The last time Florida visited the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., was during the 2013 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships.
The men’s team fell runner-up to the defending champions Arkansas.
No. 2 Florida will look to avenge that defeat against top-ranked Arkansas today.
Multiple athletes will make their debut for the spring season in the tightly contested meet, including UF long jump record-holder Marquis Dendy.
Coach Mike Holloway said he is looking forward to his defending national champion opening up this weekend.
Dendy took the crown in last spring’s Southeastern Conference Championships in the long jump with a mark of 8.25 meters, and he also finished third in the triple jump at 16.25 meters.
Dendy believes most athletes lack the ability to perform well in both the long and triple jump.
Dendy said the main challenge is changing from long to triple jump. He said most people are only really good at one, but not both.
But he believes he is well-balanced.
The junior jumper is also aware of how to adapt his mental approach to both events.
“Long jump I’m thinking aggressive, fierce you know I got to come down there running angry, wild, barracuda-style,” Dendy said.
“Triple jump, I’ve got to think more like elegant.
I’ve got to come down there swiftly, smooth, slower so it’s hard when I have violence on the other side, and being kind on the other.”
“Especially, how long jump is on one day and triple jump is the next day. One hand I’m violent, on the other hand I just gotta be calm and collective.”
Opening up alongside Dendy this weekend are duo distance runners Mark Parrish and Eddie Garcia.
Parrish finished in eighth place in last spring’s indoor Razorback Invitational in the 3,000-meter with a time of 8:12.36, while Garcia finished 16th with a personal-best time of 8:24.73.
“Very excited about both of those guys. Mark was a guy that was at the NCAA national championships last year,” Holloway said. “He’s in our top 10 list in the steeple, 5k and the 3k. He’s a wonderful talent and it’s his senior year and he’s looking forward to some big things.”
With multiple things surrounding the team at USTFCCCA’s Division I National meet of the Week, stepping up is above all.
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Marquis Dendy competes at the Southeastern Conference Indoor Track Championships on Feb. 23, 2013, in Fayetteville, Ark. Dendy won the long jump on Day 2 of the NCAA Outdoors Championships on Thursday in Eugene, Ore.