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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Lakecia Ealey doesn't just win. She breaks records.

Ealey's time of 7.27 seconds in the 60-meter dash Saturday at the Rod McCravy Memorial track and field meet in Lexington, Ky., not only broke the UF school record for the event but ranks as the 13th-fastest time in the world.

"Lakecia and I talked about her goals for the season back in August, and one of her goals was to break the school record in the 60-meter dash," UF coach Mike Holloway said. "She did that today, and I am very proud of her. She has worked very hard."

Ealey's performance highlighted a strong weekend of competition that saw the Gators win seven events.

When it comes to the 200-meter dash, UF just doesn't lose.

For the third consecutive week, both the men and women swept the 200-meter event.

Senior Natalie Knight captured the women's title with a time of 21.73 seconds, while junior Willie Perry won it for the men, crossing the finish line with a time of 21.15 seconds.

"It's a testament to the work ethic and athletic ability of Willie Perry and Natalie Knight," Holloway said. "They are All-Americans who continue to work hard, and when you work hard, good things happen."

Beau Burroughs continued his domination of the shot put with a career-best toss of 18.35 meters.

Saturday's win is the third straight for the junior from Tampa.

The drama of the day surrounded the women's high jump, which ended in a jump off between UF's Jenna Utecht and Miami of Ohio's Kristina Bolterstein. The two finished the competition tied with a mark of 1.73 meters. Bolterstein won the jump off, but Utecht's second place finish was her best of the season.

The team's multi-event specialists were in Nampa, Idaho, during the weekend for the United Heritage Invitational hosted by Boise State.

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Sophomore Steffan Hommel placed third in the heptathlon with a score of 5,532 points.

The score moved Hommel into second place all-time on the UF heptathlon list.

Holloway was pleased with the team's well-rounded effort this weekend.

"A lot of people talk about us being a sprint school, but we don't want to be viewed as just a sprint school," Holloway said. "We want to be viewed as a track and field program. I think we are taking some very large steps toward that right now."

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