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Tuesday, February 07, 2023
<p>Marquis Dendy competes in the triple jump during the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships on March 14 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.</p>

Marquis Dendy competes in the triple jump during the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships on March 14 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Six days ago, the Florida men’s and women’s track and field teams were the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation.

It was also six days ago that coach Mike Holloway’s men’s squad was in a 50-point deadlock with then-No. 2 Oregon for the national title with only two events remaining.

Oregon broke the tie wide open with a combined 24 points by its runners in the 3000-meter event — leading to the Gators’ demise and a runner-up finish.

Now, Florida is putting all of that behind — as a new outdoor season is set to begin. Every athlete in the nation is starting on a fresh slate. Even the ones who accomplished some of the greatest feats of the season are starting over, and are now even with the rest of the field that the NCAA has to offer.

While the indoor season closed on a bittersweet note, Marquis Dendy said the outdoor season is where the Gators tend to shine.

"(The outdoor season) is our true kind of season. The Gators love to go outside and put on a show," Dendy said. "Indoor is just a warm-up, so we kinda come outside saying ‘Now it’s time to turn it up.’"

Florida begins its outdoor season on Saturday at the UCF Black and Gold Challenge in Orlando. The Gators will feature a trio of women throwers this weekend in senior Jayla Bostic and freshmen Lloydricia Cameron and Jontavia Dykes.

All three will compete in the hammer throw, while the duo of Cameron and Dykes will take part in the discus toss. Cameron will be the lone Gator in the shot put.

 Follow Kyle Brutman on Twitter @KBrut13   

Marquis Dendy competes in the triple jump during the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships on March 14 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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