The Gators continued their excellent indoor campaign, returning to the site of their first meet of the year and posting excellent results and exhibiting notable progress.
Five Gators scored nationally-ranked times at the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, South Carolina, this past weekend, with UF demonstrating particular prowess in short distance races.
In the most notable result of the invitational, sophomore Doneisha Anderson joined senior Raymond Ekevwo in posting an NCAA leading time. They are the only two Gators to have done so this season. Anderson’s 52.06 time in the 400 meter also marked her coronation among Florida royalty, as the Bahamian is now the sixth-ranked quarter-miler in UF history.
With two more years of eligibility, Anderson’s name is likely to feature at the top of Florida record books in due time.
Cory Poole also earned his way onto the national stage on Friday. The junior is now tied for third in the country and in school history in the 60-meter hurdles. This ranking is evidence of the excellent competition the Gators faced this weekend, as, despite his performance, Poole could only manage a third-place finish in his heat among collegiate runners.
Thomas Mardal burst onto the scene Friday in the men’s weight throw. The junior threw for 22.75 meters in his season debut, good enough to win his heat and place third nationally. The Norwegiian now serves as an accomplished fourth member of Florida’s throwing team, earning first-team All-American selections in both the hammer throw and the weight throw last season.
On the women’s side, senior Amara Wiggan also impressed in the weight throw, breaking her personal record with a 20.97-meter throw. The now ninth-ranked Florida weight-thrower also demonstrated one of the most notable improvements from the Gators’ last trip to Clemson, increasing her throw by nearly two meters.
Freshman Semira Killebrew improved on her qualifying time by .15 seconds to take third in the 60-meter hurdles. Her 7.19-second finish was a second off of the top spot, good for eighth-place in the country and second all-time at UF. Fellow freshman Joseph Fahnbulleh was the final Gator to feature in the national rankings, as the sprinter finished the 200m in 20.85, which is ninth in the nation.
This past weekend’s event marked the conclusion of UF’s indoor non-championship season. The Gators will be off this upcoming weekend before traveling to College Station, Texas, for the SEC Championships Feb. 28-29.
Follow Declan Wash on Twitter @dawalsh_UF. Contact him at email@example.com.