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Monday, January 30, 2023
<p>Florida's Marquis Dendy reacts after competing in the long jump at the NCAA track and field championships on June 12 in Eugene, Ore. Dendy became the first athlete to win both the long jump and the triple jump at the NCAA Outdoors since 2002.</p>

Florida's Marquis Dendy reacts after competing in the long jump at the NCAA track and field championships on June 12 in Eugene, Ore. Dendy became the first athlete to win both the long jump and the triple jump at the NCAA Outdoors since 2002.

On the first day of his final Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships, senior jumper Marquis Dendy captured the triple jump title in dominating fashion.

The Delaware native won his third SEC long jump title with an 8.00-meter mark — more than three-tenths of a second better than the next best performance.

Dendy’s performance captured 10 points for the Gators, as the men’s side finished the first day of competition in second-place with 24 points, only nine points behind first-place Arkansas.

Freshman jumper KeAndre Bates finished in fifth in the long jump, contributing four points to Florida’s total.

The duo of Mark Parrish and Jimmy Clark combined for eight team points, placing in third (8:05.70) and seventh (8:14.77), respectively.

Senior thrower Kyle Strawn recorded a seventh-place finish in the men’s weight throw. His 19.78-meter toss earned the Gators two team points.

Going into meet’s final day, the Gator men lead the field with 10 qualifiers for the Saturday’s finals events, including four qualifiers in the 400-meter run.

The men’s squad also set a combined seven personal records on Friday.

Mid-distance runners Andres Arroyo and Ryan Schnulle finished the 800-meter run with respective first (1:48.31) and third place (1:49.38) finishes, landing them spots in Saturday’s final.

Junior sprinter Dedric Dukes clinched a spot in the 200-meter final with a fifth-place finish (21.04), while fellow junior Antwan Wright missed the final cut by one-one hundredth of a second—finishing in ninth place with a new PR of 21.26.

However, Wright will not miss out on Saturday’s finals action, as both him and Hugh Graham Jr. qualified for the 60-meter dash final.

Graham Jr. set a PR with 6.60 mark en route to a runner-up finish, while Wright finished in sixth-place (6.69).

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In the men’s 60-meter hurdle, sophomore Yanick Hart qualified for the event finals with a fifth-place finish (7.82).

On the women’s side, the Gators scored 13 points on the day—contributed by the trio of Brittany Harrell (5), Darrielle McQueen (4) and Taylor Tubbs (4).

While the Gator women sit at eight-place in the overall standings, trailing leader Arkansas by 36.5 points, they go into Saturday with a field-leading eight qualifiers for event finals.

The Florida qualifiers are lead by junior sprinter Kyra Jefferson and junior mid-distance runner Claudia Francis—both of whom won the preliminaries for their respective events.

In only her second ever competitive 400-meter race, Jefferson took the top seed in the event with a 52.31-second finish, while Francis clinched victory in the 800-meter preliminary with a 2:02.15 mark—a PR and the fourth-best time in UF history.

Jefferson (23.21) and teammate Destinee Gause (23.61) both qualified for the 200-meter final, as they marked respective second-place and sixth-place finishes.

Senior hurdler Bridgette Owens qualified for the 60-meter hurdle finals with a third place finish (8.11), while junior sprinter Shayla Sanders qualified for the 60 dash finals with a season-best 7.21.

In the women’s mile, Taylor Tubbs and Becky Greene clinched spots in Saturday’s final race, as they finished in seventh (4:49.73) and eight (4:50.04) respectively.

 Follow Kyle Brutman on Twitter @KBrut13   

Florida's Marquis Dendy reacts after competing in the long jump at the NCAA track and field championships on June 12 in Eugene, Ore. Dendy became the first athlete to win both the long jump and the triple jump at the NCAA Outdoors since 2002.

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