The Florida Gators Track and Field team are headed to Eugene, Oregon, to close out its 2021 season in the NCAA Outdoor Championship. The Gators head into this week’s championship with a combined 18 entries, 10 for the men and eight for the women. The competition is set to take off staring Wednesday and concluding Saturday at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.
Coach Mike Holloway explains his method of preparation for his team.
“Everybody talks about practice making perfect, I talk about practice making permanent.”
On the Women’s side
Redshirt senior Natricia Hooper and freshman Claire Bryant will headline the jumps for the Gators.
Bryant ranks seventh on this year’s NCAA Division I Outdoor Qualifying List and tied for third in school history. She will compete in the long jump while No. 5-seeded Hooper will appear in the triple jump. Hooper set the second-best mark in program history at last month’s SEC championship meet.
Both Bryant and Hooper earned bronze medals at SEC Outdoors.
Redshirt freshman Grace Stark will represent the Gators on the track in the 100-meter hurdles. Stark ranks fourth in the nation and finished second at SECs with a time of 12.74 [+3.6] seconds.
SEC Champion Gabrielle Wilkinson will run the 800 meters. The redshirt sophomore ranks seventh nationally and second in UF history with a time of 2:01.45.
On the Men’ side
Senior Clayton Brown will represent the Gators in the jumps. Brown has entries in the triple and high jump where he ranks sixth nationally in the triple jump and 10th in the high jump.
Thrower Thomas Mardal will lead off the Gators Wednesday with the hammer throw. The senior has produced a record-breaking season.
The Gloppen, Norway native leads the NCAA and holds the school record in both the weight and hammer throws as a four-time combined SEC champion. Mardal clinched his first national title earlier this year at NCAA Indoors and will look to earn his first outdoors crown this week.
Joseph Fahnbulleh will headline the 100 and 200 meters for the Gators. The redshirt freshman ranks third nationally and sixth in the world in the 200. He also earned a silver medal at SEC Outdoors last month after posting a time of 20.05 [+1.7] seconds. That time ranks fourth on UF’s All-Time Outdoor Top 10 list.
Fahnbulleh also ranks 11th in the 100 meters with a time of 10.08 [+3.6] seconds in addition to his 200 meters rankings.
Florida will also be represented by its 4×400-meter relays teams.
On the women’s side, the Gators 4×400 will make its 10th consecutive appearance, while the men make their 14th consecutive.