Gainesville, FL - The spectators at the NCAA East Region Championships witnessed history being made as Florida State's Walter Dix (Coral Springs, FL) smashed the collegiate record in the men's 200m after running 19.69. (The original record of 19.75 was set by Joe DeLoach of Houston nearly 20 years ago.)
"It was a good day," Dix said. "God blessed me out there. I didn't expect to run that fast and I didn't think I was going as fast as I was, but when no one came up to me I knew I would go at least under 20."
The finals showcased three Seminoles including Dix, sophomore Michael Ray Garvin (Upper Saddle River, NJ) and freshman Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, VA) grabbing first, second and fourth, respectively. Clark ran a collegiate best 20.56 while Garvin matched his regional qualifying time of 20.70.
Dix, who led the entire race, came in wanting to break the record and knew he would have to really push himself to do so.
"I knew I was going to have to push myself," Dix said. "I have wanted this all season and I just ran it like I always do; I ran my race tonight."
Men's sprints coach Ken Harnden knows that Walter Dix is something special.
"It's unbelievable," Harnden said. "He knew it was there and I felt like I knew it was there, but when you see it's just a whole different ballgame. It's amazing to see the entire field so far behind, Charles Clark got second and he's not even in the [photo finish]."
Earlier in the day Walter played a part in breaking another school record in the 4x100m relay. The Seminoles entered the race ranked No. 1 in the nation (38.78) with a top prelim time of 39.30. Senior Greg Bolden (Morrow, GA) led the relay in lane five and had a smooth hand-off to Dix followed by Garvin and in the anchor leg was Clark who crossed the line in a new national leading time of 38.71. That time is also a new school and NCAA East Region meet record.
Following the 4x100 was the 100m once again packed with three in the garnet and gold. Dix, Bolden and Garvin ran side-by-side throughout the race and finished in first, second and third, respectively.
Dix ran a career-best 10.05 to match current national leader Travis Padgett of Clemson and set a new Florida State school record. Bolden clocked in at 10.30 while Garvin nabbed another personal best of the weekend in 10.32. All three will advance to the nationals.
The excitement remained high in the 400m finals as junior and national leader Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) took his third consecutive NCAA East Region 400m title in 45.17.
Men's & Women's 1,500m Finals
Senior Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England) grabbed the fifth spot last season in the 1,500m finals, but was unable to hold on in the last 100 meters and slipped to sixth with a time of 3:43.29.
Susan Kuijken (Nijmejor, Netherlands) had a nice day in the women's 1,500m finals. This is only the third race this season for the sophomore who ran a personal best 4:21.77 Saturday, good for the runner-up position and an automatic bid to nationals.
Men's & Women's 3,000m Steeplechase
Two Seminoles qualified for the national meet in the men's 3,000m steeplechase; senior Andrew Lemoncello (St. Andrew's, Scotland) and junior Luke Gunn (Forest Gate, England). Lemoncello ran the fastest time of the night in 8:39.02 while Gunn came back from an injury to post the third best time of the night with his 8:44.92 clock.
Senior Sean Burris (Rockledge, FL) finished in the No. 23 spot with a 9:09.25 mark and junior Mark Buckingham (Huddersfield, England) placed 27th in 9:16.20.
In the women's race, senior Barbara Parker (Norfolk, England) broke the NCAA East Region record and garnered a new collegiate best with her second-place time of 9:53.23 and will advance to the national meet for the second year in a row.
Also competing, but not advancing, for the women's side was sophomore Lydia Willemse (Forest, Ontario) who clocked in at 10:32.42 for 13th.
Men's 4x400m Relay Finals
5. 3:07.76 - FSU (Hubert Mitchell, Ricardo Chambers, Javier Garcia-Tunon, Tywayne Buchanan)
Women's 4x400m Relay Finals
4. 3:35.20 - FSU (Keyla Smith, Hshkeni Richemond, Kandia Batchelor, Alycia Williams)
Women's Hammer Throw
7. 182'10" (55.74m) - Sarah Reed (Punta Gorda, FL)
15. 202'2" (61.63m) - Bryan Howard (Warminster, PA)
Women's Pole Vault
T10. 12'0" (3.66m) - Tori Allen (Indianapolis, IN)
Men's Shot Put
14. 56'7.50" (17.26m) - John Fallone (Rochester, NY)
Women's Triple Jump
Senior Alyce Williams (Palm Coast, FL) will head back to Sacramento, Calif., for the NCAA Championships after placing second in the triple jump with her leap of 43'5.25" (13.24m).
Next up for the Seminoles will be the NCAA Championships on June 6-9 in Sacramento, Calif. The at-large bids will be announced by the NCAA on Tuesday, May 29 and will be posted on Seminoles.com.
For further information, visit: www.seminoles.com