The Florida Gator men’s track and field team accomplished their mission by defending their outdoor national title in Eugene, Oregon on Friday.
Throughout competition in Eugene, the Gators and SEC foe Texas A&M were close together in points. The Gators avenged the Aggies. During indoor season at the national meet, Texas A&M won the overall national title, and the Gators placed second by only half of a point.
The Gators finished first with a score of 61.5, and Texas A&M was in second with a 59.5 score.
The Florida men’s track program has the most national titles out of any sport at the University of Florida. This is the seventh national title that has been won in the Florida track program under Head Coach Mike Holloway who became the head coach in 2003.
Holloway’s team met his expectations for defending their title “Anyone who had a Gator uniform on this weekend was a highlight. We didn’t have one guy that laid down and didn’t do their best. There wasn’t one person or one performance. We’re a team, we’re a family, and we got this done as a team and as a family,” Holloway said.
Freshman Sensation Strikes Again
— Florida Gators (@FloridaGators) June 10, 2017
The freshman phenom Grant Holloway added more points to the board. On Friday Holloway added a second track and field individual title under his belt. Holloway’s 13.49 seconds in the men’s 110-meter hurdles placed him first and gave the Gators ten points. Holloway wasn’t done though that day. After that, he came back for the 4×400 meter relay, where he ran a 43.89 second split on his anchor leg. The 4×400 meter relay consisting of Nick Uruburu, Eric Futch, T.J Holmes, and Holloway placed fourth overall. This was all the Gators needed though to clinch the title. They needed at least fifth place to defend the overall team title.
Florida the Flight School
Junior KeAndre Bates proved that UF is a school for jumps. After winning the long jump Wednesday he came back Friday to win the triple jump. Bates is only the seventh man in NCAA history to sweep the horizontal jumps.
The Gators also had junior Jhonny Victor to tie for seventh place in the high jump. His 6 foot 11.75-inch jump added 1.5 points for the Gators. This was Victor’s first NCAA national meet, and he was the last one to make it out of the NCAA East Regional Preliminary round.
Futch Defends Individual Title
The Gators also had opportunities to score in the 400-meter hurdles. Redshirt senior Eric Futch defended his title in the event Friday with a time of 48.32. His teammate T.J Holmes followed behind and placed sixth. The duo gave the Gators a total of 13 points in that event.
Arroyo keeps his focus
Senior Andres Arroyo helped his team out even after a tumble that happened between other competitors during the second lap of the 800-meter race. Arroyo still managed to get fifth place, which gave the Gators four points.
The work for the track program didn’t stop Friday night. Action in Eugene will continue tonight for the women at 6:30 p.m. The meet will be aired on ESPN.