Feb. 9, 2007
Florida State finished out the first day of competition at the University of Arkansas Tyson Invitational with two of the top times in the ACC as well as one of the fastest men in the nation.
Senior Barbara Parker (Norfolk, England) finished second in the women’s championship mile with a personal best time of 4:40.97, making her the fastest in the conference and sixth in the nation.
“Barbara ran in the best collegiate mile there is and just missed winning it,” head coach Bob Braman said. “She ran the second fastest time at Florida State, just behind Natalie Hughes, and beat out all of the women she will race against at nationals. It was a great race for her.”
In men’s sprints action, junior Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach County, FL) held onto his title as the fastest 400m man in the nation by clocking in at 46.05 in the finals. Senior Greg Bolden (Morrow, GA) also remains untouchable in the 60m after winning his heat in 6.68 and moving onto the finals on Saturday. Junior Walter Dix’s (Coral Springs, FL) time of 6.82 moves him into the men’s finals where he will make his move for an automatic bid.
“Walt used the 60m prelims as a warm-up for tonight’s finals,” Braman said. “I doubt any of the college guys he is competing against in the finals can beat him.”
In the men’s collegiate mile, junior Mark Buckingham (Huddersfield, England) posted the fastest time in the ACC with his third place time of 4:05.34.
Tallahassee native, senior Matt Hurley, finished strong in the men’s pole vault with his fourth place height of 17’0.75″, another step closer to his ticket to nationals.
“It was a big day for us,” Braman said. “The big highlights are definitely Barbara, Mark, and Ricardo’s performances. So I would say overall it was pretty good for day one, but we still have a lot to get done tomorrow. We’re hoping to get the men’s and women’s 4×400 meter relays qualified, or at least close to it, and we are going to see what we can do with the distance medley relay without Tom Lancashire.”
Lancashire and Andrew Lemoncello are among the few distance runners competing in the University of Washington Husky Classic on Saturday. The seniors will try for a qualifying time in the 3,000m and 5,000m, which will shape the future at nationals.
Along with the relays, Saturday’s action will also see Dix and sophomore Michael Ray Garvin (Upper Saddle River, NJ) compete 200m with hopes of qualifying.
“What we are really concerned about this week is getting qualified for nationals,” Braman said. “That is what we remain focused on going into Saturday.”
Saturday’s competition will begin at 10:00 AM Central and live results can be found at HogWired.com or by visiting flashresults.com and clicking on the Tyson Invitational. Portions of the meet will be aired on ESPN2 on Sunday, Feb. 11 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST.