Florida Gators celebrate SEC titles in 4 sports in successful weekend
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Florida baseball, softball and track & field teams claim SEC superiority
It started Saturday afternoon when the top-ranked Florida baseball team swatted 4 home runs on the way to a decisive 9-3 win against No. 16 Georgia, a fitting encapsulation of the Gators’ thorough dominance of the SEC this season.
With that win, Florida (41-12, 20-7 SEC) clinched at least a share of the conference title with a week still to play, claiming the 15th regular-season crown in program history and fifth in 11 seasons with coach Kevin O’Sullivan.
Again, though, that was just the start.
BACK-TO-BACK SEC CHAMPS!!!!
— Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) May 12, 2018
Later in the evening Saturday, the Gators softball team scored a 3-1 win against South Carolina to capture its first SEC Tournament title since 2013, to pair with the its regular-season conference championship.
On Sunday night, the softball team received the No. 2 national seed for the NCAA Tournament, playing host to a regional including Ohio State, South Florida and Bethune-Cookman. The Gators (50-8) open against Bethune-Cookman at 7:30 p.m. Friday ET at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Read more here.
That does it! The Gators win both the Regular Season and the SEC Tournament Championship!
— Gators Softball (@GatorsSB) May 13, 2018
All the while, the Florida women’s and men’s track and field teams both claimed first place at the SEC Outdoor Championships, sweeping the titles for the first time in school history.
— Gators Track and Field & Cross Country (@GatorsTF) May 14, 2018
It marks just the fourth time since 1991 that one school has won both team titles at the SEC Outdoor Championships.
For the Florida women, it was the program’s sixth championship at the meet and first since 2009. For the men, it’s the sixth in program history and first since 2015.
Gators sophomore Grant Holloway became the second man in meet history to win the 110 hurdles and long jump championships, running the 110-meter hurdles in the second-fastest time in collegiate history (13.15 seconds).
On the women’s side, junior Sharrika Barnett set a school record in winning the 400 meters (50.69 seconds).
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In Florida football news
- SEC Country is on the road this month visiting Florida’s 2018 signees for our Recruiting Rewind and Next Generation series. In his Recruiting Rewind, 4-star defensive end Andrew Chatfield explains what his Florida scholarship offer meant to him and why the Gators beat out Florida State and Miami.
- The bold quote has been heard from Gainesville to Starkville by now, but here were Florida coach Dan Mullen’s full comments on having to face his former Mississippi State team this fall.
- Chatfield is the fourth player from American Heritage School to sign with the Gators in the last two recruiting classes. Read more about that recruiting pipeline here.
- John Dunmore, a 4-star wide receiver from Hollywood, Fla., visited Florida this weekend. He was previously committed to the Gators prior to the coaching change. SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi sizes up Florida’s competition for Dunmore, and notes that four 2018 signees officially moved to campus this weekend. Read more here.
- Abolverdi also assesses where Florida stands with top-50 cornerback (according to the 247Sports composite) Chris Steele, from Bellflower, Calif.
More Florida baseball news
- The No. 1 Gators took two out of three games from the Bulldogs and have now won all nine SEC series this season.
- Florida rallied with 2 runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday for a 7-6 win in the series opener.
- As mentioned, the Gators won 9-3 on Saturday with home runs from JJ Schwarz (his 12th), Nelson Maldonado (seventh), Jonathan India (16th) and Blake Reese (fourth).
- Florida then lost 4-1 on Sunday in the finale, remaining three games up on Arkansas with three to play. While the Razorbacks maintain a mathematical chance to tie for the best SEC regular-season record, the Gators have already clinched the top seed for the conference tournament by virtue of winning two out of three games against Arkansas in March.
- Schwarz set a school record Sunday with his 260th career start, passing former Florida standout Preston Tucker. Schwarz and Nick Horvath were honored before the game Sunday as the Gators’ lone seniors.
JJ Schwarz pic.twitter.com/2gehJwiNlD
— Nick de la Torre (@NickdelaTorreGC) May 13, 2018
Nick Horvath pic.twitter.com/A9ZgdDyDoa
— Nick de la Torre (@NickdelaTorreGC) May 13, 2018
Around campus …
- The Florida women’s lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals with a 13-9 win against Colorado on Sunday, reeling off 8 consecutive goals in the process. The No. 6-seeded Gators advance to face No. 3 James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va. The Gainesville Sun’s Graham Hall has the full story.
— Graham Hall (@GrahamHall_) May 13, 2018
- The Gators men’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Tournament round of 16 for the third straight season, getting past Miami 4-0 on Sunday. Read more here.
- The Florida men’s golf team begins play in the NCAA Kissimmee Regional on Monday. Read more here.
- Florida hired a new assistant basketball coach for the second time in a month, quickly replacing Armon Gators — who left for Nebraska after three weeks — with Al Pinkins, who spent the last two seasons at Texas Tech. Read more about Pinkins here.
- InsideTheGators.com’s Jake Winderman reports that Florida point guard target Kyle Sturdivant is visiting the Gators on Monday. Read about it here.
What they’re saying on Twitter
- Schwarz is enjoying his final season at Florida, one few expected he’d be back for this year:
Big message to high schoolers contemplating the draft. Pro ball can wait, you’ll never get another chance for college. So glad God choose this path for me. UF will always be close to heart. https://t.co/xUv0eJpEhD
— JJ Schwarz (@usetheschwarz22) May 14, 2018
- The Gators baseball account offered its congrats to its fellow Florida SEC championship squads:
— Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) May 14, 2018
- Florida basketball coach Mike White and women’s soccer coach Becky Burleigh joined in Saturday:
— Michael White (@MikeWhiteUF) May 13, 2018
— Becky Burleigh (@BeckyBurleigh) May 12, 2018
- Steve Spurrier was at McKethan Stadium for the baseball team’s series finale with Georgia on Sunday:
— Steve McClain (@smikemac) May 13, 2018
- Gators first-round draft pick Taven Bryan getting started with the Jacksonville Jaguars:
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) May 13, 2018
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