The top-ranked Gators open their 2015 indoor track and field season today at the UAB Blazer Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama.
The two-day meet, which will take place at the Birmingham Crossplex Arena, features 27 teams, including Kennesaw State, whose men’s team is ranked 16th in the country.
Florida will solely feature participants in the men’s and women’s 60-meter hurdles and 60-meter dash.
Two of the four Gators competing in the men’s hurdles are freshmen —Jabari Hill, and Caleb Chambliss.
Junior Moriel Pitt and sophomore Yanick Hart rounding out the men’s lineup.
Hurdlers Ryann McEnany, Tyjah Eady, Bridgette Owens and Ashley Favors will participate in the women’s hurdles for the Gators.
Owens, who is entering her final collegiate season, set the meet record for the 60 hurdles at last year’s UAB Blazer Invitational, as she finished the hurdle in 8.20 seconds.
Her performance also placed second on Florida’s indoor list for fastest time in program history.
The men’s 60 dash will include Tyler Osorio, freshman Damien Daniels and Antwan Wright.
Junior runner Shayla Sanders has expressed some high praise in Daniels’ direction.
"He’s different. He has this good mentality and good work ethic," Sanders said. "He’s going to be an eye opener to people because not many people know him."
Wright is coming off a successful year in the 60 dash, as he came less than one-tenth of a second away from breaking Jeff Demps’ school record for the event.
He said he hopes to shed some seconds this year and is even setting a goal for himself to become an All-Southeastern Conference First-Team runner, but he is not focused on chasing Demps’ mark.
The lone Gator racing in the 60 dash will be Sanders, who broke Lakecia Ealey’s program record at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. Sanders said that she is coming out of the offseason as a better runner, and even praised the fact that she did not get sick once during offseason training.
The Gators will be traveling without senior sprinter Dedric Dukes and senior jumper Marquis Dendy, both of whom were named to the men’s Bowerman Trophy Preseason Watch List, which was announced on Wednesday.
Senior thrower Fawn Miller, who received votes for the women’s Bowerman Trophy Preseason Watch List which was released on Thursday, will also stay in Gainesville for the meet.
Coach Mike Holloway said that his team is pumped up and ready to commence the new season.
"We’re ready to start racing different schools with people that have other uniforms on," Holloway said.
Follow Kyle Brutman on Twitter @KBrut13
Mike Holloway looks on during the Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships on Nov. 1, 2013, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.