Freshman Mariam Kevkhishvili (Tbilisi,
Georgia) became Florida’s first Southeastern Conference outdoor shot put
champion since 2004 with the nation’s fifth-best throw and a personal best 17.05m/55-11.25
to lead the University
of Florida women’s track
and field squad on the third day of competition at the SEC Championship at Sam
scored events, the Gators stand in second place with a total of 38 points. Georgia leads
the competition with 48 points. Also scoring points for the Gators on Saturday
was junior Lindsay Sundell
N.Y.) with a second-place finish
in the 3,000m steeplechase in a personal-best time of 10:20.58 to contribute
keeps getting tougher each day and our athletes have came out and competed very
women’s interim head coach Steve Lemke said. “With Mariam winning the shot put,
she came out and did what she was supposed to do, and the win was pretty much
decided after her second throw. She performed at a very high level today. Lindsey
performed very well for us as well with a PR in the steeplechase to take
second. We also had a couple more competitors advance to Sunday’s finals. Now
it’s time for them to take the next step and come out and compete hard again,
and I’m confident they can do that.”
Kevkhishvili’s shot put of mark of 17.05m/55-11.25 not only ranks fifth in the
nation but also ranks fourth-best in UF history and is the number one mark
amongst NCAA East Regional competitors. She earned 10 points for Florida in the team
standings with her second victory of the season, which came by nearly six and a
half feet ahead of the second-place finisher and was a PR by 15 inches. She has
now regionally qualified four times this season. Kevkhishvili becomes Florida’s first SEC
outdoor champion in the event since Kim Barrett in 2004 and the Gators’ first
shot put champion since Candice Scott won the indoor title in 2005. UF has now
claimed eight of the last 12 shot put titles at the indoor and outdoor meets.
feeling very good,” Kevkhishvili said. “I cannot describe all of my feelings
right now. It is great to do well in my first year at the University of Florida.
I’m very thankful for the help from Coach Lemke because to be an SEC Champion,
it is not just for me; it is also for Coach Lemke and Florida.
almost crying because I wish I could share this moment with my family back in Georgia and my husband back in Gainesville, but it is also great to be able
to share this moment with my second family – our team.”
earned the second-place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase by clocking a personal-best
time of 10:20.58. The only competitor to finish ahead of Sundell, Georgia’s Sarah Madebach
earned victory with a meet record 10:13.73. Sundell’s
mark was her third NCAA regional qualifying mark of the season.
to Sunday’s final for the Gators were junior Kristen Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.) in the 1,500m and junior Lakecia Ealey (Albany,
Ga.) in the 100m. Johnson
advanced by winning the second heat of the 1,500m. She crossed the finished
line in 4:30.45, the fourth-fastest overall preliminary time. Knight advanced
by finishing second the third heat of the 100m. She clocked a mark of 11.43,
the third-fastest preliminary time.
talked a lot about opportunities to score, and with two more runners, Kristen
and Lakecia, advancing to finals today, that
opportunity is in front of us,” Lemke added.
competing for the Gators on Saturday, freshman Shara Proctor (The Valley, Anguilla) notched
her second long jump regional qualifying mark with the ninth-place leap of
Championships continue on Sunday with the first event, the women’s discus scheduled
to begin at 2 p.m. (ET). Live results are available via www.rolltide.com.
Women’s Team Standings (After Six
Georgia, 48; 2. FLORIDA, 38; 3. Arkansas, 32; 4.
Tennessee, 28; 5. Kentucky, 22; 6.
Ole Miss, 17; 7. LSU, 15; 8. Miss. State, 12; 9. Alabama, 9; 10.
Vanderbilt, 6; 11. Auburn, 5; 12. South
SEC Champion Gators:
Kevkhishvili – Shot Put
Gators Advancing to Finals (4):
Ealey – 100m
Knight – 200m
Lorain McKenzie – 800m
Johnson – 1,500m