April 27, 2006
Tallahassee, Fla. – This is where the journey really begins for the Florida State No. 1/1 men’s and No. 14/14 women’s track and field teams. With only one month remaining and three potential weekends for those to improve their regional standings or add their names to the list, the FSU squads use the next four days to focus on three big meets – the historic Penn Relays (Philadelphia, Pa.), the elite Cardinal Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.) and the Golden Twilight (Orlando, Fla.).
A mid-size group heads to the historic Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa., at Franklin Field on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. The men’s and women’s 4x400m relays, the women’s 4x200m and 4x1500m, 3000m steeplechasers Barbara Parker (Norfolk, England/Loughborough University) and freshman Lydia Willemse (Forest, Ontario/St. Christopher), Sean Burris (Rockledge, Fla./USF) and 3000m harriers Kirsten Hagen (Blacksburg, Va./Christiansburg) and Abbie Wilshire (Bristol, England//Birmingham) are on tap to run over the course of the multiple-day, relay carnival. 2006 NCAA Indoor Shot Put National Champion Garrett Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Baptist Academy) is also scheduled to compete.
A small travel party including top Seminole vaulter Matt Hurley (Tallahassee, Fla./Chiles) and regional qualifier Tori Allen (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central) head to the Golden Knight Twilight on Saturday, April 29. The one-day meet begins at 2:30 p.m. with the pole vault and 5:45 pm on the track with the running events. 2006 Indoor All-American Greg Bolden (Morrow, Ga./Albany State) is entered in the sprinting events.
On Sunday, redshirt senior Natalie Hughes (Grand Junction, Colo./Palisade) competes in the 1500m at 7:11 p.m., followed by junior Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton) in the men’s section of the 1500m at 7:21 pm. Senior Andrew Lemoncello (St. Andrews, Scotland/Stirling University) begins the 5000m at 8:25 p.m.
The Florida State men are number one in the USTFCCCA poll. They lead No. 2 Arkansas, No. 3 LSU, No. 4 Texas and No. 5 Texas-El Paso. According to Trackwire, the men’s team is projected to score 58 points to win the title. LSU is right behind FSU at number two with 52 points, UTEP at number three with 46 points and defending national champion Arkansas (fourth – 44 points) and Texas (fifth – 38 points) rounding out the top five men’s programs.
Three Seminole men are rated No. 1 on the Dandy Dozen list in their respective events – Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) is the nation’s top 400m sprinter, Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) remains the nation’s best triple jumper and Garrett Johnson leads all shot putters in the NCAA. Reigning NCAA 100m National Champion Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs) is second and fourth in the 200m and 100m, respectively. Lancashire is predicted to finish at number two in the 1500m while fellow distance harrier Andrew Lemoncello is rated fourth overall in the steeplechase. Curry is picked to finish seventh in the long jump. The men’s 4x100m relay holds on to ninth in the rankings.
The women are 14th in the USTFCCCA poll and penciled in on the Trackwire 25 list for 15 points and 14th overall in the team projection. Reigning NCAA Indoor and Outdoor National Champion Texas is in the top spot with 61 points just ahead of ACC school Miami at number two (50 points). No. 3 Georgia (48 points) and tying for fourth are Nebraska and USC with 44 points.
Five women are ranked on the Dandy Dozen Top 12 list, led by Hughes’ top 1500m spot. NCAA pole vault record holder Lacy Janson (Sarasota, Fla./Cardinal Mooney) is rated number two in the individual event projections. Atlantic Coast Conference Champion Barbara Parker and freshman Lydia Willemse are No. 10 and No. 12 in the 3000m steeplechase. 400m hurdler LaKendra McColumn (Lithonia, Ga./Southwest Dekalb) ranks in the top ten in the 400m hurdles.