Andres Arroyo led the pack after 400 meters.
As he rounded the curve at the end of the straightaway in the men’s 800-meter final, he lost the lead to Ole Miss senior Craig Engels for about 30 meters.
Arroyo went wide on the homestretch to pass Engels to win his first individual SEC title.
Arroyo was one of three Florida track and field men to win individual titles at the SEC Indoor Championships.
On Day 1 of the championship, junior KeAndre Bates won the men’s long jump title with a mark of 26 feet, 4.5 inches. He then followed up his win on Friday with a win on Saturday in the men’s triple jump final, landing in the sand pit at 55 feet, 2 inches. His mark beat out Arkansas’ Clive Pullen, who currently holds the nation's-leading triple jump mark, by 8 inches.
Bates, who was the only man to win multiple titles over the weekend, earned the Cliff Harper Trophy, which is given to the highest-point scorer at the SEC Indoor Championships.
Bates said gaining points for the team was his main goal, but he’s happy he won.
“I want to (win), but for a bigger purpose.” Bates said in a release. "I knew I had it in me. I'm getting my focus back."
Florida standout freshman Grant Holloway didn’t have the best start in the men’s 60-meter finals on Saturday.
However, that didn’t stop him from clocking a time of 7.64 seconds to become the second Gator freshman to win the 60-meter hurdles since 2000.
"The race was actually not one of the best I've had. Sloppy start,” Holloway said in an interview with SEC Network’s John Anderson. “But I just trusted the process and just kept going on along with it."
With his fifth place finish in the men’s long jump on Friday, Holloway became the first man to score points for his team both in the 60-meters and long jump since at least 2001.
In the final event of the championships, the Florida 4x400 relay team, comprised of Kunle Fasasi, Holloway, Eric Futch and TJ Holmes, beat the 4x400 school record by over a second. The team’s time, 3:02.73, is the third fastest time on any track in collegiate history.
The men scored 76 points during the meet, which was good enough for a three-way tie with Texas A&M and Ole Miss for third place.
On the women’s side, there were no individual champions. However, there were several second-place finishes.
One came from Sharrika Barnett in the women’s 400 meters. Barnett, who ran a 52.09, was seven one-hundredths of a second away from beating out Arkansas senior Daina Harper.
Another runner-up finish came from Yanis David, who jumped 44 feet, 11 inches in the women’s triple jump final to score 8 points for her team.
And in the women’s 4x400 relay, the team of Brandee' Johnson, Destinee Gause, Taylor Sharpe, and Barnett tied the No. 6 ranked time in UF’s all-time indoor top 10, which was good enough a second-place finish.
For these efforts, Barnett, David, and the 4x400 team won All-SEC accolades.
The women, who scored 45 points on the weekend, finished in eighth place.
After watching his team compete on Friday, Florida coach Mike Holloway said he was a little disappointed with the way his team was performing.
“I don’t think some of our team took this meet seriously as it needs to be taken, and that’s just not who we are,” Holloway said in a release Friday.
Holloway said the team had a “very intense meeting,” Saturday morning about having some pride and competing harder.
And on Saturday, he said his team did just that.
“Did everything go our way? Absolutely not,” Holloway said in a release Saturday. “But I don’t think you saw anyone who put on a uniform today that didn’t give their best effort. Everybody kept fighting, working hard.”
Up next for Florida, the team will travel to College Station, Texas, to compete in the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 10-11.
Contact Daniel Smithson at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @DanielTSmithson.
UF's KeAndre Bates poses with a trophy during the SEC Indoor Championships, which ran from Feb. 24-25, 2017, in Nashville, Tennessee. The junior won titles in the men’s long jump and men's triple jump.