June 7, 2004
Tallahassee, FL – The Florida State men’s and No. 24 women’s track and field squads travel to Austin, TX to compete at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships from June 9-12, 2004. The University of Texas is the official host school of the meet that brings together the top intercollegiate Division I student-athletes from around the nation.
List of QualifiersWomen Vicky Gill (10K) Natalie Hughes (1500m run) Helen Hofstede (3000m Steeplechase) Lacy Janson (pole vault)
Regionals End with Double Digit Qualifiers
FSU went to Gainesville, FL – the site of the 2004 NCAA East Regionals – from May 28-29, 2004 to compete against the best student-athletes on the east coast. Individually, senior Helen Hofstede (Hoogharspel, Netherlands/RSG Enhhuizen) won the 3000m steeplechase and senior Brian Dzingai (Harare, Zimbabwe/Truman State) took second and fourth place in the 200m and 100m dashes, respectively. The men’s 4x400m relay team, behind the legs of sophomore Derrick Baker (Miami, FL/Northwestern), junior Rhoan Sterling (Cambridge, Ontario/Toledo), Dzingai and freshman Cedric Nabe (Geneva, Switzerland/Lycee St. Joseph), ran the fastest time in school history, finishing the 400m relay in 39.02.
The men’s squad entered the competition with 23 regionally qualifying marks behind 19 team members in addition to both relay teams at the meet. The women arrived at Gainesville with 13 Seminoles (18 qualifying marks) with six pulling double duty (competing in two events).
Texas Brings Out the Best in Tribe
Brian Dzingai, Cedric Nabe, Rhoan Sterling, sophomore Rafeeq Curry (Miami, FL/ACE Academy) and junior Lacy Janson (Sarasota, FL/Cardinal Mooney) traveled to Austin, TX earlier this season for the prestigious Texas Relays – all returning with season best marks in their events. Curry’s jump of 54’6″ tied a twelve year old record held by Kelsey Nash while Janson’s mark of 13’11.25 was her highest of the season and earned her a fourth place national ranking. Dzingai ran a then-top season time of 10.36, finishing third behind DaBryan Blanton (Oklahoma) and Phillip Frances (USC). Nabe posted a 10.44 in the finals of the 100m dash, which stood until the NCAA East Regional meet. Sterling’s 10.55 in the 100m held strong for his fastest time of the season.
All-American Seminoles Travel to Austin
In the group headed to Austin, TX for the national championships, are four Seminoles with multiple All-America honors. Janson, who redshirted during the 2004 indoor season, leads the crew with four honors in as many attempts. Other All-Americans: Vicky Gill (3), Rafeeq Curry (3), Natalie Hughes (3) and Joep Tigchelaar (2). Eleven Tribe members look for All-American honors for the first time.
Triple Jump Tandem Ready To Take Texas By Storm
Rafeeq Curry and junior Willie Johnson (Orlando, FL/Edgewater) are one of the deepest triple jump corps in the country. FSU is one of three schools that will send multiple jumpers to the national meet. Curry spent the majority of the season ranked in the top five in the country. Curry’s season best mark of 54’6″ was initially third best in the nation, finishing the 2004 campaign in the six slot. Johnson posted a season-best mark of 51’7″ (15.72m) at NCAA East Regionals. The Orlando, Fla., native is notorious for strong performances towards the end of the season. Johnson put on his personal best performance during the preliminary round of the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, posting a personal collegiate best mark of 52’9.5″ to earn a spot in the finals. The pair heads to Texas, for the second time this season, this time, competing for a national championship and All-American honors.
Relays Ready for Nationals
The men’s team traveled heavy, bringing both relay teams to Austin. The men’s 4x100m earned an automatic bid after winning the event at the NCAA East Regional meet in 39.02. Derrick Baker, Rhoan Sterling, Brian Dzingai and anchor Cedric Nabe were the legs of the Florida State school record setting relay team. The men’s 4x400m relay team earned an at-large bid to track and field’s national spotlight, after running a season best time – fittingly at the Texas Relays – earlier this season. The 3:05.79 time was run behind seniors Sean Campbell, Joe Paiva, Antonio Martin and sophomore Rafeeq Curry.
Seminoles Using Distance to Put Points on the Board
Among the four student-athletes representing the women’s side at nationals this week, are three distance runners, Vicky Gill, Natalie Hughes and Helen Hofstede. Gill enters her third national championship meet (fifth if you count cross country) looking for a national championship to accompany her All-America honors. Hughes is looking for a national title, specifically in the 1500m run – in which, she earned an All-American nod as the best freshman of the 2002 season in the event. Hofstede, the rookie in the group, heads to nationals for the first time in her career. The senior transfer set personal best and Florida State school records in the 3000m steeplechase and is looking to score in the top ten before exiting the Seminole program.
This Time Last Season…
FSU sent 23 athletes to Sacramento, Calif. to compete at the individual and team championship meet. Fresh off a regional meet that included four event winners (Rafeeq Curry – triple jump, Lacy Janson – pole vault, Natalie Hughes – 1500m, Dorian Scott – shot put), the Seminoles received 14 automatic bids and nine at-large including the men’s 4x100m and 4x400m relays and the women’s 4x400m relay. Entering that weekend, seven athletes were ranked in the top ten nationally in their respective events including three who will compete in this season’s national championship meet – Vicky Gill, Joep Tigchelaar and Lacy Janson.
Seminoles Chop Gators in Gainesville
The FSU women took home bragging rights for the season when the Seminoles beat the No. 7 Florida women on their own turf… err track. Earlier this month, the FSU-Florida Dual meet tradition was brought back to life with a contest at Percy Beard Stadium in Gainesville. The women’s team picked up seven event wins in the 107-94 victory over the Gators including a school-record setting run by Hofstede in the 3000m steeplechase. Nelson threw personal best marks in both the discus and the shot put in the winning effort.
The Seminoles begin the four day event on Wednesday, June 9 with the women’s pole vault qualifying round. The men’s 4x100m relay starts at 4:40 p.m.
For updated results and live stats, please visit www.ncaasports.com.