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Women's Track & Field Headline

Mariam Kevkhishvili ranks No. 1 in the shot put in the SEC

Tuesday May 8, 2007Gators Travel to Tuscaloosa for SEC Outdoor Championships


Mariam Kevkhishvili ranks No. 1 in the shot put in the SEC

The University of Florida women’s track and field program will join the 11 other Southeastern Conference schools in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on May 10-13 for the 2007 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The University of Alabama will serve host to the meet at Sam H. Bailey track with the first event of the competition, the women’s heptathlon, scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 10.


The conference meet, one of the most competitive in the nation, will feature three of the nation’s top-seven teams in No. 2 South Carolina, No. 4 LSU and No. 7 Auburn, and four of the top-20 teams with Tennessee, who is tied for 20th.


The Gators have finished fifth or better in eight of the last 10 years and stand a solid chance of posting a good team performance with 23 athletes that rank amongst the top-10 in the SEC in 17 events.


Leaking the way for UF, freshman Mariam Kevkhishvili’s (Tbilisi, Georgia) personal-best shot put throw of 16.67m/54-8.25 at the Mesa Classic on April 14 ranks No. 1 in the SEC this season. The mark also ranks second in the NCAA East Region and eighth in the nation. Kevkhishvili is the only freshman amongst the nation’s top-28 shot put competitors. In terms of UF history, the toss of 16.67m/54-8.25 ranks sixth. The last Gator to win the shot put at an outdoor SEC Championships meet was Kim Barrett in 2004, but the Gators have captured seven of the last 11 SEC shot put titles at the indoor and outdoor meets.


Another key athlete for Florida will be freshman Evelien Dekkers (Etten-Leur, The Netherlands), who posted the fifth-best javelin throw in the nation (52.84m/173-4) at the Sun Angel Classic on April 14. The mark, second in UF history, also ranks second in the SEC and third amongst East Region competitors this year. Dekkers is the only freshman amongst the nation’s top-28 javelin throwers. UF’s last SEC champion in the event came in 2000, when Emily Carlsten won the title. Dekkers has entered competition in the javelin three times this season and has earned victory on each occasion. Also a competitive discus thrower, Dekkers turned in the sixth-best throw in the SEC this season at the Mesa Classic on April 13 when she recorded a personal-best mark of 47.85/157-0.


The Gators will also have a strong presence of athletes in the pole vault. Leading the way during the outdoor season, freshman Lori Bowen (Surfside, Fla.) recorded a personal-best vault of 3.91m/12-10 at the National Training Center Spring Fling on April 21. Bowen’s mark completes a trifecta of fifth-place rankings - it ranks fifth in the SEC and the East Region this season as well as being tied for the fifth vault in UF outdoor history.


Fellow freshman Lauren Menke’s (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) personal-best vault of 3.80m/12-5.50 at the Drake Relays on April 27 ranks seventh in the SEC and is tied for 10th in both the East Region and in UF history. Meanwhile, sophomore Alex Black’s (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) personal-best vault of 3.70m/12-1.50 at the Sun Angel Classic on April 14 is tied for eighth amongst conference competitors. With positions one through eight scoring points at the SEC meet, Bowen, Menke and Black all stand to factor in points based off of their current rankings, while a fourth Gator, junior Natalie Moser (Tampa, Fla.), has the ability to post a top vault as well. Moser won the SEC Indoor Championship title with a vault of 4.17m/13-8.25 and finished as the NCAA indoor runner-up in the event after clearing a personal-best 4.30m/14-1.25 and then taking second in a jump-off. Moser, who has battled injury, has not yet recorded a height during the outdoor season, but looks to be healed and ready to go for the conference meet.


In addition to Dekkers in the javelin, juniors Lorain McKenzie (Clarendon, Jamaica) in the 800m and Lindsay Sundell (Fort Salonga, N.Y.) in the 3,000m steeplechase both rank second in their events amongst SEC competitors.


McKenzie earned the second-place league standing in the 800m after running a personal-best 2:05.70 at the Drake Relays on April 27. The mark also ranks third in the East Region, 13 in the nation and 10 in school history. The last Gator to become an SEC champion in the 800m was Nana Allen in 2001.


Sundell ran the 3,000m steeplechase in 10:22.79 at the Florida State Relays on March 30 to earn her second-place league ranking in the event. Sundell’s mark also ranks sixth in the East Region. She has a solid opportunity to become the first Gator to win the SEC 3,000m steeplechase title.  


Live results, a full-schedule of events and additional meet information can be found at Sun Sports TV will air the meet at noon (ET) on May 20.



Thursday, May 10, 2007

3:00 p.m.      Women’s Heptathlon

7:30 p.m.      Heptathlon 200m (approx. start time)


Friday, May 11, 2007

1:30 p.m.      Women’s Hammer Final

5:00 p.m.      Heptathlon Long Jump

6:15 p.m.      Heptathlon Javelin

7:20 p.m.      Women’s 800m Prelims

7:55 p.m.      Women’s 200m Prelims

8:15 p.m.      Women’s Heptathlon 800m

8:40 p.m.      Women’s 400m Hurdle Prelims

9:45 p.m.      Women’s 10,000m Final


Saturday, May 12, 2006

6:00 p.m.      Women’s Long Jump Final

7:00 p.m.      Women’s Shot Final

7:15 p.m.      Women’s 1,500m Prelims

7:45 p.m.      Women’s 100m Hurdle Prelims

8:20 p.m.      Women’s 400m Prelims

8:55 p.m.      Women’s 100m Prelims

9:30 p.m.      Women’s 3,000m Steeplechase Final


Sunday, May 13, 2007

2:00 p.m.      Women’s Discus Final

5:00 p.m.      Women’s Javelin Final

5:30 p.m.      Women’s High Jump Final

6:10 p.m.      Women’s Pole Vault Final

6:20 p.m.      Women’s 4 x 100m Relay Final

6:40 p.m.      Women’s 1,500m Final

7:00 p.m.      Women’s 100m Hurdle Final

7:20 p.m.      Women’s 400m Final

7:40 p.m.      Women’s 100m Final

7:00 p.m.      Women’s 800m Final

8:00 p.m.      Women’s Triple Jump Final

8:25 p.m.      Women’s 400m Hurdle Final

8:45 p.m.      Women’s 200m Final

9:15 p.m.      Women’s 5,000m Final

9:45 p.m.      Women’s 4 x 400m Relay Final


*All Times Eastern








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