Sunday March 1, 2009Track and Field Posts Pair of Top-Four Finishes at SEC Indoors
Photo by David Coyle
Florida freshman Christian Taylor (Fayetteville , Ga.) was a part of three Southeastern Conference individual titles, becoming on Sunday the first rookie in school history to win an indoor Commissioner’s Cup, as the Gators posted a pair of top-four team finishes at the 2009 SEC Indoor Championships, hosted by the University of Kentucky at its E.J. Nutter Fieldhouse.
Florida’s men’s team finished second overall with 102 points, its highest indoor SEC finish since the 2005 campaign, while the women were fourth with 84 points. Arkansas claimed the men’s championship with 130 total points, while Tennessee captured the women’s crown with 84 points.
For the meet, the Gators won five individual event titles, notched four NCAA automatic-qualifying marks, broke two school records, set one Nutter Fieldhouse record and posted one SEC Indoor Championships record.
“We did some really good things today,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “We came into this meet thinking that we had a chance to win it on the men’s side and finish top-three on the women’s side and we weren’t able to do that. From that standpoint, we are a little disappointed. We have some areas that we can get better in and, in the big picture, we’re going to have to improve our mental toughness in order to be at an elite level. But, overall we I thought we were able to do some great things today.
“For Christian Taylor to have an automatic-qualifying mark in the triple jump and win the Commissioner’s Cup was really impressive,” Holloway continued. “Mariam won the shot put, Shara did a great job of winning the triple jump today and our relay ran the fastest time of the year.”
Taylor, who won SEC Championships in the long jump, triple jump and the men’s 4x400m relay, finished the meet with a total of 22.5 points, becoming the first Gator since 2006 – and the first UF freshman ever - to capture the Commissioner’s Cup, awarded to the meet’s highest points scorer on both the men’s and women’s sides.
“For Christian to come into his first-ever SEC meet and to be the high-points scorer is a phenomenal accomplishment,” Holloway said. “We knew what we were getting when we recruited Christian, and he stepped up and performed, winning three SEC Championships. That really shows the great future that we can look forward to from Christian.”
Taylor started off the day for the Gators by becoming the first Florida athlete since 1984 to capture an indoor league title in the triple jump. Taylor recorded an NCAA automatic-qualifying leap of 52-10.25/16.11m on his fifth attempt of the day.
Taylor became the first SEC athlete since 2004 to win both the men’s indoor long jump and men’s indoor triple jump titles in the same year. Auburn’s Leevan Sands was the last athlete to accomplish that feat. He is the first Gator to win the men’s triple jump indoor SEC crown since Tanner Cronic leaped 51-11.25 in 1984 to capture the championship.
“This means a lot, especially as a freshman,” Taylor said. “I have high expectations for myself, trying to do as much as I can for the team.”
Taylor also was part of Florida’s winning 4x400-meter relay team that posted an NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 3:05.82, which also broke the Nutter Fieldhouse facility record of 3:05.87 set at the 2007 SEC Indoor Championships. The relay consisted of Taylor, senior Carlos Phillips (Winter Park, Fla.), senior R.J. Anderson (Big Pine Key, Fla.) and junior Calvin Smith (Lutz, Fla.). That time currently stands as the fastest in the country so far this season in the men’s indoor 4x400m.
Junior thrower Mariam Kevkhishvili (Tbilisi, Georgia) set the SEC Indoor meet record en route to winning the women’s shot put. Kevkhishvili also broke her own Florida school record of 58-6/17.83m in the event with a toss of 58-10.25/17.94m on her fifth toss. She became the first Florida woman to win the SEC Indoor shot put title since Candice Scott, the 2005 Commissioner’s Cup winner, captured the event that 2005 season.
Kevkhishvili is a perfect 5-for-5 this season, having won every shot put competition in which she has competed so far this season. Each of her six throws on Sunday was better than 17.30m, well beyond the NCAA automatic-qualifying standard of 16.90m.
Junior jumper Shara Proctor (The Valley, Anguilla), who on Saturday finished as the runner-up in the women’s long jump, captured the women’s triple jump title on Sunday with an NCAA automatic-qualifying mark of 43-8/13.31m. That leap set a new school record in the event, as she became the first Gator to win an SEC Indoor women’s triple jump title since Leah Kirklin accomplished the feat during the 1992 season.
Distance runners Charlotte Browning (West Sussex, England) and Genevieve LaCaze (Queensland, Australia) each finished in the top five of the women’s mile. Browning was the league’s runner-up with an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 4:45.56, while LaCaze was fourth, clocking an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 4:46.98. The Gator women earned 13 points from their finishes in the mile run.
Junior sprinter Calvin Smith (Lutz, Fla.) was the league runner-up in the men’s 400m dash, finishing in a season-best and NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 46.23. Senior R.J. Anderson (Big Pine Key, Fla.) notched his first NCAA provisional-qualifying time of the season, concluding the men’s 400m dash in a season-best time of 47.21.
Florida’s men earned 12 points in the men’s 60m hurdles, placing three competitors in the top eight of the event. Dennis Martin (Anderson, S.C.) was third in an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 7.86, while freshman William Wynne (Marietta, Ga.) was fourth in a provisional-qualifying time of 7.89. Senior Kallika Pitt (Riverdale, Ga.) was eighth in 7.93.
Freshman sprinter Alishea Usery (St. Louis, Mo.) was fifth in the women’s 60-meter dash and improved her personal-best time in that event for the third consecutive race, finishing in an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 7.33. Usery also finished third in the 200-meter dash with an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 23.79.
In addition to Proctor’s record-setting performance in the women’s triple jump, freshmen Madara Apine (Ikskile, Latvia) and Michelle Jenije (Tallahassee, Fla.) each notched personal bests in the event, moving up the career top-10 list. Apine moved into a tie for seventh-place overall in school history with a leap of 40-9/12.42m, good for a fourth-place finish on Sunday. Jenije is now ninth all-time, improving her personal-best mark to 40-3.25/12.27m in a fifth-place finish.
Distance runners Sara Petrick (Apollo Beach, Fla.) and Laura Garrow (Port Orange, Fla.) shattered their personal-best times in the 5,000m run. Petrick was seventh overall in a time of 16:59.77, while Garrow was eighth in 17:04.54. Petrick’s mark bested her previous PR of 17:17.79 and went down as the eighth-best indoor 5,000-meter run in school history. Garrow’s time ranks ninth overall in school history.
Throwers Keely Medeiros (Luziana, Brazil) and Fidela James (Jacksonville, Fla.) each achieved personal-best marks in the women’s shot put. Medeiros was third overall with a toss of 52-8.75/16.07m, while James was ninth with a throw of 47-7.25/14.52m.
Florida’s distance medley relay shattered its previous season-best time, finishing fourth overall in 9:52.81. Earlier this season, the men’s DMR ran a time of 10:07.58 at the SEC/Big 12 Showdown in College Station, Texas.
Florida returns to action this weekend when it participates in a pair of final tune-up meets, when it travels to Blacksburg, Va., and South Bend, Ind., to compete in last-chance meets, affording the athletes a final chance to qualify for the upcoming NCAA Indoor Championships, scheduled to take place March 13-14 in College Station, Texas.
The University of Florida is home of the 2009 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships. For all of the latest information on Gator Track and Field, log on to www.GatorZone.com.
2009 SEC INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS (Lexington, Ky.)
SUNDAY, MARCH 1
MEN’S TEAM STANDINGS (FINAL)
1. Arkansas - 130
2. Florida - 102
3. Tennessee - 78
T4. South Carolina - 65
T4. Auburn - 65
6. LSU - 64
7. Kentucky - 48
8. Georgia - 47
9. Alabama - 35
10. Ole Miss – 29
WOMEN’S TEAM STANDINGS
1. Tennessee - 111
2. LSU - 105
3. Arkansas - 97
4. Florida - 84
5. South Carolina - 57
6. Auburn - 54
7. Kentucky - 49.5
8. Ole Miss - 32
9. Mississippi State - 28
10. Alabama - 26.5
11. Georgia - 14
12. Vanderbilt - 5
Men’s Triple Jump – 11 a.m. EST (AUTO: 16.10; PROV: 15.40)
1. Christian Taylor – 52-10.25/16.11m A (10 points)
Men’s Pole Vault – 11 a.m. EST (AUTO: 5.50; PROV: 5.20)
7. Justin Semeyn – 16-4.75/5.00m (2 points)
10. Eric Foran – 16-0.75/4.90m
Men’s 60m Hurdles (Finals) – 1:30 p.m. EST (AUTO: 7.70; PROV: 7.91)
3. Dennis Martin – 7.86 P (6 points)
4. William Wynne – 7.89 P (5 points)
8. Kallinka Pitt – 7.93 (1 point)
Men’s 60m Dash (Finals) – 1:50 p.m. EST (AUTO: 6.63; PROV: 6.74)
5. Jeremy Hall – 6.69 P (4 points)
7. Terrell Wilks – 6.72 P (3 points)
Women’s 60m Dash (Finals) – 1:55 p.m. EST (AUTO: 7.26; PROV: 7.44)
5. Alishea Usery – 7.33 P (4 points)
Women’s Shot Put – 2 p.m. EST (AUTO: 16.90; PROV: 15.20)
1. Mariam Kevkhishvili – 58-10.25/17.94m A (SEC Indoor Meet Record) (10 points)
3. Keely Medeiros – 52-8.75/16.07m P (6 points)
9. Fidela James – 47-7.25/14.52m
Men’s Mile (Finals) – 2:05 p.m. EST (AUTO: 3:59.50; PROV: 4:04.00)
6. Justin Taylor – 4:07.78 (3 points)
Women’s Mile (Finals)– 2:15 p.m. EST (AUTO: 4:38.00; PROV: 4:48.50)
2. Charlotte Browning – 4:45.56 P (8 points)
4. Genevieve LaCaze – 4:46.98 P (5 points)
10. Kaitlin Shiver – 4:58.74
Men’s 400m Dash (Finals) – 2:25 p.m. EST (AUTO: 46.15; PROV: 47.25)
2. Calvin Smith – 46.23 P (8 points)
6. R.J. Anderson – 47.21 P (3 points)
9. William Wynne – 48.18
Women’s Triple Jump – 2:30 p.m. EST (AUTO: 13.30; PROV: 12.65)
1. Shara Proctor – 43-8/13.31m A (10 points)
4. Madara Apine – 40-9/12.42m (5 points)
5. Michelle Jenije – 40-3.25/12.27m (4 points)
Men’s 5,000m Run – 2:45 p.m. EST (AUTO: 13:47.00; PROV: 14:10.00)
9. Jeremy Criscione – 14:11.17
11. Sean Blaney – 14:30.70
Men’s 800m Run (Finals) – 3:10 p.m. EST (AUTO: 1:48.00; PROV: 1:50.50)
4. Carlos Phillips – 1:50.83 (5 points)
5. Lamarr Davis – 1:50.92 (4 points)
8. Ethan Philpot – 1:51.19 (1 point)
Women’s 200m Dash (Finals) – 3:40 p.m. EST (AUTO: 23.20; PROV: 23.90)
3. Alishea Usery – 23.79 P (6 points)
Women’s 5,000m Run – 3:50 p.m. EST (AUTO: 16:08.00; PROV: 16:45.00)
7. Sara Petrick – 16:59.77 (2 points)
8. Laura Garrow – 17:04.54 (1 point)
11. Jacy Kruzel – 17:24.38
Men’s DMR – 4:10 p.m. EST (AUTO: 9:34.00; PROV: 9:45.70)
4. Florida – 9:52.81 (5 points)
-Justin Taylor, Preston Wilson, Ethan Philpot, Jeremy Criscione
Women’s DMR – 4:25 p.m. EST (AUTO: 11:09.00; PROV: 11:30.00)
5. Florida – 11:46.57 (4 points)
-Kaitlin Shiver, Ashley Usery, Charlotte Browning, Julie Northrup
Men’s 4x400m Relay – 4:40 p.m. EST (AUTO: 3:33.00; PROV: 3:40.00)
1. Florida – 3:05.82 A (Nutter Fieldhouse Record) (10 points)
-Christian Taylor, Carlos Phillips, R.J. Anderson, Calvin Smith
Women’s 4x400m Relay – 4:55 p.m. EST (AUTO: 3:06.50; PROV: 3:10.40)
8. Florida – 3:43.86 (1 point)
-Alishea Usery, Ije Iheoma, Danielle Williams, Paige Morton
SEC CHAMPIONS (ENTIRE WEEKEND)
NCAA AUTOMATIC-QUALIFYING MARKS (ENTIRE WEEKEND)
END OF REPORT