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Friday, October 15, 2021

Ten Gators earn medals at SEC Outdoor Championships

Gabrielle Wilkinson is the SEC Champion in the women’s 1,500 meter.

<p>UF track and field coach Mike Holloway. The Gators had 10 athletes bring home hardware from the SEC Outdoor Championships.</p>

UF track and field coach Mike Holloway. The Gators had 10 athletes bring home hardware from the SEC Outdoor Championships.

Let the championship bells ring.

Ten Gators return to Gainesville with medals from the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, including two SEC titles. 

After three days of competition, the Florida men’s team finished fourth in the 2021 SEC Outdoor Championships with 74 points, while the women's team came in sixth with 62 points. Arkansas won the SEC team titles for both the men and women with 129 and 127 points, respectively. 

Gabrielle Wilkinson fought until the end to become the 2021 women’s 1,500 meter SEC Champion. The redshirt sophomore pulled ahead of her competitors off the final curve and crossed the line with a 4 minute, 15.28 second time. This is Florida’s second consecutive event title after Imogen Barrett won in 2019 with a 4:17.29 time. 

The Gators became the first program since Arkansas from 2000 to 2002 with consecutive teammate wins in the same event, according to USTFCCCA

Thomas Mardal became a back-to-back SEC title holder in the men’s hammer throw on Thursday. The senior hurled the hammer 74.78 meters, the only competitor to throw over 70 meters. 

A Gator from each squad reigned in silver Saturday: Grace Stark and Joseph Fahnbulleh. 

Stark beat the barriers to come in second in the 100-meter hurdles final. The redshirt freshman cut her preliminary 12.88 time down .14 seconds to finish at 12.74 in the final. Fahnbulleh redeemed his fifth-place performance in the 100-meter by blasting off in the 200 final, finishing with a 20.05 time. 

Talitha Diggs, Dedrick Vanover and Natricia Hooper all collected bronze in their respective events. 

Diggs dug deep in the women’s 400 final to land a 51.27 time, while Vanover exploded at the shot of the gun to secure a 10.03 in the men’s 100 final. Hooper strode her way to the podium with crisp step phases, flying 13.93 meters in the women’s triple jump final. 

In the final event of the night, the Gators’ women placed second in the 4x400 relay with a 3:28.33 time. 

On Friday, Claire Bryant, Clayton Brown and Connor Bandel all earned medals to drive Saturday’s finals. 

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Bryant placed second in the women’s long jump final, landing 6.71 meters away. Brown cleared 2.24 meters in the men’s high jump final to earn third, and Bandel shoved the shot put 19.61 meters in the men’s final shot put to also place third. 

Next for the Gators are the NCAA East Preliminaries, which begin Wednesday. 

Contact Kaitlyn Wadulack at kwadulack@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter at @kwadulack


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