May 19, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The Florida State men’s track and field and cross country programs announced on Monday, May 19, the signing of six athletes for the 2003-04 season. Luke Beevor, JP Cook, Ian Hornabrook, Chris Nickinson, Herbie Thiele and Mike Walsh will join Florida State in the fall and will look to make an immediate impact for the Seminoles in both sports.
Beevor, a native of Luton, Bedfordshire, England, according to Athletics Weekly, is one of the tallest track and field athletes to ever come out of England. The distance runner stands at 6 feet 9 3/4 inches and is one of the tallest athletes to sign with the track and field/cross country programs at FSU. He placed 19th at the European Junior Championships, finishing as the No. 1 ranked junior British cross-country runner. At the 2002 English Schools Track & Field Championships, Beevor finished third in a time 8:29.26 placing him eighth overall in the UK U-20 3K rankings. His father, Mike Beevor finished 18th at the World Cross Country Championships back in 1970.
Cook hails from Stuart, Fla., where he attended Stuart-Martin County High School. He competed on both the track and field/cross country teams all four years. Cook was recently crowned as the 4A State Champion in the 3200m run, winning the event in a time of 9:23.00. He has garnered all-state accolades in both cross country and track and field.
Hornabrook, from Rend Lake Community College in Ina, Illinois, is a two-time NJCAA DII Cross Country Champion (2001 & 2002). During the indoor track season, he finished third in the mile and was a member of the winning distance medley relay. In 2003, he placed second in the 5000 and third once again in the mile. In the 2003 outdoor season, he accumulated a pair of second place finishes in the steeplechase and then as a member of the 4x800m relay. The Gold Coast, Australia native placed 53rd overall at the 2001 World Cross Country Championships.
Nickinson joins the Seminoles from Pensacola-Washington High School in Pensacola, Fla. He compiled all-state honors at the 2003 Florida High School Track & Field Championships with a third place finish in the men’s 3A 1600m run. Nickinson also earned all-state honors as a member of the cross country team.
A Tallahassee native, Thiele will stay in town and wear the garnet and gold starting in the fall of 2003. He is coming off a fifth place finish at the high school state championships in the 3A 1600m run. Thiele earned all-state honors in both track and field and cross country while attending Chiles High School.
Walsh, a Bradenton, Fla., native, finished as the state runner-up in the class 3A 3200m event as a senior at Lakewood Ranch High School. He garnered all-state honors in track and field and will look to compete in both sports when he attends Florida State in the fall.
“We are extremely pleased to have signed four of the top seniors in the state of Florida,” said head cross country coach Bob Braman. “It was one of our big goals this off-season to sign a good recruiting class from Florida and we did just that. We are also very happy with our international signees. With a veteran team returning next season, combined with the experience from our international athletes coming in, it should make for a very exciting year for both our track and field and cross country programs.”