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Women's Track & Field Headline

Dekkers led the Gators in scoring with nine points on the final day of the SEC Championships

Sunday May 13, 2007Florida WT&F Finishes In Sixth At SEC Outdoor Championships

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.

Dekkers led the Gators in scoring with nine points on the final day of the SEC Championships

Freshman Evelien Dekkers (Etten-Leur, The Netherlands) led the Gators in the final day of competition by scoring nine points combined from the javelin and the discus as the University of Florida women’s track and field team concluded competition at the Southeastern Conference championships with a sixth-place finish on Sunday at Sam Bailey Stadium.  

 

The Gators earned the sixth-place showing by totaling 82 points. LSU won the competition with 139.50 points. Florida improved upon its result from last season by scoring 44.5 more points and moving up the final standings by three positions. The sixth-place finish was the best for the Gators since 2004, when they finished fifth. Florida was just two points shy of fifth-place finishing South Carolina.

 

Also scoring points for the Gators on Sunday were junior Lorain McKenzie (Clarendon, Jamaica) in the 800m, junior Lindsay Sundell (Fort Salonga, N.Y.) in the 5,000m, freshman Lori Bowen (Surfside, Fla.), freshman Lauren Menke (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and sophomore Alex Black (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in the pole vault, sophomore Jenna Utecht (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) in the high jump, junior Lakecia Ealey (Albany, Ga.) in the 100m, junior Kristen Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.) in the 1,500m, freshman Shara Proctor (The Valley, Anguilla) and senior Candace Cabey (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in the triple jump and junior Natalie Knight (Snellville, Ga.) in the 200m.

 

Florida also picked up points in the relay events as the 4x400m relay team of junior Dominique McLeggan (Weston, Fla.), Ealey, Abigail David (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago) and McKenzie took fifth, while the 4x100m relay team of junior David, Knight, Ealey and sophomore Zan Joseph (Boynton Beach, Fla.) posted a sixth-place finish.

 

“I’m very proud of all of our athletes,” Florida interim head coach Steve Lemke said. “The team competed as well as they could all weekend. We are in the premier track conference and for us to go from 37 and a half points last year up to 82 points this year is a sign that our program is headed in the right direction.”

 

Dekkers scored five of her nine points by finishing fourth in the javelin with a toss of 48.85m/160-03. The mark was her fourth NCAA East Regional qualifying mark of the season. A couple hours prior to the javelin in the discus, Dekkers took fifth with the second-best throw of her career at 47.11m/154-7 to contribute four points.

 

In the 800m, McKenzie recorded a personal-best 2:05.68 to take third and provide the Gators with six points. The mark was McKenzie’s fifth NCAA East Regional qualifying mark of the year and was the 10th-fastest in Florida history. She finished just 0.04 seconds behind the second-place finisher and was just 0.61 off of the winning time.

 

Sundell, running in the 5,000m for the first time in her career, posted a fifth-place finish with a time of 16:37.85 to score four points. Sundell’s mark ranks as the sixth-best 5,000m time in school history and regional qualifies her for the NCAA East Region Championships.

 

In the pole vault, Bowen tied her personal-best height of 3.80m/12-5.50 to score four points with a finish of fifth, while Menke and Black each cleared the bar at 3.70m/12-1.50 to finish in seventh and eighth respectively due to missed attempts. Menke’s result of seventh scored two points and Black’s finish of eight provided one point. Bowen has now regional qualified six times this season.

 

The 4x400m relay team picked up four points in the final event of the meet with a finish of fifth in 3:39.57, the third regional qualifying mark in the event this season. The 4x100m relay team earned three points by crossing the line in sixth with a time of 44.62, the Gators’ third regional mark and best clocking in the event this season. The time of 44.62 ranks as the fifth-best mark amongst East Regional competitors.

 

Utecht also posted a sixth-place finish and earned three points for UF in the high jump by matching her personal-best mark of 1.75m/5-8.75, which also ties for seventh-best in UF history.

 

Additional seventh-place finishes were garnered by Ealey in the 100m with a time of 11.55, Johnson in the 1,500m with a mark of 4:31.35 and Proctor in the triple jump with a personal-best leap of 12.51m/41-0.50. All three competitors earned two points for UF with their results. Proctor’s triple jump ranks sixth-best in school history, was a PR by nearly a foot and a half and was her second regional qualifying mark of the season.

 

The Gators received eighth-place performances from Knight in the 200m with a time of 23.47 and Cabey in the triple jump with a leap of 12.42m/40-9.0. Both competitors scored one point towards the team standings. It marks the third time Knight has clocked an NCAA East Regional qualifying mark this season, while it is the fourth time Cabey has achieved the regional standard.

 

The Gators next competition will come at home in Gainesville as the University of Florida serves host to the 2007 NCAA East Region Championships on May 25-26 at James G. Pressly Stadium at Percy Beard Track.

 

Women’s Final Team Standings:

1. LSU, 139.50; 2. Arkansas, 110; 3. Georgia, 106; 4. Tennessee, 89; 5. S. Carolina, 84; 6. FLORIDA, 82; 7. Auburn, 73.50; 8. Kentucky, 42; 9. Ole Miss, 39; 10. Alabama, 23; 11. Miss. State, 19; 12. Vanderbilt, 12

  

SEC Champion Gators:

Mariam Kevkhishvili – Shot Put

 

-UF-

 

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