Coach Mike Holloway and the Florida track and field program will attempt to add more trophies to its display case this upcoming season — just like it has done for the past decade.
The Gators have won at least one conference or national title every year since 2009. The expectations are no different this season.
The men’s team enters the 2019 campaign ranked No. 2, while the women enter the season at No. 6 in the USTFCCCA National Track and Field Rating Index.
With KeAndre Bates graduating from Florida and turning pro, the men’s team will turn to the versatility of Grant Holloway to extend its run of dominance. Holloway, who chose to delay a professional career and return for his junior season, was one of 10 men named to the Bowerman Preseason Watch List this year after a historic 2018 campaign.
Holloway broke the collegiate record in the 60-meter hurdles last season with a time of 7.42 and the school record in the 110-meter hurdles (13.16). His individual records along with the accomplishments of the men’s team — NCAA Indoor Champions and SEC Outdoor champions — earned him both the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Runner of the Year awards.
Holloway was not the only man with a record-breaking season last year, however.
Redshirt senior AJ McFarland thrice broke his own indoor school record in the weight throw with a distance of 22.20 meters.
Redshirt senior Anders Eriksson set the school record in the hammer throw (74.19 meters) at the SEC Championships.
Florida’s women’s team will have to cope with the loss of Lloydricia Cameron, Avione Allgood and, most notably, Darrielle McQueen.
McQueen left her mark at UF with several spots in the Gators’ all-time top ten lists, coming in at No. 2 and No. 4 in the long jump and triple jump, respectively, for the indoor list. She also finished in the No. 4 and No. 5 spots in the long jump and triple jump, respectively, for the outdoor list.
The addition of junior transfers Natricia Hooper and Kala Penn will make it easier for coach Holloway to offset the absence of McQueen this season. The two jumpers give the Gators two more viable options at the conference and national level.
One cannot talk about the women’s team without mentioning seniors Yanis David and Sharrika Barnett, who both set school records in the triple jump and the 400 meters, respectively, last season.
Florida’s runners and high jumpers open their season this weekend at the Clemson Invitational, while the horizontal jumpers and throwers head to Virginia Tech to compete in the Hokie Invitational.
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Florida track and field coach Mike Holloway boasts the No. 2-best men’s team and the No. 6-best women’s team in the country.