April 5, 2006
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida State men’s and women’s track and field teams opened the 2006 outdoor season rankings on a high note with the men rated as number one and the women’s team is projected to finish tied for 16th. The polls were announced for the first time this season on April 3, 2006.
Second to the FSU men in the polls is reining NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Champion Arkansas. UTEP and LSU are tied for third while Arizona is the fifth team projected to score 40 points.
2006 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Champion Texas leads the women’s rankings. Five teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference are rated in the Top 25 with Florida State having the third highest position.
It is the first time FSU has opened a season with the top spot in the Trackwire rankings and three people rated number one in the nation in their events. Reigning NCAA 100m National Champion Walter Dix starts the season with a target on his back to defend his title. A month removed from his first NCAA Indoor Shot Put National Championship, Garrett Johnson is the favorite for the outdoor event as well. The top returning triple jumper in the country and most consistent Seminole, seven-time All-American Rafeeq Curry rounds out the group of top rated student-athletes that, on paper, should lead FSU to its first team national title.
Track and Field News Magazine also picked FSU as the outdoor favorite in the December 2005 issue of the magazine.
The rankings were bolstered by a strong recruiting class that was ranked sixth in the nation prior to the first meet in December. Included in that class were incoming national champions Greg Bolden and Ronald Wright. Bolden made the transition from Division II to Division I look easy, earning All-American honors at the 2006 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships with a seventh-place finish in the 60m. Wright is set to break out this week at the Texas Relays, as an integral part of the sprints and relays groups. Newcomer Tywayne Buchanan has a few meets under his belt and should help secure a national title in adding depth to the hurdle events.
Florida State is in good position for outdoor season after one of the best indoor seasons on record. After picking up its fourth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, the Garnet and Gold utilized five, elite-level, student-athletes to amass 41 points and finish in third place at nationals. All five return to compete during outdoor.
Last year’s fourth place performance was also one for the record books, as FSU put together one of the best championship runs in the 57-year history of the program. All but one point from that group return for this season, six of the seven individual All-Americans and two legs of the All-American 4x100m relay suit up in 2006.
The women’s team is tied for 16 behind 16 points. Led by NCAA Indoor Track and Field runner-ups redshirt seniors Lacy Janson and Natalie Hughes, the women’s team is looking to build upon the 2005 conference finish and improve in the region and nationally.
The Trackwire 25 projects a hypothetical score for the NCAA meet, factoring in injury reports and other variables supported by information gathered from coaches and NCAA qualifying competitions across the country. This projection is generated by scoring the Dandy Dozen, a power ranking of the top 12 athletes and relay squads in each NCAA event.
The true test comes this weekend as the majority of competitors on the Dandy Dozen list are scheduled to compete at the 2006 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays from Thursday, April 6 through Saturday, April 8, 2006.
1. Florida State, 66; 2. Arkansas, 49; t3. UTEP, 45; t3. LSU, 45; 5. Arizona, 40; 6. Texas, 37; 7. Oregon, 31; 8. Tennessee, 26; t9. Texas Tech, 22; t9. Florida, 22; 11. BYU, 21; 12. Auburn, 20; 13. TCU, 19; t14. Northern Iowa, 15; t14. Kansas State, 15; t14. North Carolina, 15; t17. USC, 14; t17. Nebraska, 14; t17. Virginia Tech, 14; t17. South Carolina, 14; t21. Boise State, 13; t21. Kansas, 13; t21. Wisconsin, 13; t24. Stanford, 11; t24. Baylor, 11.
1. Texas, 62; t2. USC, 47; t2. Nebraska, 47; 4. Georgia, 43; 5. Arizona State, 39; 6. South Carolina, 36; 7. Auburn, 34; 8. Miami, 28; 9. LSU, 27; 10. North Carolina, 24; 11. Oregon, 23; 12. Stanford, 22; 13. UCLA, 19; 14. Tennessee, 18; 15. Alabama, 17; t16. Florida State, 16; t16. Michigan, 16; t18. Texas A&M, 14; t18. Duke, 14; 20. Iowa, 12; 21. Maryland, 11; t22. Providence, 10; t22. Northern Arizona, 10; t22. Minnesota, 10; t22. Illinois, 10; t22. Hampton, 10; t22. Washington State, 10.
2. Walter Dix
6. Ricardo Chambers
3. Tom Lancashire
1. Rafeeq Curry
1. Garrett Johnson
2. Natalie Hughes
10. Barbara Parker
12. LaKendra McColumn
2. Lacy Janson