The Florida Gators men’s and women’s track and field teams earned fourteen new personal bests and fifteen medals — seven golds, two silvers and six bronze. Both teams finished sixth and second respectively at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships May 11-13.
On Friday, Florida earned four medals. Redshirt senior Sterling Lester earned the first medal bronze in the women’s heptathlon with 5778 points, a new personal best.
UF freshman Alida Van Daalen won gold in the women’s shot put with a distance of 18.07. She earned both the SEC indoor and outdoor titles in shot put this season.
Gators redshirt junior Jasmine Moore earned gold in the SEC horizontal long jump. She jumped a distance of 6.88 meters — a new personal best and the farthest mark in the National Collegiate Athletic Association this year.
UF junior Claire Bryant also placed in the long jump, taking home bronze with a distance of 6.68 meters. It marks her fifth SEC long jump medal.
Twelve runners advanced to the finals of the SEC Outdoors Championships.
On Saturday, the first medal of the day went to Florida’s men’s 4x100 team. Junior’s Ryan Willie and Robert Gregory, and redshirt senior’s Jacory Patterson and Pjai Austin finished with silver. They earned the second fastest time in collegiate history with a new school record of 37.93.
Senior Gabrielle Wilkinson brought the Gators their first individual medal of the day in the women’s 1500m. She earned bronze running a 4:18.81.
Van Daalen earned her second medal of the event and secured silver in the women’s discus competition.
Both the men’s and women’s teams medaled in the 400 meters. Willie produced the fastest time in school history with a 44.27 and earned gold. Florida junior Talitha Diggs secured the season's best time of 50.74 to take bronze.
Later in the day, Gators senior Jasmine Moore won another gold in the horizontal triple jump with a distance of 14.14 meters.
UF redshirt senior Imogen Barrett ran a 2:04.48 in the 800m and earned bronze for the third SEC 800m medal of her career.
Senior Vanessa Watson secured bronze for the Gators in the 400m hurdles running 55.59 for another personal best.
Gregory claimed gold in the men’s 200m with a time of 20.12 — his new personal best and the seventh fastest time in school history. The Texas native earned the men’s Commissioner's Trophy for scoring the most points at the event.
The last individual event runner to earn a medal was Florida redshirt sophomore Parker Valby. She won gold in the 5000m.
The last medal of the day was produced by UF’s men’s 4x400 relay team. Redshirt junior Jevaughn Powell, sophomore Emmanuel Bamidele, redshirt senior Jacory Patterson and Willie set a new collegiate record after running a 2:57.76.
The Gators will travel to Jacksonville, Florida, to compete in the NCAA East Preliminaries on May 24-27.
Hailey Hurst is a second-year journalism major with a focus in sports media and a sports reporter for The Alligator. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach and cheering for Miami sports teams.