Chambers Makes Leap From Collegiate To Pro

The junior quarter-miler signed a pro contract following the NCAA Championships last week.

June 12, 2007

Tallahassee, FL - Florida State men's sprint coach Ken Harnden confirmed on Tuesday, June 12, that junior 400 meter National Champion Ricardo Chambers has signed a professional contract. The Jamaican-born athlete will continue to train in Tallahassee before heading to the Jamaican Championships next week to compete for a spot on Jamaica's World team.

"We are really excited for Ricardo," Harnden said. "He is getting the chance to do what every college student wants, which is get in a position with a company where you are making the money you think you deserve and you're doing what you love to do. Ricardo certainly has that opportunity now."

The agent who signed Chambers, Sir John Regis, is a former World Championship silver medalist in the 200m and was the first British athlete to run under 20 seconds in that event. Regis was also a member of the silver medal 4x100m Great Britain team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

"John is really into track and he knows his stuff," Harnden said. "He's a very good agent."

As part of his contract, Chambers will stay on pace to graduate next year which is something coach Harnden is happy about.

"The shoe company paying for him to return to school is something we are all obviously excited about," Harnden said. "Our coaching staff at Florida State really wants to keep up the 100 percent graduation rate with the sprint group."

With Chambers continuing to train with Harnden in Tallahassee, he will still be a presence at Mike Long Track having the opportunity to help his former teammates and hopefully be a mentor to them, as well as to the new athletes that come in. While in training, Chambers will continue to focus on the 400 meter event.

"The 400 is his event," Harnden said. "We may do some work in the 200 meters next year to develop that pure speed. Maybe one day down the road we'll run some 800 races, but for the moment he is one of the best quarter-milers in the world and you don't just go and change that."

Following the Jamaican Championships next week, Chambers will return to Tallahassee and put in about four good weeks of hard training, which is something he hasn't done a lot of in the last six weeks due to the regional and national meets. Then it's off to Europe for some tune-up races in preparation of the World Championships on August 24 - September 2.

"We are all very excited for Ricardo," Harnden said. "We wish him well in his endeavors."

Ricardo Chambers won the title in the 400m at the outdoor National Championships