Grant Holloway pounded his fist against his chest, pumped it repeatedly into the air and fell to his knees in the middle of the Clemson University Indoor Complex, overcome with emotion after his race on Friday.
There he stayed, his legs pulled into his sweating body, his forehead touching the ground, his shaking hands wiping at the tears streaming down his face, just moments after setting a new collegiate record in the men’s 60-meter hurdles at the Tiger Paw Invitational.
Florida’s men’s and women’s track and field teams left their marks in Clemson, South Carolina, on Friday in a meet that included more than 10 nationally-ranked competing teams.
Holloway led the way for the Gators, winning the 60-meter hurdles in 7.42 seconds. He broke the record of 7.45 seconds previously set by Omar McLeod, who took second place to Holloway in Friday’s race.
“I didn’t like my start, but it was enough to do what I had to do,” Holloway said in a release. “By hurdle five, I didn’t feel nothing on me. I ran through the line, hit the cushion ... all I heard was collegiate record. All the emotion came on. That 15 seconds is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Holloway, 20, is now the second man in history to run 7.42 seconds or faster before age 21.
Three more Gators had notable finishes on Day 1 at the Tiger Paw Invitational, posting times and marks ranked in the top 10 nationally.
In the women’s shot put, senior Lloydricia Cameron won with a throw of 17.46 meters, which is just one centimeter off her personal record, but good for No. 5 on Florida’s all-time indoor top 10 list. Cameron’s mark also earned her the No. 4 spot on this season’s indoor descending order list.
Senior jumper Darrielle McQueen finished the long jump with a mark of 6.39 meters, which surpassed her season best by three centimeters. She climbed to the sixth spot in the nation.
Rounding out the trio was Michael Timpson Jr, who topped his 60 meters personal record in each of his three races. He concluded the night with a time of 6.63, which ties him with former Gator Arman Hall for the eighth spot on the Gators’ all-time top 10. The time also ties Timpson for 10th in the nation.
Day 2 of the Gators’ weekend featured a men’s 4x400 relay race with the second-fastest time in collegiate history.
The men’s quartet — consisting of Holloway, junior Kunle Fasasi and freshmen Chantz Sawyers and Benjamin Lobo Vedel — clocked a time of 3:02.23, finishing just after the USC’s team, which set a world record with its time of 3:01.98.
The Gators’ finish is the fourth fastest in world history.
Redshirt junior AJ McFarland broke his school record in the men’s weight throw for the third consecutive meet, posting the eighth-ranked mark in the nation at 22.20 meters.
In the same event, freshman Thomas Mardal climbed to the No. 2 spot on the Gators’ all-time top 10 with his mark of 21.71, which is ranked No. 15 on the indoor descending order list.
For the women, the 4x400 grouping of sophomores Sharrika Barnett and Brandee’ Johnson and freshmen Taylor Manson and Lauryn Ghee recorded a time of 3:32.05, which is the No. 9-ranked time on UF’s all-time indoor top 10. Barnett had a top split of 51.74 seconds which was the second-fastest among all 4x400 relay runners on Saturday.
At the conclusion of the meet, Florida coach Mike Holloway said his athletes need to move on mentally from this weekend’s success in order prepare to be their best for the SEC Championships two weeks from now.
“We have to get back to Gainesville and get back to work,” Holloway said. “As we saw here today, we’re good, but there’s a lot of good teams out there. We’ve got to start working to get better first thing Monday morning.”
A pair of stories from floridagators.com contributed to this report.
Follow Alanis Thames on Twitter @alanisthames and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sophomore Grant Holloway broke the NCAA record in the 60-meter hurdles on Friday.