With her left leg stretched behind her body, Darrielle McQueen repeatedly tapped her baby blue cleat against the ground before taking off down the lane.
She’d been in fourth place after her previous three attempts in the women’s long jump, but she got up from her fourth try with a 6.61-meter mark to lift herself to second overall, a slot the senior did not relinquish.
The runner-up finish was the best of McQueen’s career at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, and it garnered eight points for UF’s women on their first day of competition in Eugene, Oregon.
Junior Yanis David took fourth in the same competition at Hayward Field on Thursday, earning five points to contribute 13 to the Gators’ grand total of 17.
After senior Lloydricia Cameron grabbed one more point in the shot put with an eighth-place finish, the women sat in a three-way tie for first in the overall standings.
Sixth-year senior Avione Allgood gave Florida a three-point boost to secure a spot in second place on the overall team leaderboard after its first day of action. She finished in sixth place with a throw of 53.93 meters in the women’s javelin.
In the qualifying round of the 400-meter, junior quarter-miler Sharrika Barnett did enough to get through to Saturday’s final, finishing fifth with a time of 51.68. Freshman Taylor Manson competed in the same event but finished just outside of the top-eight qualification cutline.
However, Manson returned to the track to leadoff for Florida’s No. 2-ranked 4x400 relay team featuring Barnett, freshman Nikki Stephens and senior Taylor Sharpe.
Stephens also qualified in the 400-meter hurdles race to make the first finals appearance of her young collegiate career.
You can follow Alanis Thames on Twitter @alanisthames or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior jumper Darrielle McQueen finished second in the women's long jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon. She captured 8 points for Florida in the event, contributing to the team's grand total of 17, good for second overall.