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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

“Finish the mission” has been the Gators’ motto all season, Jeff Demps ran so fast no one even had time to look up what the mission was.

Demps won the 100-meter dash with a blazing time of 9.96 at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. The championship was the Gators’ second men’s individual NCAA title this weekend at the historic Hayward Field.

Demps, who was also the 2010 NCAA Indoor 60-meter champion, would have set a new school record had the race not been heavily wind-aided (+2.5).

“It was a great race today,” Demps said. “I executed well and came out with the win. I know my team needed the points and I just came out to get the 10 points to try to help us win the team title.”

Demps’ title marked the seventh time in the last 10 years that the 100-meter dash champion has come from the Southeastern Conference.

All-American Calvin Smith placed fourth in the men’s 400-meter dash with a time of 45.37 and added five crucial points to the men’s team’s total.

After the third day of the championships, the Gators men’s squad sits in second place with 28 points, eight points behind first place Texas A&M. The final day of the NCAA Championships are today, and Florida has a multitude of scoring possibilities remaining including the shot put and its two top relay teams.

Demps’ cheetah-like time was not the only impressive performance on the day, as senior All-American Mariam Kevkhishvili won her fifth NCAA shot put championship (indoors and outdoors), becoming just the second athlete in NCAA history to claim five women’s shot put titles.

“I am happy to win my fifth NCAA title,” Kevkhishvili said. “I wasn’t really happy with my throw, but I’m glad I was able to score 10 points and help my team today.”

Kevkhishvili won the title with a toss of 18.11 meters and became just the second woman in NCAA history to claim both the NCAA indoor and outdoor shot put titles in back-to-back seasons.

The senior thrower completed her amazing career by going undefeated as a collegiate competitor in her final two seasons at UF.

“I am very, very pleased with how we performed today,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “It all started with Mariam winning her fifth NCAA title. It’s not always easy to come in as the favorite, but she did a great job today. I am especially proud of Jeff’s title by that kind of a margin is a big accomplishment. I’m also very happy with Calvin for sticking in there and getting a big five points for the team. Now it’s on to tomorrow and it should be a lot of fun.”

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The 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships conclude today starting at 12:30 p.m.

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