Rattlers Heat Up Track Despite Cold Weather

TALLAHASSEE–The temperatures were low but, there was a lot of heat on display at the 65th annual FAMU Relays event.

Florida A&M university dominated the competition today in nearly every race. 22-year-old Senior captain Jasmine Smith and Sophomore physical therapy student Shane Rodney ,20, put on a show for the home crowd as they took home awards in the 100, 200, 400 meter races and relays. Smith was the obvious fan favorite. She was so confident in her skills she wore a "Rattlers" skull cap, gloves, bloated coat, and still left the other schools in the dusk on the 4×400 meter relay.

"I knew I could beat them girls with my clothes on," Smith said.

It was a great way for the senior to cap off her last track meet at home.

Rodney finished second in his 100 and 200 meter dashes; posting times at 10.86 and 22.11 seconds. Although those times were very impressive Rodney insists that he can run even faster at his peak.

"My fastest time is a 10.62 since high school," Rodney said. "Right now we are in a conditioning phase, so as we get closer to conference I'll be closer to my peak."

Rodney's main goal is to reach a 10.5 in the 100 meter dash. Overall there was enough speed to go around as other rattlers prevailed in their races. 21-year-old Junior Dennis Pugh owned the hurdles saturday finishing first place in the 110 and 400 meter heats. Freshmen Jharna Alston, who anchored the first place 4×100 women’s relay, was able to add another award to her collection when she took first in the 400 meter dash. Junior Ashley Ivey, the third leg on the first place 4×100 women’s relay, also took home an individual prize when she placed first in the 100 meter hurdles.

Distance runs had the same results. All five runners in the women’s 5k placed in the top five at the finish. The mens 5K wasn't any different, Freshmen Dennis Kipkogsei finished first with Senior Dieumy Duclos shortly behind him at third place. The other schools were looking at the back of rattler uniforms all day.

Edward Waters , Albany State, Virginia Union, Stillman University and others all put in valiant efforts but, both rattlers squad ultimately captured 1st place. They represented their home turf well. Their speed were just in a different class altogether.

Head Coach Marc Small was pleased with the effort of his team, and appreciated the large crowd showing up for support in the inclement weather.

"I liked today's outcome I wish the weather could've been better but, its all a process and we're looking forward to conference play," Small said.

The Rattlers next race will be the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas on March 6, 2015. The Rattlers will be back in Tallahassee for the Florida State Relays the weekend following spring break. Make sure you go out and support your rattlers as championship meets approach.