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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Three Florida throwers will make the trip up to Blacksburg, Virginia, to participate in the Hokie Invitational, the third event of the indoor season.

Beginning on Friday, the meet will feature 55 events showcasing athletes from 14 different schools across two days.

The first and only Gator in action on Friday is senior Amara Wiggan, who is competing in the women’s weight throw at 7 p.m. She won first place in that same competition just two weeks earlier in the Orange and Purple Elite Invitational at Clemson, as her 19.03m mark bested the competition by more than 1.5m and saw her fall just short of her personal record.

That 19.03m mark places Wiggan at the top of her field for tomorrow’s event, but Virginia Tech’s Emma Thor and Pavla Kuklova have earned similar scores, throwing 18.85m and 18.95m, respectively.

Connor Bandel is the next Gator to compete, he’ll throw at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the men’s shot put.

The redshirt junior is coming off of a similarly impressive performance in Clemson, as he threw 19.29m, breaking his indoor PR and seeing him climb to seventh all-time among UF indoor shot put throwers. The Michigan native appears to be a favorite to score consecutive victories in the men’s shot-put, but may face stiff competition from talented Virginia Tech sophomore Tyson Jones.

The final Gator slated to compete in the Invitational is Thea Jensen. The freshman impressed in her first collegiate performance at the Orange and Purple Invitational. Jensen registered a 15.25m throw, finishing in third and losing out to former Gator Lloydricia Cameron.

Despite having just one meet under her belt, Jensen had posted a better PR in the shot put than all but three of her competitors this weekend, meaning another strong performance is on the cards.

The Gators will be in action next weekend, as well, as they travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to take part in the Razorback Invitational.

Follow Declan on Twitter @dawalsh_UF and contact him at

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