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    Saturday SEC Track & Field Report

    Mississippi State Bulldog Relay Team Finishes First In Texas
     
    AUSTIN, Texas – Shaving three seconds off its qualifying speed, the Mississippi State 4x400-meter relay team posted a time of 3:05.35 to win the event on Saturday at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
     
    The foursome included Tavaris Tate, Brandon McBride, Daundre Barnaby and Randy Patterson as the Maroon and White crossed the finish line in front of the pack.
     
    “I’m thankful and grateful for having a group of guys who I could connect with and put things together in the race,” Tate said.
     
    After earning runner-up honors in the high jump at the 2013 NCAA Indoor National Championships earlier this month, Marcus Jackson cleared 7-05.25 in Saturday’s competition at Mike A. Myers Stadium. His performance placed him in second, only behind 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Derek Drouin of Indiana.
     
    Meanwhile, Nathan Arnett clocked a 13.94 in the 110-meter hurdles finals to finish ninth, and Lady Bulldog Chloe Phillips grabbed an 11th-place finish in the women’s 1500-meter run with a time of 4:30.17.
     
    To close out women’s action, Jody-Ann Muir, Kanishia Carey, Erica Bougard and Brittney Covington landed a spot in sixth in the 4x400-meter relay finals. The quartet posted a time of 3:39.05.
     
    “Our athletes proved themselves today," MSU coach Steve Dudley said. “They performed at the top of their game, and at the end of the day, they were rewarded for it. If we can keep this momentum going, then I am anxious to see where the rest of the season goes."
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    PAINE BREAKS POLE VAULT MARK AT YELLOW JACKET INVITATIONAL

    ATLANTA, Ga. – Alexis Paine shattered the school record in the women’s pole vault as the University of Alabama track and field team won eight events overall, including five individual events and three relays, on Saturday at the Yellow Jacket Invitational hosted by Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga.

    Making her 2013 outdoor debut, Paine raised the Crimson Tide’s standard in the event by 10 inches on Saturday by clearing 14 feet, 7 ¼ inches (4.45 meters) to abolish her previous school record of 13-9 ¼ set in 2012. Paine’s performance highlighted a strong day by both the men’s and women’s teams as the Tide took three of four relay events contested in addition to the individual event victories.

    “We had a good day today and Alexis’s performance was the highlight,” said head coach Dan Waters. “She is really hitting her stride in the pole vault and really competing with great confidence. Overall, I am really pleased. We came out today and competed across the board. We had some very good performances. To have several performances that rank in our all-time top 10 in what for many of our athletes is the outdoor debut is a very good sign of the progress being made. I thought our relays ran well today, and I am pleased that we are competing well in a variety of events.”

    Several Crimson Tide athletes posted performances that rank among the all-time Alabama top 10 in their respective events, led by Paine’s stunning pole vault outing. Among those was Kimberley Ficenec’s impressive victory in the women’s 800 meters in a time of 2:09.75, a time that ranks seventh on the all-time UA list. Callie Ives was second in the women’s long jump with a best of 19-4 (5.89m), a mark that is eighth on the all-time UA list.

    On the men’s side, Kevin Shannon posted the sixth-best javelin throw in Alabama history as he won the event with a toss of 204-11 (62.45m). Shannon was one of three Alabama athletes to win events in the men’s division. Kamal Fuller won the men’s long jump with a leap of 23 feet, 9 inches (7.24m) and Robbie Farnham-Rose won the men’s 1,500 meters in a time of 3:46.47.

    Alabama won three of the four relays contested, sweeping the men’s events.

    The Tide took the men’s 4x100-meter relay with Akeem Haynes, Diondre Batson, James Harrington and Alex Sanders rounding the track in 39.89 seconds. The Crimson Tide quartet of Joel Lynch, Quincy Smith, Diondre Batson and Ken Taylor won the men’s 4x400-meter relay in a time of 3:08.47. Alabama’s women’s 4x400 unit of Joy Maneice-Marbury, Kyri Tabor, Dacia Mays and Shani Chandler won their event in a time of 3:45.44. The Tide women’s 4x100-meter relay team of Sarah Thomas, Kyri Tabor, Joy Maneice-Marbury and Lacey Dent was third in 45.95.
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    Beckles, Royster Lead Gamecocks at Raleigh Relays Gamecocks win five on day two

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – Senior Kierre Beckles and junior Chris Royster kept their undefeated outdoor seasons alive as they captured victories at the Raleigh Relays on Saturday.  The South Carolina track and field team won five events in total on the second day of the meet at NC State.

    Beckles easily bested the field in the women’s 100-meter hurdles finals with a time of 13.09, lowering her already collegiate-leading season best from 13.14. The second-place finisher crossed at 13.34.  

    Royster ran a 10.55 in the men’s 100-meter dash to earn his third 100-meter win of the season. Royster currently sits at 27th in the country and 17th in the east region with his season best of 10.53.

    Juniors Petra Olsen and Tylar Mangan earned wins in their respective women’s pole vault section.  Olsen cleared 13-03 ½ (4.05m) to secure the top spot in her group with Mangan turning in a new personal best of  12-01 1/5 (3.70m) to win her section.

    The team of freshman Ahtyana Johnson, sophomore Erika Rucker, junior Vashti Bandy and freshman Alexis Murphy won the women’s 4x200-meter relay.  The foursome ran a time of 1:34.74.  

    Johnson, Bandy and Murphy were joined by freshman Gabrielle Gray to run the 4x100-meter relay.  The quartet finished second with a time of 45.74.

    The women’s relay team ended the day by finishing second in the 4x400-meter relay.  The team of sophomore Christal Green, Johnson, Bandy and Rucker ran the seventh-fastest time in the country this season at 3:38.97.

    Royster partnered with sophomore Eric Winfrey, who finished fifth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.79, along with freshman Dondre Echols and senior Chris Maxwell in the men’s 4x100-meter relay.  The group ran a time of 40.44 to finish third overall.  

    Royster also ran leadoff on the men’s 4x200-meter relay.  He was joined by Maxwell, senior Andre Carter and Winfrey to run a 1:24.56.  The time was good enough for second place.

    Echols and fellow freshman Jermaine Collier ran in the men’s 110-meter hurdles after advancing to finals yesterday.  Echols clocked in at 14.61 for fifth place and Collier at 14.78 for sixth place.

    Senior Ceci Kryst notched a fifth-place finish in the women’s triple jump with a mark of 37-08 ½ (11.49M).
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    Four event wins highlight home opener for Arkansas men

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 2 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team opened its home schedule Saturday with four wins at the Razorback Spring Invitational at John McDonnell Field. The Razorbacks picked up first-place performances from Marek Niit at 200 meters, Caleb Cross in the 400-meter hurdles, Andrew Irwin in the pole vault and the team’s 4x100-meter relay. The meet was Arkansas’ second competition of the 2013 outdoor season.

    “It is great to back on our home track because we have a beautiful facility,” head coach Chris Bucknam said. “We were able to get a lot of work done today. This meet was about rebooting ourselves after an emotional indoor season. We were happy to watch our guys come out and compete in races. We are not looking at times just yet for a lot of our guys.”

    Irwin extended his winning streak to five meets with Saturday’s result, dating back to the indoor season. The Razorback sophomore entered the competition with a first-attempt clearance at 5.50m/18-0.5 and ended the day with a final clearance of 5.65m/18-6.5. Irwin went on to take three unsuccessful attempts at breaking his own school record with the bar set at 5.73m/18-9.5.

    Cross had Arkansas’ first win on the track with his effort in the 400-meter hurdles. In his third race of the day, he finished the race with a time of 51.08. The Newport, Ark., native also ran the opening leg of the Razorbacks’ 4x100-meter relay and finished second in the 110-meter hurdles with a wind-aided time of 13.84.

    The Razorbacks’ third individual win of the day came from Niit in the 200 meters where he navigated a slight headwind to turn in a time of 20.83, the fastest outdoor opener of his collegiate career. He was the only runner below the 21-second mark. Earlier in the day, Niit finished second at 100 meters. He crossed the finish line in the short sprint in a wind-aided time of 10.45.

    In the final event of the day, Niit collected his second win with teammates Jarrion Lawson, Tomas Squella and Anton Kokorin in the 4x400-meter relay. Running in the second of two sections, the Razorbacks combined for a time of 3:12.48 to finish nearly two seconds ahead of the second-place team.

    Arkansas added seven runner-up finishes to go along with its four event wins. Along with Niit at 100 meters and Cross in the 110m hurdles, the Razorbacks had second-place efforts from Tomas Squella at 800 meters (1:50.02), Brede Ellingsen in the high jump (2.17m/7-1.5), Anthony May II in the long jump (7.50m/24-7.25w) and triple jump (15.40m/50-6.25) and Devin Randall in the discus (49.82m/163-5).
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    Women's 4x400m breaks school record at Texas Relays

    AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 12 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team capped a busy weekend of competition at three separate meets Saturday with a school-record performance from its 4x400-meter relay team at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas. The Razorbacks were also in action at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., and their home Spring Invitational in Fayetteville.

    The 4x400-meter team of Gwendolyn Flowers, Regina George, Sparkle McKnight and Chrishuna Williams combined for a school-record time of 3:28.42 in the event final at the Texas Relays. The group surpassed the previous mark of 3:28.63 set in 2011 at the Drake Relays by Flowers, George, Whitney Jones and Shelise Williams. Arkansas finished fourth in Saturday’s race in which the top four teams were separated by less than a second.

    Earlier this year, the same quartet broke the indoor school record with their 3:29.60 performance at the SEC Championships in Fayetteville. The top four times in the NCAA and in the world were established in Saturday’s 4x400-meter final.

    On day two of the Stanford Invitational, the Razorbacks posted three top-20 results in the seeded section of the 800 meters. Martine Borge was the team’s top performer with a seventh-place finish in 2:07.07, the second-fastest outdoor time of her career. Stephanie Brown, a night after a 5,000-meter race, finished with a time of 2:08.38 and a 14th-place result. Keri Wood turned in a time of 2:09.87, good for 20th place.

    The Razorbacks’ distance crew posted four personal-best marks late Friday night during the distance carnival of the Stanford event. At 1,500 meters, Diane Robison and Dominique Scott had Arkansas’ top times with personal bests of 4:22.66 and 4:23.24, respectively. Shannon Klenke was more than five seconds faster than her previous best in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, crossing the finish line in 10:25.68. In the opening section of the 5,000 meters, Rachel Carpino established a personal-best time of 17:30.52.

    At the home event in Fayetteville, Arkansas was led by a pair of top-10 finishes by Phyllis George at 200 meters and 400 meters. She had personal-best times in each event. In the second outdoor 400-meter race of her collegiate career, George posted a time of 56.52 and a third-place finish in the event.
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    Famurewa’s UK Freshman Record Highlights T&F Weekend

    AUSTIN, Texas and CINCINNATI – Rebecca Famurewa won the Texas Relays Discus Championship, setting the UK freshman record with a mark of 53.22 meters/ 174 feet 7 inches in the process on Saturday.

    Famurewa’s mark also ties the fourth best in school history,

    The UK freshman thrower's banner day was the highlight in Austin, while a pair of Wildcats claimed event titles at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational on the Cincinnati campus.

    Hiruni Wijayaratne won the women’s 1500 meters with a personal record time of 4:34.94. Megan Wright: also claimed third in the same event with a time of 4:35.95.

    Sean Keane won the Nikoloff 800 meters with a time of 1:51.52.

    Michelle Canterna missed the school record pole vault by half an inch as she cleared 3.85 meters/ 12’07.50” to take fourth at the Nikoloff.

    Kayla Parker lowered her personal-best 100-meter hurdles performance for the second day in a row at the Texas Relays. Her time of 13.20 was good for fifth place in the final, and was the second fastest time in UK history.

    Keith Hayes claimed fifth in the 110-meter hurdles final with a time of 13.66, which ranks No 2 in the school record book.
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    TENNESSEE TRACK & FIELD CONCLUDES SPLIT-SQUAD WEEKEND

    AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Tennessee track & field team wrapped up its second week of outdoor competition at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays and the Raleigh Relays on Saturday evening. In total, the Big Orange exits the weekend with 21 personal records and 31 top-10 finishes.

    Through two weeks of the 2013 outdoor campaign, the Vols and Lady Vols have combined for 49 personal records.

    Highlighting the action on Saturday were both the Vol and Lady Vol relay squads. In Raleigh, N.C., three Lady Vol relays posted top-three finishes. Led off by senior Nijgia Snapp, UT’s 4x800-meter relay posted a second-place finish and broke a Raleigh Relays record in the process, crossing the line in 8 minutes, 35.06 seconds. In addition to Snapp, the quartet was comprised of freshman Alexis Panisse and juniors Kianna Ruff and Brittney Jackson.

    Finishing just one spot back was another Lady Vol quartet, which clocked in at 9:07.36. That relay was made up of Kelsey Kane, Amber Zimmerman, Julia Petree and Ty-Vonna Johnson.

    Kane, Panisse and Zimmerman all doubled-up to compete on the Lady Vols 4x1500m relay squad. Joining junior Amirah Johnson, who led off the race, the team finished as the runner-up in 18:23.63.

    At Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, the Lady Vol 4x200m relay team of Kia Jackson, Felicia Brown, Bianca Blair and Emily Yarnell placed seventh with a readout of 1:37.13.

    The Vol relay squads also put in a good days work at both meets. The featured men’s race of the competition, the Clyde Littlefield 4x100m relay, was one of the highlights for the Vols. The Orange and White team comprised of Reggie Juin, Jamol James, Jarael Nelvis and Arnez Hardnick, placed fifth in the highly-competitive race. The group crossed the line in 39.75 seconds.

    In Raleigh, the Vols’ 4x800m relay and 4x1500m relay posted fourth and fifth place finishes, respectively. Terrance Livingston, who placed fourth in the 400m on Friday, led off the 4x800m squad, while Nick Kaiser and Antonio Carter filled the middle slots. Breon Dixon closed it out for UT in a time of 7:33.89. Daniel Tobin, Kyle Walter, Jeremy Dickie and Austin Whitelaw completed the 4x1500m relay in 16:07.28.

    In the field on Saturday, Vol thrower Tavis Bailey, who won the discus title at the nearby Texas State Bobcat Invitational on Thursday, finished sixth in the event in a loaded field at the Texas Relays. With many of the nation’s top competitors in the event in attendance, Bailey recorded a toss of 194-feet, 5-inches (59.25m) on his fourth throw to earn the sixth place mark.

    Senior Drew Thomas recorded a mark of 186-2 (56.74m) in the men’s hammer throw at NC State to earn a third-place finish, while Lady Vol Cassie Wertman finished eighth in the discus ‘B’ section at the Texas Relays. Wertman picked up her second PR of the weekend with a mark of 152-9 (46.56m).
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    Ole Miss Sets Three School Records At Texas Relays

    AUSTIN, Texas – Ole Miss athletes broke three school records during a stellar performance at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays this week.

    Sophomores Sam Kendricks and Haley Cutright won their event titles and shattered school records in the men’s pole vault and women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, respectively. Junior Kayleigh Skinner broke the school record in the women’s 10,000 meters in her first ever attempt at that distance.

    Kendricks soared to a world-leading pole vault clearance of 19-0.75 on Friday, the best vault in the NCAA since 1998. It made him the No. 5 vaulter in collegiate history.

    Cutright won the steeplechase in 10:21.60 on Thursday to break teammate Katie Breathitt’s school record.

    Skinner finished third in the 10,000 meters on Thursday, clocking a time of 35:44.06 that broke a 16-year-old school record by over a minute.

    Two Rebels competed on Saturday, the final day of the prestigious meet. Senior Isiah Young placed fifth in the 100 meter final with a time of 10.35, which will rank him among the nation’s leaders this year. Freshman Onyi Afoaku flung the discus a season-best 179-3 to place 12th in the section A competition. He continues to rank second in school history in the event.

    Several Rebels also competed in Conway, Ark., at the UCA Open on Saturday. Ole Miss captured three individual titles by Robert Semien in the men’s 110-meter hurdles (personal-best 14.33), Hunter Harrison in the men’s discus (142-8) and Jazmin Miller in the women’s hammer throw (168-11).
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    Ameer Webb leads Aggies with three victories on final day of Texas Relays

    AUSTIN – Texas A&M senior Ameer Webb had a hand in three Texas A&M victories at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays as he set the world-leading time for the 2013 season in winning the 100 meters with a 10.14 (1.6 wind) while leading off the 4x100 and anchoring the 4x200 that each claimed wins at Mike A. Myers Stadium on Saturday in front of 16, 549 fans.

    For his efforts Webb earned the Most Outstanding Performer of the meet while the Texas A&M men were named the Most Outstanding Team.

    “There is competition from both coasts, we have people here from all over the United States here and they come down here because the level of competition is great,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “If your successful here in the 4x100 and 4x400 that is a sign of a NCAA Championship quality event. We ran really well in the relays today.”

    Texas A&M men registered a pair of relay victories to start the final day of the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays as they cruised to a world leading 1:20.78 in the 4x200 and a US leading 38.64 in the 4x100 with the same four sprinters.

    “It was a great day,” stated Webb. “The three races were all pretty much back-to-back, so they are hard to run. My favorite race is the 200, so it was exciting to win the 4x200. In the 4x100 the crowd gave me a lot of energy and emotion to run fast. I was excited to run and try to put my team in a good position.

    “This is the Texas Relays so you focus on the relays. Going into the 100 I wanted to have fun and get a good time. That was a big bonus for me and I ran a great time, so I was proud of myself.”

    The Aggie order for the 4x200 went Michael Bryan, Prezel Hardy, Jr., Aldrich Bailey, Jr. and Ameer Webb while the 4x100 went with Webb, Bailey, Bryan and Hardy.

    As his teammates built a comfortable lead in the early stages of the 4x200, Webb enjoyed a sizeable advantage taking over the anchor leg duties. In running the No. 4 time on the Aggie all-time list, A&M bettered the field by two and a half seconds as Northwestern State finished second in 1:23.35 with Tennessee third in 1:23.85.

    A closer finish in the 4x100 included challenges from Florida, TCU and LSU. Michael Bryan established an edge for the Aggies on the third leg and Hardy sped to the finish to close out the impressive victory in 38.64 seconds, the No. 6 time on the Aggie all-time list. Florida ran 38.99 as runner-up with TCU third in 39.54 and LSU fourth at 39.56.

    “I was very excited to come to this track, since it’s a homecoming for me,” said Hardy. “I was ready to come here and show out for my home crowd. Feeding off the victory in the 4x200 I knew we were ready to run fast in the 4x100 as well. We opened the outdoor season with a 38.76, so I knew it was just a matter of getting the sticks together for a win.”

    In his third race of the day Webb established an early lead in the 100 and cruised to the finish line to set a career best time that ranks No. 8 on the Aggie all-time list. Webb’s previous PR in the 100 was 10.17. His win is the third A&M victory in the event since 2010 as Gerald Phiri claimed a pair of titles in 2010 and 2011.

    Finishing behind Webb in the 100 were Aaron Ernest of LSU (10.18), Brent Lee of Jackson State (10.33), Bryan of A&M (10.34) and Mississippi’s Isiah Young (10.35). Webb’s wind-legal 10.14 overtook a 10.15 run by Jamaica’s Jermaine Hamilton as the world leading mark for 2013.

    In equaling the meet record Texas A&M set in 2010, the current Aggie sprint relay won the 4x100 title by over a second with a sizzling 42.56 seconds. Texas finished second in 43.59 while Oregon was third in 43.93. The rest of the field included Florida 44.23, Illinois 44.58, SMU 44.76, Kentucky 44.80 and TCU 45.14 while UCLA was disqualified.

    Running a 42.56 the A&M crew of LaKeidra Stewart, Ashton Purvis, Kamaria Brown and Ashley Collier equaled the No. 3 time on the Aggie all-time list. They also recorded the fastest collegiate sprint relay time in the month of March, topping the 42.99 set by LSU last season. Texas A&M has recorded the fastest collegiate times over four months – March (42.56), April (42.56), May (42.49) and June (42.36).

    “The exchanges were good and everyone hit their mark,” said Brown. “We didn’t know we would run that fast today. When we did it was exciting to see that we equaled the record.”

    Stewart and Brown ran on all three of the Aggie women relays on Saturday as they collected a first (4x1), second (4x2) and third (4x4) finishes.

    “It was such a great experience, especially being my senior year,” stated Stewart. “To go out with such a bang was amazing. It’s the fastest 4x100 I’ve ever been on. I didn’t know what we were capable of, but I know I have some tremendous teammates that can run really fast. Once we got everything to click it was great.”

    The women’s 4x200 relay had a closer race between the Aggies and Texas. The A&M foursome of Purvis, Ibukun Mayungbe, Olivia Ekpone and Kamaria Brown ran 1:32.62 behind a 1:32.37 for the Longhorns. Both teams had issues with one handoff of the baton, and Brown just missed completing the rally for the Aggies as she chased down Courtney Okolo of Texas.

    Collier led a trio of Aggies in the women’s 100m final as she finished second with a windy time of 11.15 while Purvis ran 11.20 for third behind the 11.06 posted by defending winner LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan. A&M’s Jennifer Madu placed fifth in the race with an 11.26.

    Finishing the Texas Relays with the 4x400 offered the fans in attendance a pair of thrilling races. The Aggie women finished third with a remarkable 3:28.27, the second fastest time in school history and third best performance, as Florida (3:27.61) held off Texas (3:27.65) for the win. The Aggie relay consisted of Ekpone (53.1), Mayungbe (51.2), Stewart (52.3) and Brown (51.7).

    “I’m really happy with our performance in the 4x400,” noted Brown. “Even though we didn’t win, that’s one of our best times. It’s faster than what we ran at NCAAs (3:28.58) last year. It will be exciting as the season progresses to see what we can do.”

    A 3:02.76 for the A&M men had them a step away from the victory as Florida won in 3:02.65. Baylor (3:03.90) placed third with LSU (3:05.27) and Kansas (3:08.70) rounding out the top five. The Aggie foursome included Bailey (46.9), Ricky Babineaux (45.7), Carlyle Roudette (45.6) and Deon Lendore (44.6).

    Donique’ Flemings finished sixth in a loaded 100 hurdles final with a time of 13.21 (2.1 wind). Clemson’s Brianna Rollins won the race in 12.54 ahead of three other sub 13-second times.

    Dalton Rowan returned to one of his favorite venues and produced a mark of 191-9 (58.44) to place eighth in the discus. Rowan, who set three PRs in Myers Stadium last season, placed eighth a year ago at Texas Relays with a 186-1 distance. UCLA’s Julian Wruck set a Texas Relays record in winning the discus with a mark of 216-7 (66.01), bettering the previous record of 211-9 (64.54) set in 1982.
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    Georgia Track & Field Takes Advantage Of Weather At Yellow Jacket Invite

    ATLANTA --- A week after having their meet shortened because of storms in Tuscaloosa, Georgia’s track and field teams excelled under sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta on Saturday.

    The Bulldogs left with three top collegiate finishes and two improvements to the school’s all-time top-10 lists during the teams’ third outdoor meet of the year.

    “This was a quality midseason meet for us where some of our developing athletes had a chance to compete,” said Bulldog assistant coach Jon Stuart.  “I think we accomplished a lot and had a chance to compete versus some (Southeastern Conference) talent, which always is good practice.  Some people had marks good enough to get them a shot at the NCAA Regional meet so I thought we held our own out there.”

    Freshman Briana Vaughn picked up her second consecutive victory in the 100-meter dash by edging the nearest competitor by four hundredths of a second.  Vaughn, who came into the weekend with the third-fastest time in the nation, clocked an 11.72 to win the opening heat and the overall race.

    Vaughn returned to take seventh in the 200 (24.39) during her first outdoor race at that distance.

    Fellow freshman Leontia Kallenou reached the top height of her young career after clearing the high jump bar at 5 feet, 11 ¼ inches on her second try.  This improved her No. 10 spot in the Lady Bulldog record books.

    Four competitors actually reached 5-11.25 and the fourth-place finisher was Lady Bulldog senior Saniel Atkinson-Grier.  After clearing her first two heights on the opening attempt, Atkinson-Grier got over the bar at 5-11.25 on her third try for a season-best mark.  

    In the men’s 100, national leader Johnathan Smith also won his second straight race after crossing the finish line in 10.48.  The junior from Apple Valley, Calif., was also the top collegiate finisher (third overall) in the 200 with a time of 21.01.  Only former Bulldog All-Americans David Dickens (20.83) and Torrin Lawrence (20.89) had faster times.

    “This was a personal best for Johnathan in the 200 and I’m happy he got the win in the 100,” Stuart said.  “I’m pleased with how he is developing.”

    Freshman decathlete Devon Williams made his outdoor debut in the 110 hurdles and left with a tie for the 10th-best time in school history.  Williams clocked a 14.30 to take second in the competition.

    Also of note, sophomore decathlete Garrett Scantling lowered his personal best in the 110 hurdles to 14.73 for fourth place.  In the javelin, freshman decathlete Maicel Uibo threw the javelin for the first time at Georgia and took second after his sixth and final attempt traveled 199-8.

    As she continued training for her first heptathlon of the season, senior Lucie Ondraschkova finished third in the javelin after her second throw traveled 127-10.

    Sophomore Brendan Hoban shaved 21 seconds off his best time in the 3000 steeplechase to earn runner-up honors.  Hoban clocked a 9:21.94 to finish just two seconds behind the winner.

    Freshman Victoria Coppage took third overall and was the second collegiate finisher in the women’s steeplechase after finishing her first race in the event with an 11:10.91.

    Also on the track, sophomore Quintunya Chapman was fourth in the 400 with the fastest time in the event for the Lady Bulldogs this season (55.12).  2013 NCAA indoor champion Shaunae Miller, who is a true freshman, has yet to make her debut in the event.
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    Five Gators Capture Titles at UNF Invite, Three Gators Run into Record Books at Stanford

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla./PALO ALTO, Calif. - Five Gator athletes claimed crowns Saturday at the North Florida Invitational in Jacksonville, while the Gator distance crew took care of business in the men's 10,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational Friday evening in Palo Alto, Calif.

    "What a weekend for the Gators," Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. "I couldn't be more proud of our efforts at Stanford and UNF this weekend."

    At the Stanford Invitational, three Gators ran personal bests and etched their names in the Florida record books. Jimmy Clark (St. Johns, Fla.) ran a personal best of 29:08.32 in the men's 10,000 meters, the fifth-fastest time in program history. Senior Josh Izewski (Doylestown, Pa.) also turned in a career time, racing to the eighth-fastest time at UF in 29:21.41. JL Hines (Orlando, Fla.) finished out the trio of 10K performances with his PR of 29:26.03, good for 10th all-time in Gator history.

    "Great runs by Jimmy, Josh and JL last night in the 10K at Stanford," Holloway noted. "All three had big PRs and are now top 10 in school history. Coach (Paul) Spangler continues to do a great job with the distance crew."

    "I'm very proud of Jimmy, Josh and JL," distance coach Paul Spangler commented. "They have worked extremely hard to get to where they are. They are proof that if you dedicate yourself to the sport and believe in your training, you will have success."

    Saturday at the UNF Invite, the distance corps did not disappoint, as freshmen Elliot Clemente (Miami, Fla.) and Mark Mutz (Lakeland, Fla.) each turned in personal bests with times of 15:16.21 and 15:28.85 to finish third and fifth, respectively.

    "I thought Elliot and Mark had great races in Jacksonville today," Holloway said. "Couldn't be more proud of where our distance guys are at just a few weeks into the outdoor season."

    Florida finished 1-2 in the men's hammer throw, as senior David Triassi (Jacksonville, Fla.) and sophomore David Levin (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) threw 57.61m/189-0 and 57.05m/187-2, respectively. Levin's mark was a personal best and moves him to ninth all-time in the event at Florida.

    "I'm very happy for David Levin and his performance today at UNF," Holloway said. "He's been working hard in practice and with his big PB, is now in the top 10 in school history."

    The Gator throwers on the women's side also had big days Saturday, as sophomores Arlithia Mackey (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Manuela Burtsher (Naples, Fla.) threw personal bests in their respective events. Mackey turned in a third-place finish with a personal-best throw of 13.60m/44-7.50 in the women's shot put. Burtsher finished sixth in the women's discus with her mark of 44.45m/145-10, also a personal best.

    "I want to give a shout out to our strength coach Matt DeLancey for the wonderful work he is doing with our athletes, and to trainer Andy Klock and his staff for their efforts in keeping everyone healthy," Holloway noted. "I couldn't be more appreciative to have such incredible support staff."

    "Now we have to get back to Gainesville and get refocused as we prepare to host the Pepsi Florida Relays next weekend. It's great to be a Florida Gator," Holloway finished.
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    Gators Run World-Leading Times to Sweep 4x4 Relays in Austin

    AUSTIN, Texas - The Gator women's and men's 4x400-meter relays wrapped up Saturday in phenomenal fashion, as both relays sprinted out to world-leading times to close the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, presented by State Farm.

    "What a day at Texas," Florida head coach Mike Holloway proclaimed. "I'm very proud of all the Gators. We were very competitive in both 4x1s and to close the meet winning both 4x4s was special. What we saw out there today is a testament to the hard work these young people are putting in at practice every day."

    The women's 4x400-meter relay, with Robin Reynolds (Miami, Fla.), Lanie Whittaker (Miami, Fla.), Destinee Gause (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) and Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.) in the lineup, ran the fastest time in the world this year with their winning time of 3:27.61. The Gators battled for the top spot with Texas but an impressive third leg by youngster Gause got the Gators out in front on the anchor leg. Eutsey held her position through the final 200 meters and just edged the Longhorns with her anchor leg time of 51.51.

    The men's 4x400-meter relay, competing in the Cleburne Price, Jr. Invitational relay, also finished first in a world-leading 3:02.65. The lineup featured two freshmen and two sophomores, with Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.) leading things off for the Gators. Sophomore Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.), a member of the 2012 SEC and NCAA Champion 4x4, handled duties on the second leg while freshman Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) took over for the third leg. Sophomore Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) fought off an outstanding anchor leg from Texas A&M to clinch the victory in the final race of the Texas Relays.

    Florida's men's 4x100-meter relay, comprised of Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Graham, Jr., Leonardo Seymore (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Dukes, turned in a season's best 38.99 to finish as a runner-up and owns the second-best time in the NCAA this year.

    The Gator women's 4x100-meter relay finished fourth in Saturday's finals with a time of 44.23, courtesy of Reynolds, Kyra Jefferson (Detroit, Mich.), Gause and Eutsey. 44.23 goes down as the seventh-fastest time in the NCAA this year.

    "I want to give a shout out to our strength coach Matt DeLancey for the wonderful work he is doing with our athletes, and to trainer Andy Klock and his staff for their efforts in keeping everyone healthy," Holloway noted. "I couldn't be more appreciative to have such incredible support staff."

    "Now we have to get back to Gainesville and get refocused as we prepare to host the Pepsi Florida Relays next weekend. It's great to be a Florida Gator," Holloway finished.
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    Alabama Sprinter BJ Hornikel Breaks School Record, Takes Fifth in NCAA Championships 100 Freestyle

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Alabama sprinter BJ Hornikel closed out his second appearance at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in grand fashion, taking fifth place in the 100 freestyle with a school record time, earning first team All-American honors in the process at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind.

    Hornikel posted a career-best 42.46 in the finals of the 100 freestyle, posting his fourth personal best in a month and breaking the school mark set by four-time Olympic gold medalist Jon Olsen in 1991. The junior tied Olsen’s mark during prelims with a 42.69. Hornikel was seeded 17th in the 100 freestyle coming into this year’s championships after posting a then career-best 42.87 at the Southeastern Conference Championship in February.

    Hornikel now has a trio of All-American honors after earning honorable mention accolades in the 100 freestyle in 2012 and in the 200 freestyle on Friday. His finish in the 100 freestyle earned the Tide 14 additional team points for a total of 20 on the week. He also took 11th in the 200 freestyle at these championships on Friday with a career-best 1:34.44 and 21st in the 50 freestyle on Thursday, the meet’s first day.
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