youngest competitor in the competition, he has the seventh-longest jump in the world coming into the competition. Andrew Lemoncello takes his shot at the men’s 3000m steeplechase at 9:32 a.m. with the top four runners in each heat and the next three fastest runners moving on to the finals.
For a complete list of the all the Seminoles competing in the Olympics, click here.