Behind four individual championships, the Florida men’s track and field team won its second straight team national title at the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Friday in Eugene, Ore. and allowed coach Mike Holloway to continue his track and field dynasty in Gainesville.
The No. 2-ranked Gators tallied 61.5 points to keep a narrow lead over second-place finisher Texas A&M. With that finish, the Florida men’s team has now won four outdoor championships in the last six years and have recorded top-3 finishes in 17 of the last 18 NCAA championships (both indoors and outdoors) dating back to 2009.
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Florida’s individual championships, which gave the Gators 10 points each, came from:
- Junior KeAndre Bates, who won the long jump and triple jump. He is the 11th athlete to sweep both horizontal jumps.
- Freshman Grant Holloway, who won the 110-meter hurdles. He is the third freshman since 1975 to win the 110-meter hurdles.
- Redshirt senior Eric Futch, who defended his 400-meter hurdles title. He is the eighth athlete to win back-to-back titles in the 400-meter hurdles.
Holloway also gave the Gators 8 points with a second-place finish in the long jump on Wednesday and was part of Florida’s fourth-place 4-by-400-meter relay team.
The Gators also earned points from senior Andres Arroyo (fifth place, 800-meter run), senior TJ Holmes (sixth place, 400-meter hurdles) and sophomore Johnny Victory (T-seventh place, high jump).
Florida’s women’s team, which ranked eighth in the USTFCCCA rankings heading into the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, will finish its season on Saturday. The Gators are tied for seventh on the women’s side with 10 points after the first day thanks to a second-place javelin finish from senior Marija Vucenovic and a seventh-place shot put finish from Lloydricia Cameron. Florida has seven scoring opportunities on Saturday for the women’s team, which hopes to improve on its ninth-place finish in 2016.
This is Florida’s second national championship of this athletic season, following up the women’s tennis team’s national title in May.