With the second day of the NCAA East Preliminary Round in the books, the Gators will send eight more athletes to Eugene, Ore., for the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships – upping their total to 10 athletes.
“I’m extremely proud of all of our athletes who advanced to the NCAA Championships in Eugene,” coach Mike Holloway said. “It’s always great to have your teammates with you for the finals, and we’re looking forward to another great showing tomorrow.”
Senior Ugonna Ndu is among those who will advance. Ndu was the top finisher in the women’s 400m hurdles with a time of 57.08 seconds.
“Ugonna is a special athlete and she and coach (Erin) Tucker have a great bond,” Holloway said. “She’s had a great weekend so far and I look forward to seeing her run tomorrow in the 100 hurdles. For her to be the top qualifier in the 400 hurdles speaks to the hard work she’s put in this year.”
Darshay Davis and Destinee Gause also advanced to Eugene with personal bests in the women’s 100m and 200m, respectively. Davis had an all-conditions best time of 11.29 seconds, while Gause finished her event in 23.24 seconds.
“I’m really proud of both Darshay and Destinee,” Holloway said. “For Darshay to advance to the finals site speaks volumes of the work she has put in outdoors this year. I look forward to their race in the 200 tomorrow. Darshay wasn’t especially pleased with her time but she has the chance to improve tomorrow. For Destinee to run a PR at NCAAs is great, especially for a freshman, and she has the potential for a great day tomorrow.”
Five of Florida’s six athletes who competed in their respective 400m events finished in time to advance to Eugene, including Ebony Eutsey for the women and Arman Hall for the men.
“It’s always great to have so many of your teammates with you in a field of 24,” Holloway said. “I think it speaks highly of their work ethic and while I would have loved to have all six of our 400 runners make it to Eugene, five out of six is great too.”
Saturday – the final day of the meet – features some of Florida’s strongest events. Reigning NCAA indoor champion Eddie Lovett is set to compete in the men’s 110m hurdles and both the men and women’s 400m relay squads are also competing.
“We have to remember to come out [Saturday],” Holloway said. “This is a win or go home situation and we have to keep a positive attitude and compete at our best.”