The Gators will compete in the NCAA East Preliminary starting Wednesday at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida.
Thirty six Florida athletes enter the meet: 19 men and 17 women. Only 12 individuals and 12 relays from each regional competition will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, scheduled from June 9 to June 12.
Two No. 1-seeded Gators look to secure a spot in Eugene.
Thomas Mardal looks to heave a qualifying throw for the chance to earn his first NCAA Outdoor title. The four-time SEC champion defended his 2019 hammer throw conference title on May 13 at the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. His offering landed an astounding 76.18 meters (249 feet, 11 inches) away, which is 3.87 meters farther than the No. 2 seed. He holds a 2021 NCAA indoor crown for the weight throw.
The Gators women’s 4x400 relay also enters as the top seed with a 3 minute, 27.50 seconds time. The Florida squad of Taylor Manson, Sterling Lester, Doneisha Anderson and Talitha Diggs earned silver at the SEC Outdoors. The No. 2 seed South Carolina Gamecocks finished a full 1.23 seconds behind the Gators.
Fifteen Gators on both squads hold top five seeds in their respective events.
Keep an eye on Joseph Fahnbulleh in the men’s 200 meter. The sophomore holds a No. 2 seed after he ran 20.05 time at the SEC Outdoors.
Diggs also boasts the No. 2 seed in the women’s 400 with a 51.23 time. Manson competes with Diggs in this event as the No. 4 seed with a 51.51 time.
Grace Stark is the No. 3 seed in the women’s 100 hurdles with a 12.74 time which brought her silver at the SEC Outdoors.
SEC women’s 1,500 outdoor champion Gabrielle Wilkinson is the No. 4 seed in the women’s 800 with a time of 2:01.45. At SEC Outdoors, her 800 preliminary time was 2:05.40, and she ran a 2:14.38 in the final.
In field events, Claire Bryant is the second seed in the women’s long jump, Natricia Hooper is the third seed in the women’s triple jump and Clayton Brown is the second and fifth seed in the men’s triple jump and men’s high jump, respectively.
On Wednesday, the men compete in mostly first round events. Women’s events begin Thursday. Coverage on Wednesday is scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m. on UNF's SWOOPLife Live network.
Contact Kaitlyn Wadulack at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter at @kwadulack