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Monday, February 06, 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.

For the third national meet in a row, the Florida men’s track and field team finished runner-up to Oregon.

And again, as was the case in March’s National Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Ducks beat the top-ranked Gators.

But this time the Ducks captured the outdoor title at their home track in Eugene, Oregon.

While the two schools are neck-and-neck in the USTFCCCA’s most recent men’s national poll, separated by less than a point, Oregon continued its head-to-head dominance against the Gators.

After winning last year’s national outdoor championship — the program’s first since 1984 — by just 18 team-points, the Ducks cruised past second-place Florida by a 29-team-point margin (85-56).

Senior Marquis Dendy won the men’s team’s only two individual titles.

However, despite the fact that losing to the same school three consecutive meets can be frustrating, coach Mike Holloway is holding the same, positive attitude about his team that he’s held all season.

"We hang our hats on the fact that dating back to 2009, so 16 meets in a row, we’ve finished in the top 3 as a team," Holloway said in a release. "I think that’s a phenomenal run and it’s not one we’re looking to see end anytime soon."

The 13th-year head coach isn’t taking anything away from the Gators’ performance this weekend on both the men’s and women’s side.

The final day of the NCAA Outdoors began with a victory in the first track event for the No. 6 women, the 4x100-meter relay.

Robin Reynolds, Shayla Sanders, Destinee Gause and Kyra Jefferson willed the Gators to its first national win in the event in program history, clocking a 42.92-second mark.

"I feel that we set a good tempo for our team." Gause said in a release.

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The final race, the 4x400 relay, ended Florida’s meet on a high note with a 3:28.12-minute performance to clinch the title, the women’s first since 1992.

Although she did not win her lone individual event, Jefferson was able to break her own school record in the 200-meter sprint with a 22.24-second performance. Her mark also stands at No. 6 in the world.

Jefferson was arguably Florida’s best women’s performer on the weekend, as she took part in both of the championship relay squads — anchoring the final leg of the 4x100 — to complement her school record in the 200.

"On the 4x4, Claudia (Francis) and I weren’t happy with our open races," Jefferson said. "So we really had to make sure we gave it our all and came together for the 4x4."

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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