May 28, 2004
Gainesville, FL – The Florida State men’s and women’s track and field squads took over 30 members to the 2004 NCAA East Regional Meet with intentions on sending all of them to nationals in Austin, TX. While most of Friday’s events were preliminaries, junior Lacy Janson got the Seminoles off to a good start, punching her ticket to nationals.
Janson (Sarasota, FL/Cardinal Mooney) finished in fifth in the pole vault, posting a height of 13’5.75″ (4.11m). The four-time All-American posted her third highest mark of the season. Janson was the meet’s prior record holder at 4.02m before it was surpassed by event winner Chelo Canino from Princeton with a mark of 4.21m.
Senior Brian Dzingai (Harare, Zimbabwe/Truman State) stayed true to form running a 10.21 in the 100m dash, winning his heat and advancing to the finals. Dzingai also blew away the field, winning the 200m dash prelimi in a time of 20.49. Sophomore Derrick Baker (Miami, FL/Northwestern) ran a 10.52 to finish seventh in the heat. Junior Rhoan Sterling (Cambridge, Ontario/Toledo) ran a 20.96 in the 200m to secure his spot in the finals tomorrow.
Senior Sean Campbell (Orlando, FL/Evans) ran the fastest time of his career in the 400m event in 45.92. The reigning indoor and outdoor Atlantic Coast Conference 400m champion finished second in the preliminaries. Freshman Antonio Cromartie ran a personal best 46.39, in just his fourth race of the outdoor season to join Campbell in the finals.
The women’s 4x100m relay team, behind the legs of junior Sharneka Brown (St. Petersburg, FL/Florida A&M) , senior Tamara Campbell (Orlando, FL/Evans), sophomore Evelyne-Cynthia Niako (Stone Mountain, GA/Stephenson) and anchored by junior Kimberly Walker (Trinidad & Tobago/Polytechnic), made it to the event finals with a time of 45.24. The time is the group’s third fastest of the season and in the preliminaries, behind soon-to-be ACC opponent Miami and fellow conference foe Georgia Tech. Walker ran a personal best mark of 11.56 in the 100m event to qualify for the event finals tomorrow
Despite a scary final handoff, FSU took the men’s 4x100m heat easily, winning in 39.95. The Tribe, seeded second and prime to upset the Gators in the finals on their track, finished true to form behind Baker, Sterling, Dzingai and freshman Cedric Nabe (Geneva, Switzerland/Lycee St. Joseph).
In the women’s 1500m trials, junior All-American Natalie Hughes, the regional favorite in the event, held the lead for the final two laps earning a spot in tomorrow’s finals. Hughes, the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference 1500m champion, finished the heat in 4:24.35.
Senior Vicky Gill (St. Andrews, England/Lancashire) finished in third place in the 5000m run with a time of 16:16.73, her second fastest mark of the season. Senior Joep Tigchelaar (Macharen, Netherlands/Titus Branasma) finished fourth in the 5000m run in a time of 14:12.90, second fastest of the season.
Freshman Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton) placed fourth in 3:48.50 the 1500m prelims, finishing amidst an interesting final lap that featured two fallen athletes. Lancashire was edged in the last 50m by Villanova’s Tom Parlapiano to finish .01 seconds behind the heat winner.
Sophomore Andrew Diakos (Naples, FL/Barron-Collier) threw a personal best 195’5″ (59.57m) in the hammer throw, placing tenth overall in the event. Diakos, improved his prior regional mark by over 23 feet, placing 20th in last season’s meet with a distance of 172’11.5″ (52.72m). Tamara Campbell ran the fastest time of her intercollegiate career, sprinting through the 400m event with a time of 53.22. In the women’s 100m hurdles, sophomore LaKendra McColumn finished with a time of 13.86, fourth fastest this season. McColumn also ran the 400m hurdles, posting a time of 59.93 for a second place heat finish.
The women’s team finished the day tied for tenth place with South Florida with five points while the men’s team posted five points for twelfth place.
The Seminoles return to action tomorrow to conclude the event. Freshman Matt Hurley (Tallahassee, FL/Chiles) will start the field events with the men’s pole vault at 3:00 p.m. The triple jump tandem of sophomore Rafeeq Curry and junior Willie Johnson compete at 6:00 p.m. The running events begin with the 4x100m relay at 6:00 p.m. and ends with the 1600m relay scheduled for a 9:20 p.m. start.