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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

After securing seven event victories and two meet records, the UF track and field team left the Rod McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Ky., with a better understanding of its depth.

Coach Mike Holloway felt unsatisfied after falling short of expectations in the men’s distance medley relay on the opening day of competition on Friday, but he did not let the men’s team dwell on the rough start. On the final day of events, the Gators had a different mindset.

The No. 2 men dominated the 800-meter dash with a first-place finish on Saturday to regain their footing.

“I was really proud of the men’s 800m runners,” Holloway said.

“I challenged them last night after we didn’t have such a great DMR to trust our training, and they really stepped up to the plate [Saturday].”

Sean Obinwa finished in first place in the event in 1:48.20, while freshman middle-distance runner Donnie Lee Jr. logged a time of 1:51.03 in his first collegiate 800-meter race.

Sophomore Ryan Schnulle (1:49.13) finished in fifth place and freshman Andres Arroyo (1:49.22) came in sixth.

The men’s team also proved worthy in the 4x400 relay as Arman Hall closed the final leg for his team.

Nick Uruburu, Hugh Graham Jr., and Ryan Schnulle all gave what their anchor needed to pull off a 3:07.20 first place finish, also a new meet record.

“Any time you can run a 3:07.20 in the men’s 4x4 without Najee Glass and Dedric Dukes, you’re having yourself a good start,” Holloway said.

The anchor also showed up in the men’s 400-meter run as Hall finished in the top spot with a time of 45.84 with teammate Graham Jr. (46.58) just behind in third place.

The No. 3 women also finished the competition strong.

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Sharing the spotlight of success in the women’s 3,000-meter run came the one-two punch of senior Cory McGee, who finished in first place with a time of 9:18.26, and freshman Rebekah Greene, who ran a 9:18.44.

For the second consecutive meet, Eddie Lovett finished first in the men’s 60-meter hurdles.

Holloway was satisfied with Lovett’s performance in hurdles and McGee and Greene’s work in the 3,000m.

“We take this for what it is knowing we did a great job this weekend,” Holloway said. “We’ll get back to Gainesville and get back to work because we have bigger fish to fry down the line.”

Follow Lawrence Laguna on Twitter @LagunaLawrence

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