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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Willie Perry was a one-man show Saturday at the Hurricane Challenge hosted by the University of Miami.

The junior posted two individual event wins to go along with a first-place finish in the 4x100 meter relay.

Perry led the way as the Gators swept the top five spots in the 200-meter dash.

His time of 20.76 seconds in the event clocked in as the fastest in the nation this year.

The sweep moved UF to the top of the NCAA's descending-order list for the event with five athletes. No other school has more than three.

It was nearly the same result in the 100-meter dash, as Perry topped a group of Gators that took the top three spots.

Perry ended the day the same place he started - at the top of the podium.

The speedster blazed the way to UF's first-place finish in the 4x100 meter relay.

Their time of 39.94 seconds was a regional-qualifying mark.

Perry's performance headlined a weekend that saw the Gators rack up 14 regional-qualifying marks and six victories.

"The weekend went well," Holloway said. "We got a lot of regional-qualifying marks, and that's what it's all about right now."

Lakecia Ealey led the way on the women's side.

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The senior took first place in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.5 seconds. The time clocked in as the NCAA's fastest this season and was only eight-hundredths of a second short of matching her personal record.

Ealey finished up the day with a personal-record time of 23.56 seconds in the 200-meter dash. Her time was good enough for second place on the NCAA's descending-order list.

While most of the team spent the weekend in Coral Gables, select members made the trip back up to Tallahassee for the Florida State Relays.

Sophomore Mike Morrision punched his ticket to the regional meet in the pole vault Saturday, posting a regional-qualifying mark of 5.05 meters. The clearance matched his career-best.

This came a day after Morrison took third place in the javelin. His throw of 60.73 meters was the eighth-best by a UF athlete since the new javelin specifications came into effect in 1985.

Morrison competed in the javelin in preparation for decathlon competition later in the season.

"Mike had a great weekend for us," Holloway said. "He really tries to work hard on each individual event, and it shows."

The Gators captured a pair of regional-qualifying marks in the 800-meter event.

Sophomore Carlos Phillip took first place in the event with a time of 1:49:64. The time was a personal best for Phillips.

Senior Eric Alberter took second in the event, clocking in at personal-best 1:49.91.

"We were pleased with Carlos' effort," Holloway said. "I'm sure he is happy to get qualified for the regional meet, but its not going to change his preparation. He is going get out there and keep training hard."

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