Excessive heat warnings in Sacramento, California, didn’t keep UF athletes from putting their best effort forward in Thursday night’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. With potential spots for Team USA on the line, Jeff Demps led all current and former Gators with a solid performance in the 100-meter dash.
Demps, who played football and ran track at Florida from 2008 to 2011, finished eighth with a time of 10.03 seconds to secure a spot in Friday’s semifinals.
On the women’s side, UF redshirt senior Shayla Sanders finished with a time of 11.34 seconds in the 100-meter dash, placing 25th out of 31 competitors to keep her out of the semifinal round.
Some Gator alumni struggled in the 400-meter dash as well. Robin Reynolds placed 20th out of 24 competitors with a time of 53.38 seconds for the women, while Arman Hall placed 29th out of 31 athletes with a time of 46.61 seconds. Neither Reynolds nor Hall will compete in Friday’s semifinals.
Other alumni thrived in the 400-meters, such as Tony McQuay and Calvin Smith, who finished 10th overall with a time of 45.30 second and 15th overall with a time of 45.52 seconds.
Thursday only featured six of the 20 Gators who will compete in USATF Championships this weekend. Friday’s events will feature 12 new Gator athletes in addition to the ones that moved on to the semifinals for their event on Thursday.
Friday’s events kick off at 2:55 p.m. with the women’s junior’s 100-meter hurdle race featuring Brandee’ Johnson. The USATF Junior Outdoor Championships will run together with the senior events this weekend. Fans can watch the USATF Championships broadcasted on NBC from 4:00-6:00 p.m. this evening.
Contact Mari Faiello at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @faiello_mari.
Shayla Sanders runs the 100-meter dash at the Hurricane College Invitational on March 25, 2017.