Aug 20, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; USA members Arman Hall , Tony McQuay , Gil Roberts and Lashawn Merritt (USA) celebrate after during the men's 4x400m relay final during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Estadio Olimpico Joao Havelange. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A Look Back at Gators Track in Rio

Whether you’ve heard this stat or not, the fact that if the University of Florida was its own country  they would be ninth in the world in gold medals during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Eight golds were won with 30 Gator letter-winners competing spanning four sports, with a total of 13 medals (three silver, two bronze).

Focusing on the track and field events, the University of Florida had 12 men and women competing for their respective countries, but also representing the orange and blue.

Eight of the Gators in Rio were returning Olympians, including Tony McQuay, who paired with first time Olympian Arman Hall to run the first two legs for Team USA’s gold-medal-winning 4×400 relay. Novlene Williams-Mills added to her three bronze medals with a silver for Jamaica in the 4×400 relay.

Christian Taylor and Will Claye became the first men in history to finish 1-2 in the triple jump at consecutive Olympics. Taylor (USA) became the fifth man in history to defend his Olympic triple jump gold medal, and Claye (USA) became the fifth American in Olympic history to win multiple medals in the triple jump.

Florida track and field head coach Mike Holloway hasn’t missed an Olympics since 1996. He could not speak higher about his former and current athletes, especially when talking about gator chomping.

Kerron Clement (USA) became the seventh man in American history to win multiple medals in the 400 hurdles. Clement won an Olympic gold medal in the 4×400 relay in Rio and a silver medal in the 400 hurdles eight years ago in Beijing.

Genevieve LaCaze (Australia) finished 12th in the women’s 5,000 meters final, as she clocked a 10-second personal record, she also set a personal record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase final.

Stipe Zunic (Croatia), made his Olympic debut, finished eighth overall in the shot put qualifying round and went on to finish 11th place in the final.

Shot put thrower Kemal Mesic (Bosnia) and long jumper Shara Proctor (Great Britain) each took part in their second Olympiad. Runner Andres Arroyo (Puerto Rico) in the 800m and 110-meter hurdler Eddie Lovett (U.S. Virgin Islands) competed in their first summer games.

Holloway, entering his 14th season as men’s coach, and ninth as women’s, says he hopes this trip sparks success to come for these men and women.

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