May 31, 2006
Tallahassee, Fla. – The top-ranked Florida State men’s track and field team will send 14 student-athletes to compete at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif., from June 7-10, 2006. The No. 16/19 women’s team has a travel party close to that size with seven individuals plus the 4x400m relay headed to Alex G. Spanos Track and Field Complex on the campus of Sacramento State.
The men’s team, the favorite to win the national title, takes 11 automatic spots, three at-large marks and a top regional relay to the West Coast next weekend. NCAA Indoor National Champions Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs) and Garrett Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Baptist Academy) and seven-time All-American Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) qualified in two events, apiece. Curry, one of the top triple and long jumpers in the nation, is the most consistent Seminole placing in the top eight in all seven trips to nationals (indoor and outdoor). Dix returns to defend his outdoor 100m title and his outdoor 200m All-American finish while Johnson is set to score points in the discus and the shot put.
Sophomore two-time All-American Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer), junior All-American Greg Bolden (Morrow, Ga./Albany State) and freshman Michael Ray Garvin (Upper Saddle River, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) anchor the sprints areas, running in the 400m, 100m and 200m, respectively. Chambers is making his fourth trip to nationals in two seasons with the Seminoles and is sixth in the nation in the open 400m despite running in the event twice this season (ACCs and NCAA East Region)
Bolden and Garvin solidify the second fastest 4x100m relay in the nation and the speediest group in program history. Second leg and junior college transfer Ronald Wright (Baltimore, Md./Barton County Community College) and All-American anchor Cedric Nabe (Geneva, Switzerland/Lycee St. Joseph) round out the quartet that won the program’s second regional 400m relay title in school history.
Despite leading the team in three events, senior Andrew Lemoncello (St. Andrews, Scotland/Stirling University) will focus on the 3000m steeplechase after winning the titles at the ACC and NCAA East Regional Championships. Fellow mid-distance harrier Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton), who has the top 800m mark in the country, will compete for a title in the 1500m.
Senior jumper Johnta Griffin (Orlando, Fla./Florida A&M) was 13th in the region in the long jump entering the NCAA East Region Championships but earned one of the automatic spots after placing third in the event on Friday.
Four Seminole women and the 4x400m relay earned automatic berths at the NCAA East Regional Championships. Three more were added as at-large competitors after placing sixth through 12th at the regional meet and holding a high national mark during the course of the season.
Redshirt senior Lacy Janson (Sarasota, Fla./Cardinal Mooney) earned a spot at nationals after winning the regional title in the pole vault. Classmate Natalie Hughes (Grand Junction, Colo./Palisade) had a regional runner-up finish in the 1500m to secure a place in the opening race at nationals.
FSU’s top hurdler LaKendra McColumn (Lithonia, Ga./Southwest Dekalb) heads to the NCAA Outdoor meet for the first time in her career after placing fourth in the 400m hurdles over the weekend.
2005 NCAA qualifier Barbara Parker (Norfolk, England/Loughborough) is entered at nationals in the steeplechase for the second consecutive year. Transfers senior Sarah Reed (Punta Gorda, Fla./Illinois) and redshirt junior Alyce Williams (Palm Coast, Fla./George Mason University) made an immediate impact this year for the women’s team, earning at-large berths in the shot put and triple jump, respectively.
The men’s team has been ranked No. 1 all season by both Trackwire Top 25 and the USTFCCCA Coaches polls. Ten individuals plus the 400m relay are among the Dandy Dozen rankings that are used to project the Trackwire team standings.
The meet begins on Wednesday, June 7 with the multi’s event and qualifying rounds in the running and field events. CBS Sports will broadcast the final day of competition on CBS Sports from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time on June 10.