The Florida men’s and women’s track and field teams travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas today to compete in the Razorback Invitational.
The Gators’ competition will include nine teams that are ranked in the men’s national poll and six that are ranked in the women’s pole.
Coach Mike Holloway will bring 32 athletes to Fayetteville — nine of whom will be competing in multiple individual events.
Both of Florida’s men’s and women’s world-record setting 4x400 relay squads will be taking a rest this week.
The quartet of Eric Futch, Jabari Hill, Antwan Wright and Gabriel Aird will represent the Gators — who moved down to No. 2 in this week’s poll — in the men’s 4x4, while there will not be a squad competing in the 4x4 for Florida’s top-ranked women.
Bridgette Owens, who sat out the 60-meter hurdles at last weekend’s Rod McCravy Memorial Invitational with a cramp, will be back in action in Fayetteville, as she will compete in the 60-meter hurdles — along with Skylar Ross-Ransom and Ryann McEnany.
Last week’s Southeastern Conference Men’s Freshman of the Week, jumper KeAndre Bates, and SEC Co-Women’s Runner of the Week, junior mid-distance runner Claudia Francis, will both take part in this weekend’s meet.
Bates will compete in the long jump and triple jump, while Francis will run in the 800-meter run invitational.
This will be the first of three meets at the Randal Tyson Track Center for Florida. They return to Fayetteville on Feb. 13-14 for the Tyson Invitational, and again for the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 13-14.
The Tyson Track Center is admittedly home to Holloway’s most memorable moment in his tenure.
Fayetteville was the first city that Holloway conquered, winning his first of three consecutive indoor national titles at Arkansas’ banner-laden venue in 2010.
Looking back on his first NCAA Indoor Championship, Holloway said that his team — led by Jeff Demps, Christian Taylor and Omar Craddock — rose above the expectations that other coaches at the national meet had predicted.
Holloway overheard a few coaches say that the winner will get 35 or 36 points.
"If we score only 36 points, I’m going to be really upset, because I think we could score over 50," Holloway said.
The 2010 indoors champions ended up scoring 57 points, 13 more than runners-up Oregon and Texas A&M.
Florida’s latter two indoor championships on its run of three consecutive titles were also won by scoring above 50 points.
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Mike Holloway looks on during the Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships on Nov. 1, 2013, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.