Friday February 3, 2012Six Gator Victories Highlight Opening Day of Virginia Tech Elite Meet
Photo Courtesy of Cheryl Treworgy
Photo Courtesy of Cheryl Treworgy
The Gators boasted six victories on the first day of the Virginia Tech Elite Meet in Blacksburg, Va. on Friday evening, including another NCAA automatic qualifying mark for the No. 2 Gator men’s track and field team.
Junior sprinter Jeff Demps (Winter Park, Fla.) led the Gators on Friday evening, competing in his first meet of 2012. The two-time defending NCAA Champion finished first in the men’s 60 meters with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 6.59.
“We’re obviously very pleased with Jeff,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “He’ll be the first to tell you that he didn’t execute the race well in the final, but he’s been working a lot in practice and he’ll only continue to improve as we get deeper into the season.”
Junior thrower Fidela James (Jacksonville, Fla.) moved into the Florida record books with a personal-best toss of 20.27m/66-6, good for seventh all-time at UF.
“Coach (Steve) Lemke talked about Fidela throwing big this weekend and we’re both just so pleased with her,” Holloway said. “We’re looking forward to big things from Fidela as the season progresses.”
Junior hurdler Ugonna Ndu (Newark, N.J.) moved to second all-time at Florida in the 60 meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 8.43, earning her a second-place finish on Friday evening. Fellow hurdler Ashley Favors (Riverview, Fla.) turned her best performance of the season, finishing fifth with a personal-best time of 8.52, good for fifth all-time in Florida school history.
“Ugonna is just getting better and better each meet,” Holloway said. “And we can’t mention the 60 meter hurdles without mentioning Ashley. What a huge PR for her, especially as a freshman, to get fifth all-time in school history is incredible.”
Freshman Marquis Dendy (Middleton, Del.) won the second event of his rookie campaign, taking the men’s long jump with a leap of 7.69m/25-2.75, a personal-best and tied for ninth all-time at Florida.
“I was very pleased with Marquis Dendy tonight,” Holloway said. “He had a PR and made top ten in school history. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, which is exciting.”
Sophomore hurdler Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.) took the men’s 60 meter hurdles title with a time of 7.72, just two-hundredths of a second away from an NCAA automatic qualifying time.
“Eddie did great tonight and just barely missed automatically qualifying for NCAAs,” Holloway noted. “Eddie will keep working hard and he’ll get there, but I’m very pleased with his effort.”
The Gators swept the 400 meter titles on Friday evening, as junior sprinter Lanie Whittaker (Miami, Fla.) won the women’s 400 meter invite with a time of 53.44. Fellow junior Tony McQuay (Riviera Beach, Fla.) took the men’s 400 meter invite title with a time of 47.94.
“Very pleased with Lanie Whittaker tonight,” Holloway said. “She ran a great race in the 400 and was less than a second away from automatically qualifying for the national meet. Lanie has great races ahead of her.”
Junior sprinter Leonardo Seymore (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) earned his first victory of 2012 on Friday evening, as he won the men’s 200 meter open with a time of 21.61.
Junior throwers Jeremy Postin (Auburndale, Fla.) and David Triassi (St. Johns, Fla.) finished 3-4 in the men’s weight throw, recording marks of 21.18m/69-6 and 20.77m/68-1.75, respectively. Triassi’s throw was a personal best and improved his standing at third all-time in Florida school history.
“Pleased with both Jeremy and David tonight,” Holloway mentioned. “David really stuck his nose in there and there were some great competitors in there this evening. He and Jeremy should both be pleased with their performances.”
The Gators are back in action in Blacksburg on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. ET. Live results will be available at http://www.flashresults.com/2012_Meets/indoor/02-03-VTElite/realtime/.
“Tomorrow, we’re looking to come out and get better,” Holloway said. “I talked to the team tonight after the meet and told them to get hydrated, eat well, rest up and come back tomorrow and perform at a high level.
“These two-day meets are great preparation for the conference meet and NCAAs because we compete back-to-back and we get to test that right away,” Holloway added.
Complete results and a recap of the second day of the Virginia Tech Elite Meet will be available at www.GatorZone.com.
For all of the latest information on Florida track and field, please log on to www.GatorZone.com/trackfield or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow Florida track and field on Twitter at @GZTrackField or www.twitter.com/GZTrackField. You can also find the Gators on Facebook.
VIRGINIA TECH ELITE MEET (FEBRUARY 3-4, 2012 :: BLACKSBURG, VA)
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2012
Women’s Long Jump (AUTO: 6.45m/21-2)
10. Lorraine Graham, 5.49m/18-0.25
19. Ciarra Brewer, 5.10m/16-8.75
Women’s Weight Throw (AUTO: 21.00m/68-10)
2. Fidela James, 20.27m/66-6 (P)
8. Jayla Bostic, 16.71m/54-10
Men’s Long Jump (AUTO: 8.00m/26-3)
1. Marquis Dendy, 7.69m/25-2.75 (P)
Men’s Weight Throw (AUTO: 21.50m/70-6)
3. Jeremy Postin, 21.18m/69-6
4. David Triassi, 20.77m/68-1.75 (P)
17. David Levin, 15.77m/51-9
Women’s 60m Hurdles Prelims (AUTO: 8.10)
2. Ugonna Ndu, 8.46q
6. Ashley Favors, 8.70q
8. Paige Morton, 8.91q
11. Monique Harris, 9.08
Men’s 60m Hurdles Prelims (AUTO: 7.70)
2. Eddie Lovett, 7.80q
5. William Wynne, 8.06q
Women’s 60m Prelims (AUTO: 7.23)
2. Alishea Usery, 7.43q
5. Darshay Davis, 7.44q
13. Bria Goodson, 7.64
Men’s 60m Prelims (AUTO: 6.60)
1. Jeff Demps, 6.64q (A)
Women’s 800m (AUTO: 2:05.80)
9. Ashley Usery, 2:13.98 (P)
Men’s 60m Hurdles Finals (AUTO: 7.70)
1. Eddie Lovett, 7.72 (P)
4. William Wynne, 8.03
Women’s 60m Hurdles Finals (AUTO: 8.10)
2. Ugonna Ndu, 8.43 (P)
6. Ashley Favors, 8.52 (P)
8. Paige Morton, 8.97
Women’s 60m Finals (AUTO: 7.23)
3. Alishea Usery, 7.38
4. Darshay Davis, 7.41 (P)
Men’s 60m Finals (AUTO: 6.60)
1. Jeff Demps, 6.59
Women’s 400m (INVITE) (AUTO: 52.60)
1. Lanie Whittaker, 53.44
Men’s 400m (INVITE) (AUTO: 46.00)
1. Tony McQuay, 47.94
Women’s 200m (OPEN) (AUTO: 23.12)
3. Bria Goodson, 24.27
4. Ugonna Ndu, 24.33
Men’s 200m (OPEN) (AUTO: 20.73)
1. Leonardo Seymore, 21.61
3. Hugh Graham, Jr., 21.63