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Sunday, June 23, 2024
Florida's Jeff Demps qualifies for the NCAA Indoor National Championships in the 60-meter dash, running the second-fastest time in the country this season.
Florida's Jeff Demps qualifies for the NCAA Indoor National Championships in the 60-meter dash, running the second-fastest time in the country this season.

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Florida jumper Christian Taylor and sprinter Jeff Demps took the

“elite” in the Virginia Tech Elite Meet a little too seriously this

weekend in Blacksburg, Va.

Both athletes easily qualified for the national meet, moving the

Gators men’s team one step closer to winning a second consecutive

indoor national title.

Taylor dominated the triple jump Saturday, posting a 16.61m/54-6

mark, allowing him to join fellow jumpers Omar Craddock and Will

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Claye in College Station, Texas at season’s end.

Taylor’s victory this weekend also extended one of the nation’s

most impressive winning streaks — the junior jumper hasn’t lost an

indoor triple jump event since the 2009 Tyson Invitational.

“If

you look at where Christian was this time last year, he is way

ahead of the curve this year,” head coach Mike Holloway said.

“Christian has always been a very talented guy, but he has much

better focus and drive this year.”

On

the track, the sophomore sprinter Demps put any questions regarding

his foot injury to rest by nearly posting a personal record in his

first 60-meter dash of the 2011 campaign.

Demps won the heat with a time of 6.57 seconds, the second-best

time in the NCAA this season. He will defend his national title in

the 60-metert dash at Texas A&M’s indoor track March 11-12.

“Nothing Jeff does surprises us anymore,” Holloway said of the

two-sport star Friday.

In

addition to the exploits of Taylor and Demps, other members of

Florida’s two track teams combined to record six event victories

and 18 top-five finishes during the weekend.

Junior jumper Will Claye, who qualified for the national meet in

the men’s triple jump last weekend, recorded an impressive mark of

7.45m/24-5.5 winning the long jump.

Sophomore sprinters Tony McQuay (400-meter dash) and Leonardo

Seymore (200-meter dash) were new winners for the men’s team this

week, posting times of 47.11 seconds and 21.01 seconds,

respectively.

Seymore’s effort in Blacksburg was 0.49 seconds better than his

performance (21.50 seconds) at the Texas A&M Challenge just

last week.

“For Seymore to have a half-second PR is incredibly impressive,”

Holloway said. “I am also very pleased with Tony’s run.”

Lanie Whitaker, the only winner from the women’s team this weekend,

won the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.11 seconds.

Whitaker also won the 400-meter dash at last season’s Virginia Tech

Elite Meet, placing first with a time of 54.06 seconds.

"I

am very pleased with our progress,” Holloway said. “We continue to

take steps in the right direction and that is very important to

me."


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