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Jun 10, 2016; Eugene, OR, USA; Florida Gators coach Mike Holloway hoists the national champion trophy aloft as the Gators win the men's team title during the 2016 NCAA Track and Field championships at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Gators Take The NCAA Outdoor Champions Title

The Florida Gator Men’s Track and Field won the NCAA Outdoor Championship Saturday. The Gators had a rocky road to earn its third Outdoor Championship which featured one of the lowest team performance to one of the highest, but at the end, the team was able to accumulate 62 points to win it all.

The Gators finished seventh in the Indoor Championship that took place on March 11-12 ending the teams third-longest run of consecutive top-three finishes in meet history in seven years. The program had 18 top-three finishes at 26 NCAA Championships in Head Coach Mike Holloway’s 13 previous seasons. While heading to the SEC Outdoor Championship, the team ranked second nationally, the Gators finished sixth making it feel like a repeat of the Indoor Championship and the teams worst performance at a conference meet since 1996. Coach Holloway had a few words to say after finishing sixth place in the SEC Outdoor Championship.

Later when the Gators left the NCAA East Preliminary in Jacksonville, the team had 12 national championship entries. That’s when the team and Holloway saw the potential emerging.

Of the 62 points UF scored to take the title, 41 were scored by upperclassmen and the senior-laden 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams.

Senior and captain, Arman Hall, become the second Gator in history to win the 400 meters title crossing in a speedway of 44.82 seconds to match the fastest time of his career.

While teammates Najee Glass and Kunle Fasasi took fifth and seventh in the 400 meters final, all adding up to 16 points in a matter of 46 seconds. Later, sophomore KeAndre Bates, was getting ready for his fourth attempt in the triple jump, which then helped Florida move up in the team standings. Bates became the second Gator and sixth man since 1990 to score in both the long jump and triple jump as an underclassman.

Moments after the jump, Eric Futch and TJ Holmes became just the second pair of Division I teammates since 1983 to post a 1-2 finish in the 400-meter hurdles, piling up 18 more points for the team.

With Glass’ 400 meters score being disqualified due to a lane violation, the team needed him to anchor the 4×400 relay, the meet’s final event, with the national championship on the line. Even without Glass’s points the team still needed a sixth place finish to win the team title. The Gators were able to pass the finish line with a second place finish, making it the teams sixth national title.

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