It all came down to the last event for Florida State's men's team who trailed meet favorite Wisconsin by nine points going into the 4x400m relay. Unfortunately, this was not the year for the Seminoles' first indoor NCAA title as they finished second, one spot ahead of last season, with 35 points.
The final day of championship competition for Florida State started with Barbara Parker (Norfolk, England/Loughborough) in the women's mile run finals. The senior hung back in the middle of the pack for the first half of the race before making her move for the first position on lap six. Unable to hold her spot, Duke's ACC Champion, Shannon Rowbury, took control of the race for the final two laps. Parker finished strong in fourth place with a clock of 4:45.97 behind Rowbury (4:42.17), UCLA's Allie Bohannon in second (4:43.36) and Nicole Edwards of Michigan who placed third in 4:44.89.
Junior Ricardo Chambers (Palm Beach Gardens, FL/Dwyer) took home the gold in the 400m dash, finishing in 45.65 and earning the first points of the night for the men. This is the first indoor NCAA title for Chambers.
Next up for Florida State, the men's 60m finals with junior Walter Dix (Coral Springs, FL/Coral Springs) and senior Greg Bolden (Morrow, GA/Albany State). Bolden ran a 6.63 to place fourth and contribute five points to the men's team. Dix, who ran 6.61 in the prelims last night, encountered some trouble out of the blocks tonight and was unable to recover causing last year's NCAA indoor champion to finish last in 7.09, earning one team point.
Clemson's Travis Padgett, Wisconsin's Demi Omole, another Clemson Tiger Jacoby Ford, and Ibrahim Kabia of Minnesota round out the top five.
Senior Alyce Williams (Palm Coast, FL/George Mason) was the second and final woman to compete for the Seminoles, finishing seventh with a 42'10.25" leap and scoring two team points. The women will finish in a four-way tie for 30 with Virginia Tech, Texas State, and Louisiana Tech, all with seven points.
In the men's 3,000m run finals, senior Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton) was unable to keep up with last evening's 5,000m champion, Wisconsin's Chris Solinksy, and Lopez Lomong of Northern Arizona. Lomong took the title after running 7:49.74, followed by Solinksy in 7:51.69. Lancashire was the last to finish in 11th with a clock of 8:10.85.
Following the men's 3,000m, Florida State found themselves in third with 31 points, trailing Texas in second with 34 and leader, and predicted team champion, Wisconsin with 40.
With Wisconsin's competition completed for the night, the chance for the Seminoles to win came down to the 1,600m relay. The original lineup of sophomore Hubert Mitchell (West Palm Beach, FL/Palm Beach Lakes), junior Tywayne Buchanan (Greater Portmore, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys' School), Ricardo Chambers, and freshman Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, VA/Bayside) was switched-up a bit, adding 200m champion Walter Dix in place of Mitchell. In 2005, then freshman Dix was a last minute replacement 4x400m at the ACC Indoor Championships and the Seminoles would go on to win the title in 3:14.07.
"We decided to replace Hubert [Mitchell] with Walter [Dix] because Hubert was a little banged up," head coach Bob Braman said. "Plus Walt felt bad and after his stumble in the 60m earlier and he wanted to run the four by four. It was sprints coach Ken Harnden's decision to make the adjustment and it was a smart move since we led the event up until the final heat."
Leading off in heat one of three of the finals was Buchanan, followed by Dix, Chambers and Clark in the anchor leg. The Seminoles' time of 3:07.35 unfortunately was not fast enough to win, but was a season-best and placed them fifth with three team points.
At the end of the men's relay, the Badgers of Wisconsin came out victorious with 40 points and Florida State placed a spot higher than last year, in second, with 35. Rounding out the top five were Texas with 34, Stanford with 28, and Auburn with 25 team points.
"We lost by five points," Braman said. "It was just not meant to be. But we have always said we are a much better outdoor team, we train for the outdoor championships and we are more suited for the outdoor events."
"To be honest, it doesn't feel really good to finish second because you come here to win. I feel we could have scored 40 points, but we just did not hit on every event we entered."
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