Florida track and field divided forces for a two-meet challenge Friday and Saturday at Clemson’s Bob Pollock Meet and the Rod McCravy Memorial Invitational at the University of Kentucky. The Gators sent 46 athletes to compete across 22 events at Clemson, while devoting 10 athletes to the Kentucky competition.
Florida looked to build momentum after a triumphant opening meet of the 2022 Indoor Season at the Clemson Invitational two weeks ago. The No. 5 women’s team and No. 19 men’s squad did just that, locking up eight event titles at the Bob Pollock Meet and four in Kentucky.
Juniors Anna Hall and Jasmine Moore were among the top performers for Florida’s women. Hall took the top spot in her pentathlon debut, scoring 4,370 points to lead both NCAA and World leaderboards. Moore broke a slew of records, including personal, NCAA, facility and school, with a 14.55-meter effort in the triple jump.
UF head coach Mike Holloway put his team on a pedestal following the record-shattering performances.
“Obviously our women's team is on a mission,” Holloway said. “We've assembled an incredible group of athletes, but they're also incredible people. Our school records aren't easy to break so if you break school records, it's impressive.”
Senior Jacory Patterson followed up his world-record 300-meter run in the season’s opening meet with an event best 45.98-second time in the 400-meter. Sophomore Talitha Diggs rounded out the event sweep with a 52-second run in Clemson, an NCAA best.
The Gators scored two additional sweeps in the 4x400-meter relays along with the 60-meter sprints, courtesy of senior P.J. Austin (6.63) and junior Grace Stark (7.14).
Florida’s victories at the Rod McCravy Meet in Lexington, Kentucky, included top finishes in the women’s 3000-meter, women’s distance medley and a sweep of the men’s and women’s 800-meter races. UF junior Imogen Barrett and freshman Sam Austin completed the 800 with times of 2 minutes, 4.46 seconds and 1:49.93 respectively.
“Their effort and focus is phenomenal right now,” Holloway said. “It's early in the season so we've got a lot of work to do. We have to maintain that focus but very, very impressed so far.”
After a week-long drought of competition, the Gators will return to the indoor track for another multimeet weekend at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and the Music City Challenge in Nashville, Tennessee, from Feb. 11-12.
Contact Ethan Eibe at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EthanEibe.
Ethan Eibe is a second-year UF sports media major and covers Gators baseball 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.