The gleam of the sun bounced from the seams of Grant Holloway’s blue uniform as he and the cluster of cameras following him made their way across the grass to coach Mike Holloway. The athlete leaned forward as his right hand collided with the left hand of his coach.
And as if mirroring one another, they saluted and threw their hands down in celebration of the feat the sophomore had just accomplished.
Friday marked another record-setting performance by Holloway, this time in the men’s 110-meter hurdles. He finished the race in 13.16 seconds for the fastest time in UF school history, which put him alongside Maryland’s Renaldo Nehemiah and Oregon’s Devon Allen for the second-fastest time in collegiate history.
Riding the momentum they established at the Florida Relays two weeks ago, UF’s men’s track and field athletes recorded 14 top-five finishes out of the 18 events they competed in at the Tom Jones Memorial on Friday.
The meet opened with the swing of a heavy metal ball by UF’s throwers, who added to their outdoor season accomplishments.
Anders Eriksson, Thomas Mardal and AJ McFarland went one, two and three — just like they did earlier this season at the FSU Relays — in the men’s hammer throw.
On his final attempt of the day, Eriksson threw for 73.58 meters, breaking his own school record. He watched as the ball hit the ground to land him the No. 3 spot in the nation.
“On that final throw, coach (Steve) Lemke just told me to go for it,” Eriksson said after the meet. “It’s fun to keep moving that record and keep getting better every meet. And I know we have a freshman, (Mardal), who’s doing really well, so I need to move that school record as far away as I can because I’m sure he will pass it.”
The trio of Magnus Petterson, Jack Guyton and Nick Deal also finished in the top three in the men’s 3,000-meter run.
Another win for the Gators came from Clayton Brown, who won his second consecutive men’s high jump event (he took first place at the Florida Relays on March 31). The sophomore cleared 2.24 meters for a mark that is tied for fourth in the country. Fellow jumper Keandre Bates also took second place in the triple jump.
In the first of two relay events, the men’s 4x100 team of Holloway, Michael Timpson Jr., Ryan Clark and Chantz Sawyers took second place at 38.96 seconds behind Clark’s anchor on the final leg of the race.
Holloway and Sawyers joined Kunle Fasasi and Benjamin Lobo Vedel in the 4x400 for a race that ended with the group recording the third fastest time in the nation (3:03.07). It recorded the fastest time in the nation (3:01.00) at the Florida Relays on March 31.
The women were led on Friday by field athletes Yanis David, Darrielle McQueen and Lloydricia Cameron.
David and McQueen finished first and second, respectively, in the women’s long jump with David’s jump putting her at the No. 3 spot in the nation.
Cameron took third in the discus early in the day and followed with a personal-record throw of 17.66 meters in the shot put, good for second place in the event and the No. 3 mark in the NCAA.
Amanda Froeynes added with her 1.68-meter mark in the high jump, which tied her with South Florida’s Imani Carmouche for third place in the event.
And in perhaps her best meet of the season, sophomore Brandee’ Johnson’s performance was one of the highlights of the women’s day.
Johnson clocked a personal record 13.21 seconds in the women’s 100-meter hurdle to climb into the NCAA Top-20, and also recorded a season best 57.94 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles to take the 12th slot in the nation. She improved her No .8 100-meter hurdles time on the schools all-time top 10 list as well.
“I decided today that I wasn’t going to think about anything. I was going to trust my training, trust my coaches and just go out there and do what I know I can do,” Johnson said. “The confidence really did boost me throughout the rest of the day.”
The women ended the Tom Jones Memorial with a second place finish in the 4x400-meter relay by the group of Taylor Manson, Lauryn Ghee, Sharrika Barnett and Nikki Stephens, which clocked a time of 3:33.71.
The Gators will have some time off before the teams head to Arkansas for the National Relay Championships, which is the last meet before the SEC Outdoor Championships.