In the NCAA’s triple jump rankings one meet into the 2020 season, two Gators top the list.
In first is senior Clayton Brown with a jump of 16.46 meters, the second-farthest legal jump of his career. Second is Jonathan Miller, a sophomore transfer from Nebraska, at 16.04 meters.
The two horizontal jumpers highlighted the weekend for Florida at the Orange and Purple Elite Invitational. The meet in Clemson, South Carolina, commenced the 2020 indoor season.
The Florida men’s team will compete this season as defending national champions, after it claimed its fifth title in program history in 2019, all in the past decade. It loses standouts this season such as world record holder and six-time SEC Champion Grant Holloway, who declared for the Olympics and sprinter Ryan Clark, who graduated.
The women’s team finished sixth last season, losing triple jump national champion Yanis David to graduation.
In addition to Brown and Miller’s triple jumps, other field events impressed for the orange and blue over the weekend. Senior Kala Penn jumped 13.2 meters in the triple jump to rank second nationally on the women’s side. Redshirt junior Connor Bandel reached 19.29 meters in the weight throw, resetting his indoor personal best to place sixth nationally.
Freshman Semira Killebrew also impressed in the women’s 60-meter dash. Her time of 7.29 seconds places her at No. 7 nationally.
Senior Brandee Johnson finished the women’s 60-meter hurdles in 8.25 seconds to rank fourth nationally, while freshman Grace Stark was .02 seconds behind her to rank fifth.
Overall, the straightaways and the horizontal jumps were the backbone of Florida’s track team in its first meet. And in all likelihood, that is how it will be for most of the season. Coach Mike Holloway’s specialties are jumpers and sprinters. Paired with jumpers’ coach Nic Petersen, UF always shows out in those two areas.
The Gators will compete this weekend only about two hours from Clemson, as they head to Columbia, South Carolina, to compete in the Gamecock Invitational.
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