June 14, 2008
2:45 p.m. (CST) Update
Senior Ray Taylor, a three-time All-America and the defending outdoor triple jump national champion got the day started off right for your meet leaders, Florida State. Taylor pulled up short on his first attempt, clearly nervous about finishing out his jump on a weak hamstring that’s been nagging him all season.
But Taylor’s second leap had the rest of his team–led by their head coach Bob Braman–dancing in the stands as the Jamaican-native blasted his career-best leap with a 15.93m/54’02.75″ mark. The jump put Taylor in second headed into the field of nine finals.
Although he wasn’t able to put up a bigger leap, Taylor’s top jump still earned him fourth place which came as a packaged deal with his fourth All-America title and five huge points for Florida State to keep the Seminoles in the lead by six over LSU.
If Florida State can get at least 15 points out of their final three competitors–Walter Dix, Charles Clark and Drew Brunson (all former national champions and All-Americans) the Seminoles will seal the deal on their third-consecutive NCAA title.
Elsewhere in Des Moines, we’ve been following the story of the terrible flooding across the state of Iowa all week and unfortunately this morning, the tragedy reached the state capital. Sometime just before 4:00 a.m. central time, a levee on the north side of Des Moines gave way. Furtive efforts by the Army Corps of Engineers and National Guard were unable to stem the flow and a second temporary levee had to be erected.
Twenty-four of your 29 Florida State athletes here in Des Moines gave up their time to go down to the affected areas this morning and assist in the sand bagging efforts. Joined by a few other teams competing in this weekend’s national meet, the Seminoles banded together to provide aid to the city that has been such a tremendous host to them for the last week.
Be sure to tune in later this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. EST for the final two hours of competition here at Drake Stadium live on CBS. Florida State’s final three events of the day–the men’s 200m, the men’s 110m hurdles and the women’s 1500m will all be televised live before a national audience.