June 16, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Just over 24 hours after Florida State’s Ngoni Makusha announced his decision to forego his senior season and compete professionally, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) named him the 2011 NCAA Division I National Men’s Track Athlete of the Year as voted by the nation’s coaches.
With Thursday’s announcement, he becomes the second FSU student-athlete to claim the now six-year-old award. Former Seminole Walter Dix earned the title in 2007.
“This is a tremendous honor for Ngoni,” said FSU head coach Bob Braman, whose men’s team finished as the national runner-up by just one point this season. “He adds his name to a list of collegiate athletes that include Olympic medalists. Interestingly there have only been three schools represented in the six years of the award; two each for Florida State, Oregon and LSU.”
Last weekend’s NCAA Outdoor Championships saw Makusha become just the fourth man in NCAA Division I history — and the first since 1981 — to win national titles in the 100 meters and long jump in the same championships to join a list that also includes Carl Lewis and Jesse Owens. Makusha also ran the second leg for the Seminoles’ 4x100m relay squad that won a national championship.
In total, Makusha registered 22.5 of FSU’s 54 team points.
Makusha won the national 100m dash title in a collegiate- and championships-record 9.89 seconds, which bested the 1996 record of UCLA’s Ato Boldon (9.92). The time, also a new record for his native country Zimbabwe, ranks No. 4 in the world for the 2011 season. He also won the 100 meters at the ACC Championships in a wind-aided time of 9.97.
Although long jump performances are not considered as part of the award, Makusha claimed the ACC crown in the discipline, and, with a best of 27-6¾ (8.40m) to win the NCAA title, he seized another Zimbabwean national record, standing No. 2 in the world for 2011 in the event.
2011: Ngoni Makusha, Florida State
2010: Andrew Wheating, Oregon
2009: Galen Rupp, Oregon
2008: Richard Thompson, LSU
2007: Walter Dix, Florida State
2006: Xavier Carter, LSU