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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Pressly Stadium will be full of national champions this weekend.

Joining the back-to-back NCAA indoor champion Florida men’s team will be defending champion Texas A&M, which brings its No. 2 men’s squad and No. 1 women’s team for the Tom Jones Memorial Classic, beginning at noon Saturday.

“For them to come down here is big because we don’t normally get to see them until championship time,” senior Terrell Wilks said. “To have them come to our home track is going to be fun. It’ll be a very competitive meet.”

The Aggies swept the NCAA Outdoor Championships last season, taking home the men’s and women’s titles.

UF scored 40 points, finishing a distant third on the women’s side, but the competition between the men’s teams was much closer.

The Aggies edged the Gators 55-54, handing UF its second consecutive second-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

“They’re the reigning national champions, and we’ve got to dethrone them. So, keeping that in mind, we just put our best foot forward and run with it,” junior Christian Taylor said. “There’s definitely a revenge factor, especially when it’s come down to just one or two points.”

This weekend’s meeting will mark the first time the two have met since the NCAA Indoor Championships in March, when Florida won the event with 52 points and Texas A&M placed second with 40.

However, as UF coach Mike Holloway has maintained throughout the year, the No. 1 men’s team is focused on its own results and continually improving its marks.

“Anytime you put Florida and Texas A&M on the same track, there’s going to be an adrenaline rush. But we’re going to focus on Florida,” Holloway said. “We would like to run well this weekend, but I’d like to run very well at the conference and national meets, where it counts.”

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