April 22, 2006 - by
FSU Men Win Fourth Title, Women Storm To Second Place At ACC Track Championships

April 22, 2006

Final Stats

Winston-Salem, N.C.
– The Florida State No. 1/1 men’s and No. 15/16 women’s track and field team finished in the top two at the 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Kentner Stadium on the campus of Wake Forest University.

The men’s team won their fourth overall and fourth in the past five years. FSU scored 161 points ahead of Clemson (119), Wake Forest (106), Virginia (88) and North Carolina (85). It is the second consecutive season FSU has come out on top. The one title that escaped the Seminoles was in 2003.

“What we did this year is use our depth to pull out the victory,” said head coach Bob Braman. That was huge. A number of our guys are banged up. We really missed Ricky Argro (who was injured during the long jump) who is a solid four-year relay competitor. That is typical of our bad luck. On the flip side, having (four-time ACC Champion) Ricardo (Chambers) back is big. He won the open 400m and then looked amazing anchoring our relay. He’s weeks ahead of schedule. Michael Ray Garvin had a great performance, scoring big in two individual events and running well in the relays. Our team made a lot of progress nationally. We have another national leader with Andrew (Lemoncello) in the steeple.

The women’s squad cracked the top three, finishing in second place with 112 points. Miami women won their second straight title with 154 points, North Carolina took third with 105 points while Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech were fourth and fifth with 86 and 73.5 points, respectively. It marks the 15th consecutive season that the Seminoles have finished in the top four in the league. The women’s 4x400m sealed the second place team finish winning the final event of the day.

“It’s awesome,” continued Braman. “They’ve exceeded everything they were supposed to do. We lost to the number two team in the country and we beat a top ten team in North Carolina. The 3000m steeplechase is the highlight and the 4×4 winning the event and securing the team win. That group was tired and they came out strong to end the meet. A few other superstars were Natalie Hughes, Evelyne-Cynthia Niako and LaKendra McColumn. The seniors really stepped up this year. Now we can build on this for top ten nationals.”

Four-time ACC 400m Champion Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) cruised through the finals, running 45.52 to break the Kentner Stadium record. The mark is the second fastest time in the country this year and secures a berth at regionals for the two-time All-American.

Chambers came back later in the day to anchor the 4x400m relay to a conference runner-up finish. Grabbing the baton on the final exchange from sophomore hurdler Elliott Wood (Sydney, Australia/Narrabean Sports) in the sixth position, Chambers came within 15-meters of running down event champion Wake Forest. Freshman hurdler Tywayne Buchanan (Greater Portmore, Jamaica/Wolmer’s Boys’ School) led off handing the baton to fellow hurdler Javier Garcia-Tunon (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit).

2005 ACC Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Performer of the Year Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton) made a strong case to repeat the honors, winning his second 1500m league crown in a time of 3:42.13. The mark shattered the ACC Championships and Kentner Stadium records of 3:43.91 set by Maryland’s Per Kristofferson in 1985and 3:48.01 by Wake Forest’s Nolan Swanson in 1998, respectively.

Redshirt senior Natalie Hughes (Grand Junction, Colo./Palisade) capped off her career with her first ACC title, dominating the 1500m run with a mark of 4:19.21. It is her second regional qualifying mark in as many days and breaks the Kentner Stadium record. Newcomer Susan Kuijken (Nijmejor, Netherlands/Steoelijk Gymnasium) scored one point towards the team score with an eighth place finish in 4:27.79. Hughes also doubled in the 800m, finishing fifth in 2:09.38.

The men’s 4x100m relay took second place in 39.89 with a group that had never exchanged the baton on the track. Top leadoff leg junior transfer Greg Bolden (Morrow, Ga./Albany State) exchanged with freshman cornerback Michael Ray Garvin (Upper Saddle River, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) who handed the baton to ACC long jump champion Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy), who was in the middle of the preliminary race of the triple jump. Junior transfer anchor Ronald Wright (Baltimore, Md./Barton County Community College).

As soon as Rafeeq Curry finished running the third leg of the 400m-relay, the reigning triple jump champion defended his title, jumping 50’9.5″ (15.48m) on his second attempt to take his second crown of the weekend. Curry is the first person to take the long and triple jump titles in the same year since Joe Allen in 2001. The last time the same school took both events was the year before when FSU’s Mario Lowe and Kolby Jones top top billing in the triple and long, respectively. Fellow jumper senior Johnta Griffin (Orlando, Fla./Florida A&M) joined him on the podium, taking third place with a career-best 49’8.25″ (15.14m).

Next on the track was the women’s 4x100m, who blazed the 400m track in the second fastest Seminole time of the season, behind the legs of redshirt junior jumper Alyce Williams (Palm Coast, Fla./George Mason University) and seniors captain Evelyne-Cynthia Niako (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson), Alycia Williams (Palm Coast, Fla./George Mason University) and hurdler LaKendra McColumn (Lithonia, Ga./Southwest Dekalb)

Senior Kim Adams (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stone Mountain), junior India Pettus (Cleveland, Ohio/Trinity), sophomore Kandia Batchelor (Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough) and Alycia Williams ran the 4x400m relay, securing the second-place team finish, in winning the final event of the meet, in 3:37.15.

Two of the four 400m-relay legs, Greg Bolden and Michael Ray Garvin, finished second and third in the 100m, running 10.51 and 10.58, respectively. Garvin came back in the 200m to finish in fourth place in a season-best 21.39.

Redshirt freshman Javier Garcia-Tunon (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit) placed in the top four in both hurdle events. He ran 14.26 for fourth place in the 110m hurdles. After watching his teammate Elliott Wood (Sydney, Australia/Narrabean Sports) fall on the final stretch, Garcia-Tunon stepped up and finished second overall, running 52.72 for his first All-ACC honor.

Within two hours of running the 4x100m relay, LaKendra McColumn put together a pair of top eight finishes in the hurdle events. She recorded her highest individual finish, placing second in the 400m hurdles with a clip of 58.17. In the short hurdles, she ran the straightaway in 13.82, good for seventh place.

Evelyne-Cynthia Niako ran two individual sprinting events, earning All-ACC honors with a 23.70 in the 200m and finishing just outside the top three in the 100m with an 11.84 clip.

Fellow relay leg Alycia Williams improved the 400m regional standard she set yesterday, running 54.00 to take fourth in the finals. Sophomore Kandia Batchelor (Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough) completed the top eight in 56.32.

Adding to the list of All-ACC honorees was junior Matt Hurley (Tallahassee, Fla./Chiles), who cleared a pole vault height of 16’2.75″ (4.95m) to earn his first league honor in taking third place.

After winning the shot put yesterday, redshirt junior Garrett Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Baptist Academy) made it back to the medal stand, placing third in the discus with a throw of 177’10” (54.20m).

Sophomore Tommy Noyes (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) and senior Chris Potter (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Lincoln Park Academy) combined for nine team points int eh 800m. Noyes picked up his third ACC honor with a season-best, second-place 1:51.09 and Potter crossed the line eighth in 1:53.56.

Senior Kate Purcell (West Point, Pa./Southern Illinois-Edwardsville) started the women’s team scoring with sixth place and three points after throwing 133’4″ (40.63m) in the javelin.

The Seminoles return to action next weekend when the group travels to the historic Penn Relays from April 26-29, 2006 in Philadelphia, Pa.

ACC Champions
Saturday winners
Tom Lancashire, 1500m, 3:42.13
Natalie Hughes, 1500m, 4:19.21
Ricardo Chambers, 400m, 45.52
4x400m relay (Kim Adams, India Pettus, Kandia Batchelor, Alycia Williams), 3:37.15

ACC Meet Records
Tom Lancashire, 1500m, 3:42.13

All-ACC honorees (Top three finishes from all three days)
Kim Adams, 4x400m relay, 3:37.15
Shawn Allen, High Jump, 6’8.75″ (2.05m)
Kandia Batchelor, 4x400m relay, 3:37.15
Greg Bolden, 100m, 10.51
Michael Ray Garvin, 100m, 10.58
Ricardo Chambers, 400m, 45.52
Rafeeq Curry, Long Jump, 25’5.25″ (7.75m)
Rafeeq Curry, Triple Jump, 50’9.5″ (15.48m)
Javier Garcia-Tunon, 400m hurdles, 52.72
Johnta Griffin, Triple Jump, 49’8.25″ (15.14m)
Natalie Hughes, 1500m, 4:19.21
Lacy Janson, Pole Vault, 15’00.25″ (4.58m)
Garrett Johnson, Shot Put, 66’0.50″ (20.13m)
Garrett Johnson, Discus, 177’10” (54.20m)
Tom Lancashire, 1500m, 3:42.13
Andrew Lemoncello, 3000m Steeplechase, 8:34.84
LaKendra McColumn, 400m hurdles, 58.17
Evelyne-Cynthia Niako, 200m, 23.70
Tommy Noyes, 800m, 1:51.09
Barbara Parker, 3000m Steeplechase, 10:21.16
India Pettus, 4x400m relay, 3:37.15
Sarah Reed, Shot put, 49’2.25″ (14.99m)
Alycia Williams, 4x400m relay, 3:37.15
Lydia Willemse, 3000m Steeplechase, 10:27.01

Kentner Stadium Records
Ricardo Chambers, 400m, 45.52
Tom Lancashire, 1500m, 3:42.13
4x400m relay (Kim Adams, India Pettus, Kandia Batchelor, Alycia Williams), 3:37.15

NCAA Regional Qualifiers (NEW qualifiers only)
Natalie Hughes, 1500m, 4:19.21
Johnta Griffin, Triple Jump, 49’8.25″ (15.14m)


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