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Wednesday, October 20, 2021
<p>Robin Reynolds hugs coach Mike Holloway after winning the 400-meter dash at Friday's Pepsi Florida Relays on the Percy Beard Track.</p>

Robin Reynolds hugs coach Mike Holloway after winning the 400-meter dash at Friday's Pepsi Florida Relays on the Percy Beard Track.

As PA announcer Buck Jones read off Robin Reynolds’ list of accomplishments over James G. Pressly Stadium's speakers on Saturday, the senior walked out and pointed to the crowd.

They gave her a standing ovation.

Surrounded by her family and with a huge smile plastered on her face, she gave her coach of four years, Mike Holloway, a hug, and took in her last Pepsi Florida Relay as a Gator.

"Coming in freshman year, I always wanted to run for UF. My parents both graduated (here)," Reynolds said. "It was just like, ‘Dang, four years went by so fast.' I was like, ‘This is my last go-round and I want to be remembered.’"

Holloway, who recognized Reynolds and 15 of her teammates during the Senior Day ceremony on Saturday, had a difficult time keeping his emotions at bay during the ceremony.

"Senior Day is always very emotional. For some reason, this group tugs at my heart. (They’re) a bunch of good athletes, a bunch of good people, their families are incredible, so that was very emotional today," Holloway said on Saturday. "Everybody that came up there has a special place with me. It was hard, but I didn’t cry."

After the ceremony ended and as the alumni section of the crowd chanted "Go Gators," Reynolds, along with her 4x400-meter relay teammates Kyra Jefferson, Claudia Francis and Sharrika Barnett, stepped onto the Percy Beard Track and made school history.

As Francis, the team's anchor, sprinted past the finish line, Reynolds looked at the scoreboard.

What she saw — a time of 3:26.28 and a new Florida school record in the 4x400 — shocked her.

"To our surprise, soon as Claudia crossed the line we looked at the board and shocked ourselves to run that time so early," Reynolds said. "It’s just beautiful because we can only do bigger and better things from here."

But Reynolds is no stranger to breaking school records in the event.

She was the only one on her relay team who had also been a part of the team that broke Florida’s 22-year 4x400 record at the 2014 Pepsi Florida Relays.

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"It is kind of crazy because I wasn’t even expecting that relay to do that," Reynolds said. "To be a part of both, now No. 1 and No. 2 times in UF school history, it is just great to be a part of. So I’m happy to be a part of the legacy."

With her last Pepsi Florida Relays with Florida across her chest now in the rearview mirror, Reynolds is looking forward to breaking even more records as the Gators get deeper into the rest of their outdoor-season schedule.

But, for now, she just wants to remember how she felt on her Senior Day.

"I just came out and had fun," Reynolds said. "I can’t ask for anything else."

Contact Lauren Staff at lstaff@alligator.org and you can follow her on Twitter @lstaff27

Robin Reynolds hugs coach Mike Holloway after winning the 400-meter dash at Friday's Pepsi Florida Relays on the Percy Beard Track.

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