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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Gators men’s track and field athletes Christian Taylor and Gray Horn have both won at such a torrid pace this year, a heat swell would still not be a deterrent.

With the heat index reading 102 degrees this weekend, the pair still picked up victories at the 2010 North American, Central American and Caribbean Under-23 Championships at Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar.

“It was so hot, man,” Horn said. “The key to this weekend was just staying hydrated and trying to avoid muscle cramps.”

Horn, the two-time defending Southeastern Conference decathlete champion, captured two events and set a personal record on his way to winning the overall men’s decathlon.

Horn began the sweltering day winning the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.57. Later, he won the men’s pole vault with a leap of 4.60 meters, but the multi-talented sophomore clinched the overall victory by placing second in the javelin with a personal-record throw of 52.27 meters.

“Everything was just real solid this weekend,” he said. “Nothing spectacular, just consistency all around.”

Horn said he was proud of his javelin throw because it bested his previous record by three meters.

Taylor, the NCAA Outdoor and Indoor men’s triple-jump champion, won both the triple jump and the long jump this weekend. Taylor won the triple jump, his best event, on his fifth attempt with a leap of 16.66 meters.

Taylor tied his personal best in the long jump with a leap of 8.19 meters. The jump also tied the second-best long jump in school history.



In other related Gators track and field news, senior thrower Evelien Dekkers, the 2010 NCAA javelin champion, has been awarded a prestigious NCAA postgraduate scholarship.

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Scholarships of $7,500 have been given by the NCAA to 29 male and 29 female student-athletes who participated in a spring sport. Dekkers, the three-time defending SEC women’s javelin champion, holds a 3.84 GPA while majoring in food science and human nutrition. She is also minoring in business administration and has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in each year of her collegiate career.

According to the NCAA, in order to be eligible for a postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must meet certain criteria, including an overall grade-point average of 3.20 (on a 4.0 scale) or the equivalent of that GPA.

The student-athlete must also have “performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in the sport in which the student-athlete was nominated,” according to GatorZone.

Those selected by the NCAA must have shown a well-rounded approach to performance both on and off the field that has gained recognition for the student-athlete and the school.

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