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Saturday, September 25, 2021
Florida's Joseph Fahnbulleh competes during the Pepsi Florida Relays on Friday, April 2, 2021 at Percy Beard Track at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. / UAA Communications photo by Chloe Hyde
Florida's Joseph Fahnbulleh competes during the Pepsi Florida Relays on Friday, April 2, 2021 at Percy Beard Track at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. / UAA Communications photo by Chloe Hyde

It’s the final chapter of a storybook year for Florida track and field. 

The Gators track and field teams finish their outdoor season at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships this week. Florida has 18 total entries, 10 on the men’s team and eight for the women. The meet begins Wednesday and concludes Saturday in Eugene, Oregon. 

Thomas Mardal will look to add his first outdoor national title to his resume. The senior thrower holds a combined four SEC titles and one NCAA Indoor title in the weight throw.  The Norway native secured his nationals spot at regionals with a 71.29 meter (233-10) throw in the men’s hammer throw. He currently holds the school record for both the hammer throw and weight throw, and he leads the nation in the hammer throw with a 76.18 meter (249-11) mark. 

Senior jumper Clayton Brown is set to soar in the men’s high jump and triple jump. The Jamaican holds the No. 3 and No. 7 spots in the respective events in Florida Men’s Outdoor All-Time Top 10 list. 

Joseph Fahnbulleh will be double the trouble in Eugene as he is set to compete in the men’s 100 meter and 200 meter. The redshirt freshman ranks 11th in the nation in the 100 with a 10.08 second time. In the 200, he’s third nationally and sixth in the world with a 20.05 time. 

The men’s 4x400 relay squad of Ryan Willie, Chantz Sawyers, Denzel Villaman and Kunle Fasasi will also make the trip to Eugene after sealing an automatic qualification with a 3:05.27 time. 

Additionally, Willie (400 meter), Villaman (400-meter hurdles), Connor Bandel (shot put) and Tyler Davis (200 meter) will compete at nationals on the men’s side. 

Two Gators’ women’s jumpers will compete in this week's meet: Natricia Hooper and Claire Bryant. 

Both Gators earned their seed spots at SEC Outdoors this year. Hooper holds the No. 5 seed in the women’s triple jump with a 13.92 meter (45-8) mark, and Bryant landed the No. 7 seed after launching 6.71 meters (22 ¼) in the women’s long jump. 

Gabrielle Wilkinson will look to make headlines in the women’s 800. The redshirt sophomore earned her first SEC title in the women’s 1,500 this year and ranks seventh nationally in the women’s 800 with a 2:01.45 time. 

Talitha Diggs and Taylor Manson will run together in the women’s 400. The duo sits 0.28 seconds from each other nationally, with Diggs (51.23) the No. 7 seed and Manson (51.51) as the No. 14 seed. 

Diggs and Manson will also compete in the women’s 4x400 relay. The relay team of Manson, Sterling Lester, Doneisha Anderson and Diggs rank fourth nationally. 

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Grace Stark (100-meter hurdles) and Arianne Duarte-Morais (javelin) join their fellow teammates in competition. 

The men’s events are scheduled to begin Wednesday, while the women are slated for Thursday. Coverage begins Wednesday with the following broadcast times and streams:

  • ESPN3: 4 p.m. -11:30 p.m. 

  • ESPNU: 8 p.m. - 9 p.m.

  • ESPN2: 9 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.

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

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