March 26, 2008
Tallahasee, Fla.- Florida State jumps back into outdoor track and field action this week on March 27-29, as the Seminoles host the 29th Annual FSU Relays at Mike Long Track. In addition to Florida State, ranked No. 1 in the men’s division I pre-season polls, the No. 4 Texas A&M women, No. 16 Texas A&M men and No. 10 Michigan women will be on hand to compete.
Seven-time national champion and 15-time All-American Walter Dix (Coral Springs, Fla.) will make his second appearance on home turf this weekend in the men’s 100m dash. Dix qualified for the regional meet last weekend at the Snowbird Invite running the second leg of the men’s 4x400m relay team.
Slated to make his first appearance of the outdoor season is freshman All-American Gonzalo Barroilhet (Santiago, Chile). Barroilhet will start brushing up on his decathlon skills this weekend competing in the javelin, discus, long jump, pole vault and hurdles. The talented track and field newcomer destroyed the previous conference and school records in the indoor heptathlon en route to his first national championship earlier this month in Fayetteville, Ark.
Florida State’s talented arsenal of jumpers including All-Americans Kim Williams (Kingston, Jamaica) and Ray Taylor (Sanguinetti, Jamaica) will also make their first appearances of the outdoor season at the FSU Relays. Williams won an ACC Championship, finished second at nationals and claimed the school triple jump record in her first collegiate indoor track and field season. Taylor, a senior transfer from Cornell, is the reigning outdoor triple jump national champion.
Women’s All-Americans Kandia Batchelor (Tampa, Fla.) and Keyla Smith (Daytona Beach, Fla.) will also begin their outdoor seasons at Mike Long Track this weekend. The duo earned national recognition after finishing seventh at last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships on the women’s 4x400m relay squad. Both are scheduled to run in the women’s 400m dash.
Senior Matt Wernke (Tallahassee, Fla.), freshman Teona Rodgers (Tampa, Fla.) and sophomore Tiara Swanagan (Orange Park, Fla.) will also return to action this weekend after each posted an individual qualifying mark at the Snowbird Invite March 21-22.
Competition in the FSU Relays begins Thursday, March 27 and goes through Saturday, March 29 at the Mike Long Track.
Florida State’s men are seeking their third consecutive outdoor national title, led by five returning All-Americans. The women hope to continue their climb up the NCAA ladder with a trio of All-Americans, ultimately hoping to erase a 17-year drought since their last top 10 finish on the national stage.