June 13, 2003
SACRAMENTO, Calif –
The Florida State track and field team faired well on the second day of competition at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, qualifying four individuals to the finals in their respective events, while the women’s 4x400m relay team will vie for an NCAA Championship. In the 10K, senior Vicky Gill and junior Joep Tigchelaar garnered All-American status with a pair of sixth place finishes for the Seminoles. Through two days of competition out in Sacramento, Calif. the women are in fifth place, while the men sit in tenth.
Senior Vicky Gill entered the championships with a pair of school records and All-American accolades in cross country. Gill walked away from the championships with her head held high, saving her best performance of the year on Thursday night. Gill finished sixth in the 10K and crossed the finish line in a personal best time and new school record of 33:09.25 to earn All-American honors. She now joins former Florida State stand out Darien Andreau as the only Seminole to earn All-American honors in both cross country and track and field.
After running to a 16th place finish at last year’s finals in the 10K, junior Joep Tigchelaar had his eye set on a national championship. Although he fell short of winning the elusive title, Tigchelaar improved ten spots from last year and received All-American honors after placing sixth. He finished the race in a time of 28:34.09, the second fastest time recorded this year.
On Thursday afternoon, sophomore Lacy Janson drew one step closer to becoming only the second athlete to win both the indoor and outdoor pole vault titles in the same year, as she advanced to Saturday’s event final. Janson a 2002 Outdoor All-American in the pole vault, easily cleared the bar on her first two attempts at 3.75m and 3.90m. She clinched a spot in the finals, along with 15 other competitors, after vaulting 13′ 1.5″ (4.00m).
Senior Laura Gerber assured herself of her best ever finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships after finishing in a tie for second during the semifinal round of the 800m run. Her time of 2:04.17 was the third fastest time posted by Gerber this season. The finals of the 800m will run on Saturday evening.
In the men’s triple jump competition, both Rafeeq Curry and Willie Johnson made their way into the event final on Saturday finishing fifth and 12th, respectively. Curry, who sat towards the top for pretty much the entire evening, solidified a spot in the top five on his last jump. Curry established a personal best mark of 53′ 10.25″ (16.41m) on his third attempt. Johnson saved his best jump for last as he made the cut on his third and final attempt as well. He jumped to a personal best mark of 52′ 9.5″ (16.09m) and placed 12th.
The women’s 4x400m relay team of Tamara Campbell, Laura Gerber, Evelyne Niako and Shauna Quinn finished second in their heat and sixth overall in a time of 3:34.32. It was the best time posted this season in the relay event and was the tenth fastest time recorded in FSU history.
Junior Brian Dzingai did not fair as well in the 200m placing 22nd in a time of 21.66. Sophomore Natalie Hughes did not make it into the final run of the women’s 1500m, despite posting a personal best time of 4:16.33. She finished in 15th place. Competing in her first NCAA Championship, freshman Latoya Legree gained valuable experience this week as she placed 18th in the women’s triple jump competition. Her best jump of the day came on her final attempt when she established a mark of 41′ 3.25″ (12.58m). The men’s 4x400m relay also missed out on making the cut into Saturday’s final. The team of Joe Paiva, Cedrick Robinson, Rafeeq Curry and Sean Campbell finished tenth overall in a season best time of 3:06.52. The time was the tenth fastest record in the 4x400m relay in Florida State history.
The 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships continue Friday, June 13 with Makiba Batten and Garrett Johnson competing in the women’s discus final and men’s shot put final, respectively. Both individuals will search for their first outdoor track and field national title.