When one of his athletes puts on a Florida track uniform, coach Mike Holloway expects them to represent his program with excellence.
Today, when the Gators travel to Los Angeles and Raleigh, North Carolina, his teams will be racing against some of the best programs in the country like Ohio State, Texas and University of Southern California.
All three teams are ranked in the top 16 of the USTFCCCA Preseason Team Rankings.
He expects his teams to rise to the challenge.
"We take a lot of pride in what we do here, and we need to exhibit that pride,” Holloway said. “We need to understand that, you know, this is who we are, we are going to face competition like this every weekend and we need to embrace that."
Holloway is also looking to see more of the same success that his throwers had last weekend at the Black & Gold Challenge in Orlando, where Florida captured two first-place finishes, and had only one athlete place outside of the top-5 in the five events they competed in for both the men’s and women's teams.
Freshman thrower Anders Eriksson was named the Southeastern Conference Track and Field Freshman of the Week, for his first-place performance in the Black & Gold Challenge's hammer throw title with a 69.83-meter toss. He joined Georgia's Alex Poursanidis (2015), Alabama's Elias Hakansson (2014) and former Gator Jeremy Postin (2012) as the only other SEC throwers since 2011 to record a mark of 69-plus meters prior to the NCAA Preliminaries and Championships.
“I expect big things out of them. I think (associate) coach Lemke … expects big things out of them also,” Holloway said. “We are very excited to see Marija and Kiki compete this weekend in the javelin. They are two of the better throwers in the country, and we expect them to be big point producers in outdoors.
The Gators will be represented by only a few athletes in at the Raleigh Relays. Jimmy Clark, Eddie Garcia, and Carlos Miranda will run the men’s 10,000 meters.
Entering outdoor season, Florida’s men’s team enters as the preseason No. 3 team, while the
women’s team enters as the preseason No. 10.
“The message is the same,” Holloway said. “We are just trying to work harder, get better, stay focused, and stay healthy.”
UF coach Mike Holloway smiles during the 2015 Florida Relays at James G. Pressly Stadium.