The Florida State men’s track team used 1997 as a rebuilding season after
losing several key athletes from a year ago. Young runners were asked to
step in for six-time All-American sprinter Jonathan Carter and ’95 NCAA
55-meter hurdle champion Phillip Riley. With an untested group in the
sprints, the Seminoles counted on key points from the field events.
In the first meet of the indoor season some of the FSU men competed at the
LSU Invitational while the remainder of the team went to Florida for the
University Centre Hotel Invitational. William Shirk (weight throw) and
Danny Smith (800m) recorded second place finishes in Baton Rouge. Closer
to home, a pair of freshman had impressive FSU debuts in Gainesville.
Darius Jones placed third in the pole vault (14-7.25) and fifth in the
long jump (23-2.75) while Todd Marine was fifth in the triple jump
(46-0.50) and sixth the long jump (22-10.50).
Junior thrower Greg Jack led the way at the Wildcat Classic in Lexington,
KY. Jack took first place in the shot put with a throw of 53-3.50.
Germaine Stringer was second in the 200m with a time of 21.48 and Anthony
Bolton clocked in at 7.97 in the 60m hurdles, also good for second place.
In another split squad weekend, William Shirk won the weight throw at the
Barnett Bank Invitational.
At the ACC Indoor Championships, the men placed sixth in the team
standings. Jack, an All-ACC selection, captured Florida State’s first
ever indoor shot put title with a throw of 56-3.75. Also adding points
with fourth place finishes were Warrick Dunn in the 55m dash, Shirk in the
weight throw and Marine in the triple jump.
The highlight of the men’s outdoor season was a second consecutive team
title at the Florida Intercollegiate Championships. FSU successfully
defended their “state championship” with a close victory over Miami. Jasen
Ritter (steeplechase), Chris Osborn (high jump), Brad Hess (discus), Shirk
(weight throw) and Dore Louis (javelin) paved the way with first place
The squad improved their conference standing from the indoor season at the
ACC Outdoor Championships in Atlanta, moving up two notches to fourth
place. The Seminoles had four scorers in the javelin with Justin Johnston,
Jack, Gabe Arola and Louis placing first, third, fourth and sixth,
Johnston, a senior, was the lone competitor for the men’s team at the NCAA
Outdoor Championships in Bloomington, IN. Johnston attained All-America
status for the third straight year in the javelin with an eighth place