June 14, 2003
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships came to an end on Saturday evening in Sacramento, Calif. with Florida State receiving three All-American honors. Senior Laura Gerber led all Seminoles with a fourth place finish in the 800m run, helping the women’s team to a 26th place finish with 10.50 points. The men’s squad finished the championships in a tie for 57th.
Wearing the garnet and gold for the final time as a Seminole, senior Laura Gerber made sure to leave her place in the history books. The Geneva, Switzerland native ran the best race of her collegiate career in the 800m run crossing the finish line in a new school record time of 2:02.25. The time broke the previous record set earlier this season by Gerber by almost a full second. Gerber placed fourth in the event to earn her first Outdoor All-American honor.
The women’s 4x400m relay team of Tamara Campbell, Laura Gerber, Shauna Quinn and Evelyne-Cynthia Niako placed seventh in the finals in a time of 3:34.37, the second fastest time recorded this season. The finish was good to receive All-American honors for the team.
Sophomore Lacy Janson’s quest to become just the second athlete in NCAA history to win both the indoor and outdoor pole titles in the same year, hit an unfortunate turn of events when she suffered a sprained ankle during the warm-ups of Saturday evening’s event final. Competing through the pain, Janson was able to clear two heights before coming up a bit short at 4.20m. She would compile her best finish at the outdoor championships with a tie for eighth, establishing a mark of 13′ 5.25″ (4.10m) to garner All-American accolades.
In the men’s triple jump competition, sophomore Willie Johnson and freshman Rafeeq Curry would finish in 11th and 12th place, respectively. Johnson’s best jump of the evening was recorded at 51′ 9.75″ (15.79m), while Curry had to settle for his best mark at 47′ 11.75″ (14.62m).
The 2003 Outdoor Track & Field Championships come to a close with the NCAA crowning a pair of SEC schools with team titles. The LSU Tigers won the women’s championship, while the Arkansas Razorbacks took the men’s title.
The Florida State Seminoles will leave Sacramento, Calif. having endured one of the most successful seasons under head coach Terry Long. Ironically enough, the end of this season also closes the book on the legendary coaching career of Florida State’s Terry Long. Under the tutelage of coach Long, the Seminoles entered this year’s championship with a total of 23 athletes, the most ever to qualify for the NCAA’s since the early ’80s. They left the state of California with six All-Americans, the most since 1994, and three school records. Overall in 2003, the garnet and gold posted seven school records, captured the men’s ACC crown, finished as the conference tournament runner-up on the women’s side, earned three Coach of the Year honors, the men’s ACC Rookie of the Year award and finally the men’s ACC Performer of the Year. And with a young nucleus returning for next season, the sky’s the limit to what the Seminoles can achieve in 2004.