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Tuesday, December 07, 2021
<p>Mike Holloway looks on during the Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships on Nov. 1, 2013, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.</p>

Mike Holloway looks on during the Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships on Nov. 1, 2013, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

The top-ranked Florida men’s and women’s track and field teams enter their two-week competitive hiatus with plenty of positive momentum following their performance at the UAB Blazer Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama.

Seven of the Gators’ 12-athlete contingent reached the finals in their respective events, with two of the four final events ending in victory for the Gators. Senior hurdler Bridgette Owens had a field day, as she broke the school and meet record for the 60-meter hurdles.

However, Florida finished both its losing events one-one hundredth of a second away from victory.

Although losing is tough, especially in races as close as these were, coach Mike Holloway is not sweating the small stuff just yet.

"It’s not about small wins or losses this time of year," Holloway said.

Holloway emphasized his focus at this point of the season is to evaluate and perfect the technical aspects of his athletes.

Despite sophomore hurdler Yanick Hart losing the 60-meter hurdles finals by one-hundredth of a second, he showed improvement in comparison to the beginning of his freshman campaign, shedding more than one-tenth of a second from the hurdles time from last year’s UAB Blazer Invitational.

"I don’t know how you can walk away displeased with someone when somebody got that much better," Holloway said.

Holloway also praised Owens, who also improved on her Birmingham performance by more than one-tenth of a second from last year’s UAB meet.

"She is really starting to buy in to what I do and trust what I do," Holloway said. "We think she has a tremendous upside, we think that she can do great things."

Last weekend’s meet also served as an introduction for three Gator freshmen, including Damien Daniels — who finished the men’s 60-meter dash final in 6.86 seconds, good for fourth place overall.

Holloway said that Daniels has been receiving some guidance from one of the Gators’ upperclassmen— junior sprinter Antwan Wright.

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"Antwan was great with Damien, he said ‘look, just do what you do every day in practice,’" Holloway said.

Holloway also offered some advice of his own for his newcomers.

"Don’t go to this meet trying to be somebody that you’re not," Holloway said. "If you come here and be who you are, then we can make the adjustment moving forward."

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.

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