Tallahassee - The Florida State men's and women's track and field squads sent four athletes to represent the program at the NCAA Track and Field National Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., from March 12-13, 2004. Those athletes returned with three All-Americans and four top-12 event finishes. The women's team finished tied for 24th place.
"We had another great day of competition," said first-year head coach Bob Braman. "Everyone went out and really competed. We tried a low-key approach to indoors, attempting to avoid common pitfalls such as injuries and burnout. We still made the best of our showing, coming away with a top 25 women's team finish."
Sophomore Rafeeq Curry (Miami, Fl/ACE Academy) posted an indoor season-best jump of 52'8", besting last year's sixth place finish with a fifth place mark and All-America honors. The two-time All-American bested his 2003 jump by eight inches.
"My goal was to beat my jump from last year but I've been hampered most of the season by an injury," said Curry. "I fouled two of my three jumps and was sitting in seventh place before my last jump. With my last jump, I moved up to fifth place and finally broke 16 meters."
"I'm ready to focus on outdoors," continued Curry. "I'm going to relax in the jump for a few weeks and work with the relays. I want to continue to build up my speed in the jumps by working with the sprinters."
Senior Vicky Gill (Lancashire, England/St. Andrews), coming off a fourth-place, All-America finish in 5000m race, crossed the tape tenth in the 3000m run in a time of 9:16.49. Gill missed her season best by less than a second.
"In the 5k, I was quite comfortable," said Gill. "Some girls jumped out real fast but I just relied on my patience. In the 3000m run, I just wanted to finish (after running yesterday). It was tough but I did my best and almost set a personal record. It's exciting because (myself, Hughes and Evjen) all were here for the first time together. It's a great way to start the outdoor season."
Junior Natalie Hughes (Palisades, CO/Palisade) earned All-America honors for the second time in her career with her fifth place finish in the mile run. The cross country All-American posted a time of 4:39.97 less than a second off of the qualifying time she ran in the mile preliminary.
The Seminoles will now turn its focus on the outdoor season which will continue with the FSU Relays this weekend at the Mike Long Track Complex in Tallahassee, FL from March 18-20, 2004.