Jan. 17, 2006
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida State track and field team had a lot of news come there way over the past two days. Team rankings for the 2006 season were announced as were the first set of ACC Performers of the Week. Outside of the Florida Intercollegiate Championships, the Seminoles had an exciting start to the week.
Rankings Have FSU Written All Over Them
The Seminole men’s track and field team begins the season as the second-ranked squad in the country, according to Trackwire 25, a poll that forecasts the final standings of the NCAA National Championships. The prediction uses information gathered from coaches and competitions across the nation and uses the Dandy Dozen power rankings to predict potential national champions. FSU is predicted to finish one point behind defending champion Arkansas.
Team, points – 1. Arkansas, 54; 2. Florida State, 53; 3. Wisconsin, 45; 4. Texas, 38; 5. LSU, 31; 6. Tennessee, 27; t7. Nebraska, 26; t7. Arizona, 26; 9. Texas Tech, 21; 10. Virginia Tech, 20; 11. Oregon, 19; 12. Texas A&M, 17; t13. Indiana, 15; t13. Kansas, 15; t15. TCU, 14; t15. Florida, 14; t15. Michigan, 14; 18. South Carolina, 12; 19. UTEP, 11; t20. USC, 10; t20. Kansas State, 10; t20. BYU, 10; t23. Auburn, 9; t23. Notre Dame, 9; t25. Baylor, 8; t25. Oklahoma, 8.
Individually, eight men, two women and the men’s 4x400m relay are listed in the Dandy Dozen power ranking to start the 2006 schedule. Sophomore national champion Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs) is rated No. 1 in the 60m and No. 2 in the 200m. Sophomore All-American Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) is listed as the top 400m runner in the country. Senior six-time All-American Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy), who provisionally qualified for his fourth national championship meet at the Florida Intercollegiates, leads the country in the triple jump.
Redshirt junior Garrett Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Baptist Academy) is fourth in the shot put while junior All-American Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton) is the fifth-fastest mile runner. Senior long jumper Johnta Griffin (Orlando, Fla./Florida A&M) is rated eighth in his area. Junior transfer Greg Bolden (Morrow, Ga./Albany State) is 11th in the 60m and classmate Ronald Wright (Baltimore, Md./Barton County Community College) is 12th in the 200m.
The men’s 4x400m relay team is slated for fourth in the nation and first in the conference and region.
Senior All-Americans Lacy Janson (Sarasota, Fla./Cardinal Mooney) and Natalie Hughes (Grand Junction, Colo./Palisade) also made the list. Janson, who posted two automatic qualifying marks and set two facility records in both appearances this season, is the third best pole vaulter in the NCAA. Hughes, who is coming off a redshirt season, is seventh in the mile run.
Janson Nets First POW of Year
Lacy Janson has started the season as per usual – win event with automatic qualifying mark, break indoor facility record, earn league honors. On Monday, January 16, 2005, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced the opening ACC Indoor Track and Field Performers of the Week for the 2006 season and the 2003 indoor national pole vault champion beat out a competitive group on the women’s side for the honor. At the Florida Intercollegiates, the four-time All-American improved on her NCAA qualifying mark from the Clemson Opener to a new height of 13’11.25″ (4.25m), resetting the Stephen F. O’Connell Center indoor mark that she established during her title campaign (13’9.25″ on February 9, 2003).
It’s Early In the Week, But Noles Slated For Big Meet
The first test of the season should come on Saturday, January 21 at the 2006 Modrall Sperling Lobo Invitational at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The meet marks the first time in 19 years a collegiate-only indoor meet will be held in the state of New Mexico. The track at the convention center is only two years old but should get plenty of wear and tear with eight meets scheduled for the 2006 campaign. The competition looks familiar – BYU, the team that tied FSU for fourth place in the outdoor championships, as well as LSU, who finished just one spot ahead of Seminoles at nationals in June, are on the schedule for this weekend.
Spotlight On Sprinting Coach
Despite the elite men’s sprinters taking the weekend off, sprints and relays coach Ken Harnden was inducted into the Track and Field Hall of Fame on Saturday, January 14, 2006 by his alma mater and fellow ACC school, North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Harnden, the 2005 NCAA National Assistant Sprint Coach of the Year, was a two-time NCAA champion, first as a member of the 1995 indoor 4x400m relay team and then as the top 400m hurdler during the 1995 outdoor season. The two-time Olympian remains the only UNC runner to break 50 seconds in the 400m-hurdles. At FSU, Harnden coached 2005 NCAA National Champion Walter Dix in just his second season as a full-time coach. In just three years, Harnden has coached seven sprinters to 16 All-American honors.