Gators
Scenes from the Last Chance Meet on Feb. 16. Photo courtesy of Gabriella Whisler.

Gators Track and Field hosting Tom Jones Invitational

Forty teams, including the Gators, will compete in the Tom Jones Invitational starting Friday, April 13, and finishing April 14. This is the last home meet of the season, and the Gators will be honoring 26 seniors.

Florida will have 66 athletes competing in 35 events throughout the two-day meet.

Hot off Pepsi Relays

Ahead of this weekend, the Gators have clocked 28 new outdoor or personal bests, with nine on the field and 19 on the track.

The Gators’ last meet was the annual Pepsi Florida Relays, which the Gators hosted as well. Ten titles went home with Florida and the Gators also snatched 52 top-10 finishes.

On day one of Pepsi Relays, March 31, Sean Dixon-Bodie and Claire Bryant both won the men’s (8.00m/26’3″) and women’s (6.56m/21’6.25″) long jump. Florida star Talitha Diggs took the gold in the 200 meter with a personal best of 22.61. Robert Gregory won the 200 for the men. The final title win for the Gators on day one of the meet was the 4×800 relay. The team of Ryan Maseman, Hugh Brittenham, Deshay Fernandes and Sam Austin finished with a 7:23.80.

Alida van Daalen brought home gold in the shot put event (17.94m/58’10.25″) to start day two of the weekend. Florida swept the sprints with Pjai Austin running for gold with a 10.10 in the 100 meter — the fastest time in the country this year. Talitha Diggs returned to the track to take home the women’s 100 meter, clocking a 10.92.

The men took the gold for the 4×400 relay with Jacory Patterson, Ryan Willie, Jacob Miley and Emmanuel Bamidele running a 3:02.01. For the women, Talitha Diggs, Grace Stark, Jayla Hollis and Kynnedy Flannel ran the third-fastest 4×100 relay in the country this year at 43.37.

What you need to know

The Gators will be splitting their seniors and honoring 13 on Friday and the remaining 13 on Saturday. Friday’s seniors will be honored at 4 p.m. and Saturday’s honors will begin at 11 a.m.

Sixteen events will feature at least one Gator on Friday, starting with Claire Bryant, Sterling Lester and Jasmine Moore in the long jump at 2 p.m. Running events will kickoff at 5 p.m. for Florida.

Saturday will showcase 19 events for the Gators. Akari Isaac, Thea Jensen and Da’Moni Kelly will start day two at 9 a.m. in the discus event. Prelims for the women’s 100 meter hurdles will kickstart the running events at noon.

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