Feb. 22, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
With the postseason indoor slate about the beginning, things are starting to come together for the Florida State track and field programs. Both programs climbed in the newest USTFCCCA poll and the men landed a top recruit.
Initially predicted to the win the NCAA Indoor title, the men’s team slipped during the early part of the season but has made a charge in its last two meets. Following a great showing at the Tyson Invitational, the men moved up to number two in the poll, less than nine points behind Arizona State. Fueled by six new NCAA automatic and provisional marks as well as three improved standards, the Seminoles picked up 53 point to move up 16 spots. Only Stanford – who jumped up 19 – had a bigger move last week.
“We’re excited to be back in the mix for the National Championship,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “The ranking reflects the big marks our guys posted last weekend. Walter Dix, Michael Ray Garvin, Nyngoni Mankusha , Drew Brunson, Luke Gunn and Mark Buckingham all posted marks that would score at last year’s NCAA Championships, so it was truly a big weekend for the Seminoles.”
Also giving the men’s squad some good news was the signing of hurdler Nathan Arnett (Nassau, Bahamas) to a National Letter of Intent. Most recently, he placed fourth at the 2007 IAAF World Youth Games in the 400m with a career-best time of 50.89, which ranks him in the top 20 in the world. At last year’s Carifta Games he took the gold medal in the 400m hurdles in the U20 division with a mark of 51.11. Arnett was a silver medalist at the 2005 Carifta Games, running a time of 53.76 in the U17 competition.
“Nathan is a big-time recruit and would be the number three 400 meter hurdler in the country if he went to a U.S. high school,” Braman noted. “The real exciting thing about Nathan is that he achieved his mark at the age of 16 . His future is very bright, indeed.”
In addition to the men going up in the rankings, the women’s team also moved up a spot in their poll. Helping the women move up a spot to No. 15 was new school records by Susan Kuijken (Nijmegen, Netherlands) in the 3000m as well as Kamorean Hayes’ (Charlotte, N.C.) toss in the shot put. The women also got two new provisional marks as well as improved in the 4x400m relays.
The Seminoles are off this weekend, but return to action next weekend at the ACC Indoor National Championships on the campus of North Carolina. The men are going for their seventh conference title in a row and fifth-consecutive indoor title while women are searching for their first title since the 2000 Outdoor trophy.