February 9, 2006 - by
FSU Track Takes Title Hopes To Nationals Site

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Feb. 9, 2006

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida State (No. 1/3) men’s and women’s track and field teams travel to Fayetteville, Ark. — the site of the 2006 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships — for the 2006 Tyson Invitational hosted by the University of Arkansas. The meet begins on Friday, February 10 and concludes on Saturday, February 11.

This Time Last Year

If FSU performs any where near what the team did last year at the 2005 Tyson Invitational, then head coach Bob Braman will be confident about his team’s ability heading into ACCs as well as the NCAA National Championships. Then-junior triple jumper Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fla./ACE Academy) shattered an 11-year old FSU-school record in notching the farthest mark in the country at that time. Then-sophomore Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton) joined Curry in improving on a personal best and FSU-school record mark, running 4:02.33 in the mile run. Newcomer Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs) mirrored his performance at the indoor championships, finishing second in the 60m finals. Fellow rookie Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) provisionally qualified in the 400m en route to earning All-America honors.

FSU Men In The ACC

On paper, Florida State is the top program in the league. According to the men’s top performances list, released by the Atlantic Coast Conference every Tuesday, FSU has at least one individual in 15 of 19 categories with seven holding top spots. 25 individuals account for 33 marks including three top ten marks by senior All-American Rafeeq Curry, junior transfer Greg Bolden and sophomore heptathlete Matt Frith. Of the four events without a Seminole on the roster, FSU has not had a competitor in three of those categories (mile run, 5000m run and the distance medley relay).

FSU Women In The ACC

The Seminole women have jumped out to an early lead in the conference with a balanced group of top conference performers. 14 individuals have amassed 24 marks in just six meets during the 2005-06 season and one Garnet and Gold team member is in the top 10 in 11 events. Senior All-American Lacy Janson leads the pole vault and classmates Deanna Lane and LaKendra McColumn are third in the 55m hurdles and the pentathlon, respectively. Lane is also fourth in the 55m hurdles and ninth in the 60m hurdles while McColumn is tenth in the 60m hurdles.

Curry and Company Lead National List

Five Seminoles have marks in the top ten in the country including senior All-American Rafeeq Curry, who has the farthest triple jump mark in the country with his FSU-school record setting distance of 54’5.5″ (16.60m), almost a foot ahead of his closest competitor. He also has the 17th farthest distance in the long jump. Redshirt junior Garrett Johnson is second in the nation in the shot put with his automatic qualifying mark of 63’9″ (19.43m). Redshirt senior Lacy Janson is just .05 meters behind the leading pole vaulter in the country. Sprinters Greg Bolden (Morrow, Ga./Albany State) and Ricardo Chambers are sixth and seventh in the 60m and the 200m, respectively. Six other Seminoles are among the top 32 in their event.

Newell Races Out Early To Event Win

Senior Kara Newell (Tallahassee, Fla./Boston University) won her season-debut and shaved over 23 seconds off her 5000m collegiate best at the Pepsi Invitational on Super Bowl Sunday. The transfer from Boston University, in her second year at FSU, recorded a time of 18:03 to best the field in the opening event of the meet in Gainesville.

Hughes Makes Indoor Return

Redshirt senior Natalie Hughes returned to the indoor arena with a bang at the Pepsi Invitational, winning the 3000m run in a provisional qualifying time of 9:35.58. This is the first time that the Grand Junction, Colo., native has competed indoors since the 2004 NCAA Indoor National Championships, where she finished in fifth place in the mile run in an FSU school record of 4:39.97. Hughes redshirted the 2005 indoor and outdoor campaigns.

ACC Competition Heats Up

League newcomer Virginia Tech will host all 12 ACC teams in Blacksburg, Va., for the 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships. The Seminole men look for their third indoor conference title in four years and will attempt to extend their overall league championship streak to four (2004 Outdoor, 2005 Indoor and Outdoor). The women’s team looks to make the jump into the top tier of the league coming off a strong fourth-place performance at the 2005 ACC Outdoor Championships, held in Tallahassee. The meet begins on Thursday, February 23 with the multi’s events and continues through the 4x400m relay on Saturday, February 25.

Bolden Continues To Dominate

Junior transfer Greg Bolden is currently ranked in the top 5 in 3 categories in the ACC in just his first season of NCAA Division I competition. The Morrow, Ga., native and 2005 NCAA Division II National Champion is first in the 55m dash with 6.19, third in the 60m dash with 6.70, and fifth in the 200m dash with a time of 21.75.

CBS To Broadcast Outdoor Championships

If you were a little upset because you thought you were going to miss the No. 1-ranked Florida State men’s track and field team win their first national title, your day just got a little better.

CBS Television and the NCAA announced today (Tuesday, February 7) that the 2006 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships, will be televised live for two and a half hours on the final day of competition (June 10). The meet takes place in Sacramento, Calif., from June 7-10 at the A.G. Spanos Sports Complex on the campus of California State University, Sacramento.

The men’s team is picked to beat out perennial national champion Arkansas and bring home the program’s first title. Predicted individual champions include 2005 NCAA Outdoor 100m Champion Walter Dix , the nation’s top triple jumper and six-time All-American Rafeeq Curry and 2006 Rhodes Scholar redshirt junior Garrett Johnson.


In the latest Trackwire 25 poll, Texas has joined FSU in the top spot with both teams projected to score 46 points. Fellow league school Virginia Tech is tied for 11th while rival Florida sits at No. 13. In the first-ever USTFCCCA coaches poll, the Seminoles are rated third behind Arkansas and Texas.

Trackwire 25
– t1. Florida State, 46; t1. Texas, 46; 3. Wisconsin, 45; 4. Arkansas, 43; 5. LSU, 39; 6. Tennessee, 26; 7. Arizona, 25; 8. Kansas, 24; 9. Nebraska, 23; 10. Michigan, 19; t11. Virginia Tech, 18; t11. Texas A&M, 18; 13. Florida, 17; 14. Oregon, 14; t15. TCU, 12; t15. South Carolina, 12; t15. USC, 12; t15. Notre Dame, 12; t19. Baylor, 11; t19. Texas Tech, 11; t19. Alabama, 11; t19. Indiana, 11; 23. BYU, 10; t24. Auburn, 9; t24. Illinois, 9; t24. UCLA, 9.

Dandy Dozen

The Dandy Dozen rankings have six Seminole men and two FSU women in the top 12 in the nation in their respective events. Curry is arguably the best all-around jumper in the country, holding the top spot in the triple and eleventh in the long jump. Dix is number two in the 200m and fifth in the 60m, after opening his season at the Pepsi Invitational.

Junior transfer Greg Bolden, sophomore Ricardo Chambers and Garrett Johnson are tabbed as the second best in the 60m dash, 400m dash and shot put, respectively. Bolden moved up from fourth after an impressive performance at the Pepsi Invitational in Gainesville while Chambers remained second to four-time national champion LSU’s Kelly Willie. Johnson has posted two automatic qualifying marks in as many attempts in his final season before heading overseas to study at Oxford.

Sophomore ACC Indoor and Outdoor Performer of the Year Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton), who opens up his season at the Tyson Invitational this week, is rated eleventh in the mile run, after running a four-minute mile and finishing fifth at last season’s national championships.

On the women’s side, All-Americans Natalie Hughes and Lacy Janson remain among the best in the nation in the mile run and the pole vault, respectively. Hughes is tenth overall, despite not running an indoor mile since the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships where she finished in an FSU-school record of fifth-place. Janson, who has qualified for nationals in every competition this season, is rated the third-best pole vaulter in the nation. She is tied for the second-highest vault this year, clearing the bar at 13’11.25″ (4.25m) on two occasions.

ESPN To Broadcast Part of Tyson Invitational

The professional portion of the track and field events at the Tyson Invitational meet will be tape delayed and broadcast on ESPN2 at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 11, 2006.

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