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Thursday, February 02, 2023
<p>The Florida track and field team huddles together following the conclusion of the 2015 Florida Relays on Saturday at the Percy Beard Track.</p>

The Florida track and field team huddles together following the conclusion of the 2015 Florida Relays on Saturday at the Percy Beard Track.

On a weekend in which all 21 of Florida’s senior athletes were honored in front of the fan fare, UF came out to play, garnering 20 individual personal records and 17 top-five individual-event finishes at the three-day Florida Relays.

And no athlete on Florida’s roster stood out more this weekend than junior sprinter Najee Glass.

The Southeastern Conference 400-meter champion dominated in said event on Friday with a 45.19-second mark, a PR and the top time in the NCAA this season as well as the eighth-best time in program history.

Glass also took part in two event-winning relays on Saturday.

The Woodbridge, New Jersey, native was the third leg in the sprint medley relay for a Florida team — made up of Antwan Wright, Dedric Dukes, Glass and Andres Arroyo — that broke the track and meet record with a 3 minute, 13.96-second performance.

Glass anchored the 4x400 squad that won the Jimmy Carnes Invite.

Preceded by Nick Uruburu, Dukes and Eric Futch, respectively, Glass carried the baton over the finish line to commence the end of the Relays and cap off a successful weekend for the Gators.

"I’ve been challenging Najee since he walked on campus to kind of be who I believe he is," coach Mike Holloway said. "But I think the biggest thing is it doesn’t matter what I believe. Najee’s got to believe it."

The women’s 4x4 foursome of Destinee Gause, Kyra Jefferson, Destiny Washington and Claudia Francis also pitched in on the relay action, winning the Tom Jones 4x4 Invite with a 3:31.00 mark.

Junior mid-distance runner Ryan Schnulle was also able to make his presence known this weekend.

Schnulle, the SEC 800-meter champion, started off his Relays and outdoor season with a second-place finish in the 800, crossing the finish line in 1:46.89. The mark is only six-tenths of a second higher than his outdoor PR, which he set at last year’s National Outdoor Championships in June.

Schnulle played a large role in Florida’s second-place finish in the men’s distance medley relay. When Schnulle was given the baton by Gabriel Aird to run the 800-meter leg of the race, the Gators were in fifth place.

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But after Schnulle ran his two laps and handed off the baton to Mark Parrish for the final leg, Florida was out in front.

Despite losing the race lead and eventually the event on the second turn of the final 400 meters, the Gators would not be in the position that they were without Schnulle’s contribution.

"Ryan ran a phenomenal leg. That was fantastic," Parrish said. "He’s always just so rock solid."

Holloway was very pleased with the relays as a whole, an event that he has been working on growing since he became UF's coach.

"I believe in my mind that from the collegiate side," Holloway said, "this is the best collegiate relay meet in the country."

Follow Kyle Brutman on Twitter @KBrut13

The Florida track and field team huddles together following the conclusion of the 2015 Florida Relays on Saturday at the Percy Beard Track.

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