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Sunday, November 28, 2021
<p>Stipe Zunic throws during the Tom Jones Memorial Classic on April 21, 2012. He set a career-best shot-put mark of 18.57 meters on Saturday.</p>

Stipe Zunic throws during the Tom Jones Memorial Classic on April 21, 2012. He set a career-best shot-put mark of 18.57 meters on Saturday.

On the final day of the Doc Hale Virginia Tech Elite Meet in Blacksburg, Va., the field stole the show once again after taking the spotlight during Day 1.

Throwing his way into the UF track and field indoor top-10 list, Stipe Zunic tossed for a career-best shot-put performance of 18.57 meters.

Zunic’s throw placed him seventh all-time in Gators history — behind John Turco (18.78m) — and he finished third overall at the VT Elite Meet.

Alongside Zunic’s career day, junior jumper Marquis Dendy added to the Gators’ success with a season-best triple jump of 14.69 meters, which beat his mark of 14.46 at the Razorback Invitational on Feb. 1 .

“(I’m) pleased because Stipe and Marquis got better this weekend,” coach Mike Holloway said in a release.

“I’m proud of coach (Steve) Lemke and coach (Nic) Petersen, who have done a really good job with them.”

Making his season debut, junior sprinter Dedric Dukes capped off his day with a first-place victory in the 200-meter dash, clocking a time of 20.93.

With his career-best performance in the 60-meter dash (6.79) Friday, Dukes leaves the VT Elite Meet with two top performances.

Holloway said he was pleased with Dukes in his season opener last weekend and feels Dukes is in a good spot so far.

The Gators will depart from the VT Elite Meet with five career-best performances from Jayla Bostic (weight throw), Jared Watkins (pole vault), David Levin (weight throw), Dukes (60m) and Zunic (shot put).

In addition, Dendy, Dukes and Ciarra Brewer all turned in season-best performances.

Upcoming on the agenda, the Gators will get their first glimpse of the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in College Station, Texas, at the Texas A&M Invitational, where the Aggies will host the 2014 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships.

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The men’s team finished second at the SEC meet last year in Fayetteville, Ark., while the women finished fourth.

“We have some bigger competitions coming down the road,” Holloway said “We’re getting focused on being our best when it counts at the end of the year.”

Follow Lawrence Laguna on Twitter @LagunaLawrence

Stipe Zunic throws during the Tom Jones Memorial Classic on April 21, 2012. He set a career-best shot-put mark of 18.57 meters on Saturday.

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