With the end of the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships on the horizon, the Gators needed points to stay in contention.
Fortunately for Florida, Friday was its best day of the meet so far, and the points couldn’t have come any sooner.
All four athletes competing on Friday scored points for the Gators.
“Just an awesome job by everyone today,” coach Mike Holloway said.
Of the three events the Gators competed in on Friday, they had the most fruitful results in the men’s 400 meters.
Freshman Arman Hall and sophomore Hugh Graham, Jr. finished third and sixth, respectively. Hall’s time of 45.02 seconds was a season’s best for him.
“For the men, I felt that Arman ‘Gino’ Hall and Hugh Graham, Jr. both did an excellent job in the 400, finishing third and sixth,” said Holloway. “For Gino to come into his first NCAA championships and run a personal best as a frosh speaks volumes about his future here at UF. Hugh has had a great year and has established himself as one of the premier 400 runners in the country.”
Hall and Graham scored a combined nine points in the 400 for Florida’s men, leaving them tied for 11th with 15 points.
For the women, senior Ugonna Ndu and sophomore Ciarra Brewer both notched fifth place finishes in the women’s 400 meter hurdles and triple jump, respectively.
Ndu earned her four points with a time of 56.13 seconds in the hurdles.
“Extremely proud of Ugonna Ndu finishing an awesome senior season which has seen her set personal bests in all her events,” Holloway said. “Finishing fifth in the 400 hurdles, running right at her personal best, she just had a great race.”
Brewer’s four points came from jumping a distance of 13.53 meters.
“I’m also proud of CiCi Brewer for fighting through a hamstring injury and coming up big on her final jump to finish fifth in the triple jump,” said Holloway. “We have been talking to our women's team about believing in themselves and competing at the level of this meet. I felt that both CiCi and Ugonna did that today.”
The eight points scored by the women on Friday currently puts them in 12th place with 16 points.
With the outdoor track season ending tomorrow, the Gators need all the points they can get to have a shot at winning a championship.
The men are currently 17 points out of first place behind top teams Southern California and Texas, while the women remain 32 points behind leader Kansas.
While the women are technically out of contention for first place, the men still have a shot.
On Saturday, the men are set to compete in the triple jump, 110 meter hurdles, 4x100 meter relay, and 4x400 meter relay.
“We have set ourselves up to have a great finish to the national meet,” Holloway commented. “We have some very strong events for us tomorrow and I am very excited to watch the Gators compete Saturday.”