Ryan Young/SEC Country
Florida's Wil Dalton (from left), JJ Schwarz and Brady Smith have been doing plenty of celebrating this season.

Florida Gators celebrate SEC titles in 4 sports in successful weekend

Ryan Young

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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.

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.

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.

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).

Read more about the track and field feats here.

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In Florida football news

Recruiting roundup

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.

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.

  • 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.

Basketball buzz

  • 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:

  • The Gators baseball account offered its congrats to its fellow Florida SEC championship squads:

  • Florida basketball coach Mike White and women’s soccer coach Becky Burleigh joined in Saturday:

  • Steve Spurrier was at McKethan Stadium for the baseball team’s series finale with Georgia on Sunday:

  • Gators first-round draft pick Taven Bryan getting started with the Jacksonville Jaguars:

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