June 14, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State men’s track & field/cross country teams have collectively been named the John McDonnell Program of the Year for the 2010-11 academic year, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Tuesday.
The FSU men finished as the national runner-up at the end of the 2010 cross country season and then did so again last week at the culmination of the 2011 outdoor track & field season. The Seminoles placed fifth overall during the indoor season earlier this year as the team was the only program in the country to record top-five national finishes at each of this year’s championships.
“We are really excited,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “It was a goal of our team at the beginning of the year – like it is every year – to be the best overall program. It is really difficult when you have 12 scholarships to split up between cross country, indoor track and outdoor track and track has 21 events. So it’s very difficult to balance it out and most universities don’t try. They try to load up in one or the other. To receive this honor really means a lot to us. We won by a large margin and I am just so extraordinarily proud of our young men in all three sports.”
The FSU cross country team was ranked by the nation’s coaches as the No. 10 team in the country heading into the cross country national championships in the fall, but shocked the field by finishing as the nation’s runner up with a tightly-packed top five led by senior Ciaran O’Lionaird (18th, 30:14) and junior Mike Fout (28th, 30:21). Only 42 seconds separated the top five Seminoles, who shattered the program’s previous best finish of eighth set back in 1981.
In March, Florida State took fifth at the indoor track & field national championships with 30 points. Ngoni Makusha would win the long jump crown and Maurice Mitchell claimed second-place finishes in both the 60 and 200 meters.
Last weekend at the NCAA’s outdoor track & field championships, the Seminoles came just one point from a national team title, scoring 54 points to three-time champ Texas A&M.
FSU captured four event national titles, two of which came from Makusha, who claimed the 100-meter title in a collegiate- and meet-record 9.89 and the long jump title with a best of 27-6¾ (8.40m). Makusha won a share of a third national crown in the weekend as a member of FSU’s 4×100-relay squad that also featured Kemar Hyman, Brandon Byram and Mitchell, who would also later win the 200 meters in a world’s-best wind-aided 19.99.
The John McDonnell Program of the Year Award is named after USTFCCCA Hall of Famer and former Arkansas head coach John McDonnell, whom Braman refers to as his “idol.” McDonnell’s Arkansas teams won a combined 40 National Championships and finished in the top 10 in cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field in 24 of his 36 seasons in Fayetteville. Five of his teams won the NCAA Triple Crown.
The NCAA Division I Program of the Year Awards are awarded annually to the most outstanding cross country/track & field programs. The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution’s finish at the NCAA Division I Championships.
In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA Championships. Scoring is based on the team’s finish at each NCAA Division I Championship in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field (i.e. 1st= 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient. Ties among schools split points for positions taken.
The Terry Crawford Division I Women’s Program of the Year Award winner will be announced on Wednesday.
Program of the Year Award Standings (Top Five FINAL)
Men’s Division I – John McDonnell Award