June 8, 2007
Sacramento, Calif. – The first points started to roll in for Florida State on day three of the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calif. The men’s 4x100m and 100m finals brought 25 team points and two national titles for the Seminoles. Overall, the garnet and gold racked-up 34 points to end the day in first.
The men got off to a great start with the finals of the 4x100m featuring the national-leading team of Greg Bolden (Morrow, Ga.), Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla.), Michael Ray Garvin (Upper Saddle River, NJ), and Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, Va.).
In a too close for comfort race, the Seminoles came out on top posting a new national-best time of 38.60, beating out Louisiana State by 0.25 seconds.
“I’ll take you from the beginning,” anchor Clark said. “I saw Greg Bolden get out pretty good and I saw Walter Dix get the baton and you could say it was a wrap from then on. Michael Ray did his thing on the curves and kept me in a good position. All I had to do was bring it home.
“[I had] a nice, comfortable position; didn’t have to worry so much. Now we have that national title. We’re pretty happy about that; we’re proud of that. It was one of our main goals that we accomplished.”
The excitement remained high as Dix, Bolden, and Garvin took to the track for the 100m finals. The collegiate record of 9.90 was what Dix was aiming for as he got out to a flawless start. Trindon Holliday of LSU was right behind Dix as they crossed the line, Dix at 9.93 and Holiday at 10.06. Dix now holds the fastest time in the nation in the 100m as well as the 4x100m.
“I am happy, it’s nice to have the title back; it was a good win,” Dix said. “I thought I could have run faster. I probably should have run through the line instead of celebrating a little early. I didn’t get the [collegiate] record but I will get it eventually. I will go to worlds and try to break it.
“It was a good competition,” Dix said. “I know the guy behind me was only at 10.06 but he ran great which helped me run great. I am glad I had that competition. He got out ahead of me. I needed that push and he gave it to me. That is exactly what I needed to run a good time.”
The meet isn’t over yet for Dix who will defend his title in the 200m finals Saturday.
“This is the longest week of my life,” Dix said. “I had to make sure my legs were healthy because I had to run every day. That’s why I took it easy in the early races. I have been here before and I know how to get the job done.”
Also getting the job done in the 100m was Garvin who grabbed sixth with a 10.30 clock, while Bolden was just three one-thousandths of a second behind in seventh.
In the final scoring event of the evening, the 3,000m steeplechase, senior Andrew Lemoncello (St. Andrew’s, Scotland) accomplished what he came to do with a runner-up finish in a new personal best time of 8:27.29, also a Florida State record.
“I feel really great,” Lemoncello said following his race. “The race went almost exactly as I thought it would. I knew the four of us that broke away were the favorites to go for it and I prefer those races where it strings out early and goes hard from the start. As soon as Barnabas Kirui [of Mississippi] went with a few laps to go I knew I had to do something.”
The last two seasons, Lemoncello placed fourth at the national meet.
“I got lucky and was able to hold off the other guys and got a personal record by three seconds,” Lemoncello said.
“Today I was nervous for the first time in about four years. It was because this was my last race [with Florida State] and the last two years I placed fourth. I knew I had it in me. It’s just strange to have this nervous energy in me all day long. But I feel great and did exactly what I wanted to and I really did the best I had in me.”
A surprise in the steeple was junior Luke Gunn (Forest Gate, England) clocking in at 8:37.30 to secure a point in eighth.
“Luke is getting better and better with every single race,” Lemoncello said. “This was exactly what we wanted today.”
The women’s steeplechase was also a big moment for the Seminoles and particularly senior Barbara Parker (Norfolk, England) who placed 16th at the NCAA Championships last season.
Parker got out to a good start and was able to maintain her position at the front of the pack. The ACC Champion was able to hold strong through the final hurdle and was the third to cross the line in a new personal best and Florida State record time of 9:48.82.
“I wanted to lead or at least be at the front for the start of the race because I don’t like to hurdle behind people,” Parker said. “I got caught up a bit in the middle and that’s where I lack off. I just tried to stay with the two people who went past and I always work for it.
“I knew with 800 meters to go they were right there and I could get them. I just missed the British record. But I’m really pleased with my time and place. I wanted to break fifty and I wanted to get a medal, so I’m very happy.”
In the semifinals of the men’s 400m, junior Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) posted 45.46, the second fastest qualifying time of the day. He will move on to claim his first national title in the event on Saturday.
Also moving on to the finals will be senior Alyce Williams (Palm Coast, Fla.) whose 43’5.0″ leap in the triple jump was good for sixth in the qualifying round.
The Seminole men end the day in first place with 34 points, but on their heels is Auburn with 32 and LSU with 28.
Competition kicks off at 1:30pm EST with the men’s 400m finals. The event will be broadcast live on CBS from 1:00pm to 3:30pm EST and live results can be found at Seminoles.com or FlashResults.com.
Florida State – Friday Results
Men’s 4x100m FINAL:
1) FSU (Bolden, Dix, Garvin, Clark) – 38.60 (10 pts)
Men 400m semifinals:
2) Ricardo Chambers – 45.46q
Women’s 3,000m steeplechase finals:
3) Barbara Parker – 9:48.82 (6)
Women’s triple jump qualifying:
6) Alyce Williams – 43’5.0″ (13.23m)q
*q – advances to the finals on Saturday