After breaking the 60-meter hurdles collegiate record at the Tiger Paw Invitational over a month ago, Grant Holloway said that everything he had done was gearing him up for the outdoor season.
The Chesapeake, Virginia, native then asserted that outdoors is the bread and butter of University of Florida track and field.
UF’s men’s and women’s track and field teams will open their 2018 outdoor season today at the FSU Relays in Tallahassee.
The men enter the season ranked No. 4 in the nation, and the women are ranked eighth.
Holloway -- the reigning outdoor national champion (110-meter hurdles) -- opens his outdoor season on the watch list for The Bowerman, which is awarded each year to the nation’s top male and female track athletes.
The four-time outdoor All-American will open his outdoor season in three of today’s events.
First, he’ll make an appearance in the men’s long jump, alongside senior KeAndre Bates, who is the reigning outdoor national champion in both the long and triple jump events.
Next, Holloway will join freshman Chantz Sawyers and juniors Michael Timpson Jr. and Ryan Clark in the men’s 4x100 relay at 3 p.m.
To conclude his outdoor debut, Holloway will accompany the 4x400 relay team of Clark, redshirt junior Jabari Hill and junior Kunle Fasasi in the final event of the day, scheduled to begin at 7:10 p.m.
Fasasi, who was the lead-off runner for the 4x400 team that ran the third fastest time in history at NCAA indoors a couple of weeks ago, will also compete in the men’s 200-meter race.
“For the 200, I want to open on a big note and set a (personal record),” Fasasi said. “In the four by four, just have fun and execute … Nothing crazy.”
For the women, junior Sharrika Barnett will compete in the 200-meter and with the team of freshman Amanda Froeynes, sophomore Brandee’ Johnson and senior Taylor Sharpe in the 4x400 relay.
Barnett had a 50.11-second anchor split at NCAA Indoors two weeks ago, which helped secure a third-place finish for the women in the 4x400 race and a fourth place finish overall. She also took fifth place in the 400 at last year’s outdoor championships.
“I want to go out, focus on myself and just run,” Barnett said. “Not be intimidated by anybody or worry about times. I just go out there and have fun.”
Another notable debut for the women is senior Lloydricia Cameron in the hammer throw and the discus throw. Cameron took seventh place in the shot put last year and is coming off an SEC indoor title and fourth place NCAA indoor finish in the event.
The Gators’ men have won the last two outdoor national championships and will look to complete the three-peat this season, something they haven’t done since 2012 when they collected their third consecutive indoor title.
“We train outdoors all year long, so there’s really nothing to adjust,” Fasasi said. “It’s just about going out there to do exactly what we do in practice … We just love to compete outdoors.That’s our thing.”
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Senior thrower Lloydricia Cameron became the first Gator since 2004 to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in both the shot put and discuss.