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Thursday, December 01, 2022

Gators dominate first indoor meet of the 2022 season

Patterson, Stark break records at Clemson Invitational

<p>Florida&#x27;s Taylor Manson competes during the Pepsi Florida Relays on Saturday, April 3, 2021 at Percy Beard Track at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. The women&#x27;s track team won its second SEC title in program history Thursday. / UAA Communications photo by Hannah White</p>

Florida's Taylor Manson competes during the Pepsi Florida Relays on Saturday, April 3, 2021 at Percy Beard Track at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. The women's track team won its second SEC title in program history Thursday. / UAA Communications photo by Hannah White

Florida Gators track and field had a monumental weekend at the Clemson Invitational in South Carolina. Florida captured nine event titles over the course of the two-day event, setting new school and NCAA records in the process.

Sophomore Talitha Diggs took the top spot in the women’s 60-meter and 300-meter races, scoring times of 7.26 and 36.37 seconds respectively. Florida also finished first in the men’s 300-meter competition, completing a sweep of the event. 

Making his Gators debut, senior Jacory Patterson broke his own NCAA record in the 300m run with a 31.99-second effort. Patterson’s finish was just under three-tenths of a second faster than the 32.28-second time he earned in Jan. 2021 during his stint with Virginia Tech.

The Gators also achieved an event sweep in the triple jump. Senior Natricia Hooper leapt 13.60 meters on her 6th and final attempt, edging out Georgia’s Titiana Marsh by a slim margin of just under half a meter. UF senior Jonathan Miller’s 15.87-meter fifth attempt was enough to seal the men’s triple jump title on Saturday. 

Junior Grace Stark set a new school record in the 60-meter hurdles with an electric 7.86-second performance, narrowly eclipsing Bridgette Owens’ 2015 time by two one-hundredths of a second. Not only did Stark place second at the Clemson Invite, the 3-time All-American etched her name into the NCAA record books with the tied-third fastest time in event history.

The Orange and Blue fared well in the 4x400 meter relay events. The women’s team, composed of veterans Taylor Manson, Sterling Lester, Doneisha Anderson and Anna Hall, took the top spot with a three-minute, 33.11-second result. The men’s quad-squad of Ryan Willie, Jacob Miley, Anthony Brodie, and Sam Austin landed two seconds back of first to the Texas Longhorns.

Florida also earned individual titles in the women’s long jump (Jasmine Moore, 6.58m), women’s 800-meter (Imogen Barrett, 2:05.46) and men’s 1000-meter (Caden Monk, 2:26.03) to cap off a solid opening meet for the program. 

The Gators will divide their forces for their next indoor events at the Bob Pollock Meet in Clemson, S.C. and the Rod McCravy Memorial meet at the University of Kentucky. Both meets take place from Friday, Jan. 28 to Saturday, Jan. 29. 

Contact Ethan Eibe at eeibe@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @EthanEibe.

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Ethan Eibe

Ethan Eibe is a second-year UF sports media major and covers Gators volleyball for The Alligator. Outside of his writing, Ethan is a play-by-play broadcaster for UF student radio and has spent two summers announcing professional baseball with the Alpine Cowboys. He is a long-suffering Miami Marlins fan.


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