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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Eight Florida athletes earned personal record-breaking marks this past weekend in Fayetteville, Arkansas, as the Gators continued their strong start to the indoor season.

The most notable performance of the weekend came from UF Nigerian international sprinter Raymond Ekevwo, who just became the NCAA leader for the 60-meter dash this past weekend with a 6.53 second time. The senior also rose to third on the all-time rankings among Florida sprinters in the 60m.

Taylor Manson provided a similarly impressive effort in the 400m, as her 52.59 time elevated her to third on the NCAA rankings along with shattering her personal record. Unfortunately for the junior, her performance was only good enough for second place, as Texas’ Kennedy Simon bested her by .4 seconds.

The Gators also impressed in the women’s and men’s 4x400, coming in first and second, respectively. Juniors Denzel Villaman and Cory Poole, along with freshmen Joseph Fahnbulleh and Jacob Miley, posted the fifth-best time in Division I despite a second-place finish. On the women’s side, Manson shined again, along with junior Nikki Stephens and freshmen Semira Killibrew and Doneisha Anderson. The relay team earned a second-place national ranking along with a first-place finish.

To round out the sprinters, Cameron Miller continued the trend of nationally ranked times, as the freshman is now sitting sixth nationally in the 200 meter dash. Miller drew a very difficult heat, however, as his 20.79 second time was only good enough for bronze.

The Gators shattered fewer records in middle and long-distance, but senior Justin Pacifico stood out with a 1:49.76 time and a second-place finish in the 800 meter. Sophomore Nick Deal also put in a strong performance in the 3000m with a personal record-breaking 8:30.47.

Florida throwers continued to excel after a strong performance last week at the Hokie Invitational. Freshman Thea Jensen had a season-best performance, breaking her personal record with a 15.75 meter in the women’s shot put and coming up just short in a second-place finish. Senior Amara Wiggan also broke her personal record in the women’s weight throw with a 20.09m throw.

The Gators will compete again in two weeks time as they will return to Clemson to take part in the Tiger Paw Invitational.

Follow Declan @dawalsh_UF and contact him at dwalsh@alligator.org.

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