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Monday, February 06, 2023
<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 No. 2 Florida men’s and women’s track and field teams will split up this weekend, as the Gators will compete in the Tyson Invitational and the Iowa State Classic on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Coach Mike Holloway will travel with a myriad of sprinters, hurdlers and throwers to Fayetteville, Arkansas—the Gators’ second visit of the season to the site of the NCAA Indoor Championships—while 13 distance and mid-distance runners will head to Ames, Iowa.

The Gators — composed of 38 athletes — will be facing a highly competitive field at the Tyson meet, as 18 of the 29 opposing programs are ranked in either the men’s or the women’s top-25.

Seven teams in the men’s top-10 will be represented in Fayetteville, including Georgia, who’s women’s team leapfrogged the Florida women in the most recent poll to capture the No.1 ranking. The meet will also feature 21 athletes who have won a combined 32 individual NCAA titles.

Holloway has said that the amount of programs at this meet gives it a “circus-like atmosphere,” but he is not putting pressure on any of his athletes. He is placing more emphasis on improvement.

Coming off a career meet in Blacksburg, Virginia, senior thrower Stipe Zunic will look to capitalize on a performance that gave him the best shot put in Croatian national history.

On Tuesday, Zunic was named the Southeastern Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Week, as his mark in the shot put (20.61 meters) earned him the top spot in the SEC and second-place in the NCAA.

The men’s squad will feature four upperclassmen in the 200-meter sprint, as senior Dedric Dukes and juniors Antwan Wright, Najee Glass and Arman Hall will represent the Gators in the event.

A number of athletes on Florida’s women’s side will be looking to improve on their times, including senior jumper Taylor Burke, who is sitting just outside of qualifying position in the high jump at 18th in the country. Junior sprinter Robin Reynolds will look to drop her times in the 200-meter sprint and the 400-meter run—both of which she is in position to qualify for as she sits at 12th and 5th, respectively, in the country.

Florida’s 13-athlete contingent for the ISU Classic—nine men and four women—includes seven Gators competing in the men’s and women’s 5,000-meter run and four distance runners who will take part in the men’s and women’s miler.

Junior mid-distance runner Ryan Schnulle, who holds the 5th best time in the NCAA in the 800-meter run, will participate in the event. Sophomore Andres Arroyo will also compete in the 800, as he looks to improve on his current 28th-ranked overall time.

Follow Kyle Brutman on Twitter @KBrut13

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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.

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