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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The women’s track and field team is not ranked like the No. 1 men, but it is motivated to change that.

The women had one winner — freshman Ebony Eutsey in the 400-meter dash — and 10 top-five finishes at the Texas A&M Challenge despite sending a team of mostly freshmen and sophomores.

Track and Field News ranked the Florida women’s recruiting class as the country’s No. 7 group last year and the second-best unit in the SEC.

“Hopefully, we’ll be right beside (the men) this year, if not above them,” freshman Brittany Harrell said. “We’ll do really well because we came in ranked high, and we have high expectations as a result.”

Except for a women’s distance medley relay heading to New York, UF will compete in the two-day Virginia Tech Elite meet this weekend.

The women previously placed first (2009) and second (2010) at the SEC Outdoor Tournament.

“The big thing with our freshmen is that we do a good job of reloading so we don’t have to rebuild,” Gators coach Mike Holloway said. “They’re here, we recruited them here, and we expect big things out of them.

Harrell competed in her first-ever collegiate meet last week, and Eutsey tried her hand at running indoors for the first time. Harrell and Eutsey both say that as they mature, they will begin to perform at an even higher level.

“Practicing with people that are very competitive like myself has been a learning experience,” Eutsey said. “Actually being able to practice with somebody who is running right beside me or in front of me pushing me to get better has been a big transition for me.”

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