For a track program that once won three straight NCAA Indoor Championships, excellence is going to be expected in all areas of the team.
So while Florida track and field coach Mike Holloway said he’s happy with where his team is at this point in the season, he also believes the Gators have some work to do in the short sprint events moving forward.
UF's men's team, which hasn't won a 60-meter this season, is looking to improve on its times this week as it prepares for the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Gators sophomores Ryan Clark and Michael Timpson Jr. placed third and fourth in the men’s 60-meter finals at the Hokie Invitational on Saturday with official times of 6.79 (6.781) and 6.79 (6.782). One one-thousandth of a second separated them.
Timpson, however, placed second in a 60-meter preliminary race at the meet with a time of 6.77 seconds. If he had finished the finals with that time, he would have moved past his teammate from fourth to third.
And his preliminary time wasn’t his best of the season.
At the Clemson Orange and Purple Indoor meet on Jan. 7, Timpson finished second in the men’s 60-meter final with a time of 6.70 — a time that would have placed him in the No. 2 spot in the 60-meter final at the Hokie Invitational.
Clark has also shown he has the potential to run faster than 6.79 — his best time so far this season.
As a freshman in 2016 at the Tyson Invitational, Clark clocked a time of 6.64 in a preliminary race, which would have put him in first at the Hokie Invitational final.
Although still early in the season, Holloway said it’s his responsibility to get his sprinters where they need to be.
“I’ll get those guys going,” he said.
As for Timpson, he said the key to success for him moving forward is to run how he does in practice.
“The main thing is, like, being comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Timpson said. “If I do that, I’ll run some good times.”
Timpson might have the opportunity to run some good times this weekend.
The track at the Randal Tyson Track Center, Holloway said, has been noted as one of the fastest tracks in the country.
He said the team is always excited to go to a place where the Gators have had great performances.
Timpson said he is looking forward to going back to the track on which he ran his fastest 60-meter time.
“I’ve been to Arkansas before — it’s a nice track,” he said. “I definitely have a chance to run fast there.”
Contact Daniel Smithson at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @DanielTSmithson.
UF coach Mike Holloway smiles as he talks with his team during the 2016 Florida Relays at the Percy Beard Track.