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Lorian McKenzie took seventh in the 800m at the NACAC Championships.

Monday July 16, 2007Smith Wins 400m, Current And Former Gators Find Success On Track At NACAC Meet

San Salvador, El Salvador

Lorian McKenzie took seventh in the 800m at the NACAC Championships.

University of Florida rising sophomore Calvin Smith (Lutz, Fla.) clocked a personal-best 45.52 to win the 400m on Sunday at the NACAC Track & Field Championships, while rising senior Lorain McKenzie (Clarendon, Jamaica) took seventh in the 800m. Four former Gators were also in action during the weekend, winning a pair of medals as a group.


Smith’s mark of 45.52 eclipsed the PR of 45.60 that he set en route to winning the Southeastern Conference outdoor 400m crown, and improved his hold on 10th place on the school’s all-time list. The only American to start the final, he outdistanced the Dominican Republic’s Arismendy Peguero by .11 to capture the gold medal. The three-time All-American won his second gold medal of the meet just hours later, when he ran the second leg of the United States’ winning 4x400m relay (3:02.78).


Representing Jamaica as the country’s lone finalist in the 800m, McKenzie crossed the line seventh with a time of 2:14.58. She wasn’t the only runner in the race with UF ties, however, as Melissa De Leon placed fifth for Trinidad & Tobago with a time of 2:08.07.


Moise Joseph led the quartet of former Gators in action at the NACAC Championships with a third-place finish in the 800m on Saturday while running for Haiti. Currently the second-ranked 800m runner in school history, he clocked in at 1:50.25 to earn the bronze medal. Former UF hurdler Stephen Jones was also in action on Saturday, representing Barbados with a sixth-place showing in the 110mH (13.99).


Jamaican Nadine Palmer, the school-record holder in the indoor 200m, left El Salvador with a fourth-place finish in the 200m after running a wind-aided 23.22 in Sunday’s final. Palmer’s effort left her just .08 shy of earning the bronze medal. Not to be denied a trip to the medal stand, however, she led off Jamaica’s 4x100m relay that took gold in 43.73.


The six-athlete contingent with UF ties collected four medals at the NACAC Championships, including three golds. The group also produced five top-five finishes and represented Florida in the finals of seven different events.


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