Friday February 24, 2012Horn and Harrell Register Record-Breaking Performances To Open SEC Indoor Championships
Photos Courtesy of Cheryl Treworgy
Photos Courtesy of Cheryl Treworgy
Senior multi-event athlete Gray Horn (Waynesfield, Ohio) leads the pack, including NCAA leader Arkansas’ Gunnar Nixon, at the 2012 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships, setting a new Florida first-day heptathlon record with 3,418 points, coming just three points shy of tying the SEC Indoor Championships first-day record.
“There's been a lot of hype surrounding the heptathlon: Gray vs. the Arkansas guys and the Georgia guys,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “Gray is such a cool customer. We talked to Gray about just coming out, executing and giving big efforts. What we have to do is come back, get some food in him and get him prepared for tomorrow."
Horn tied his career-best in the men’s 60 meters with a time of 6.96, placing second in the event to start Friday’s competition. Horn then went on to capture the men’s heptathlon long jump, earning a 7.57m/24-10 mark to close in on Georgia’s Cory Holman by one point.
The Ohio native used the shot put to make his move, throwing 13.70m/44-11.50 to advance to the top of the leaderboard with 2,559 points. Horn kept the final event, the high jump, close as he nearly broke his personal best with a leap of 2.06m/6-9, finishing the event tied for second and closing out the day with a personal-best and Florida school-record 3,418 points.
Horn will finish the heptathlon on Saturday afternoon, as he has the 60 meter hurdles, the pole vault and the 1,000 meters remaining.
Sophomore multi-event athlete Brittany Harrell (McComb, Miss.) set a new Florida record en route to her fourth-place finish in the women’s pentathlon on Friday evening. Harrell scored a career best of 4,050 points, making her the first Gator pentathlete to ever score more than 4,000 points (3,999, Dorchelle Webster, 2/24/90) and ending a 22-year-old record down to the day.
“I'm very pleased with our performances today,” Holloway said. “When I talk to the team later in our team meeting, I'm going to talk about effort. You come to this meet and if you just put forth the effort, after all the training we've done, great things will happen. As we saw from Brittany today, I think her mark (4,050) is strong enough to get her to the NCAA Championships and for her to come out and compete the way she did was awesome."
Harrell started the day with a season-best time in the 60 meter hurdles, finishing 10th in 8.81. Harrell then moved on to the high jump, where she cleared 1.73m/5-8 to tie for second in the event, catapulting herself into third place on the leaderboard.
Harrell faltered slightly in the shot put, throwing for a 10.95m/35-11.25 mark in the event to place fifth. She turned it around in the final two events of the evening, as Harrell earned back-to-back career bests in the long jump and 800 meters. In the long jump, Harrell soared a personal best 5.81m/19-0.75 on her final jump to put herself in contention heading into the final event, the 800 meters. Harrell ran the best race of her young career, taking second in the 800 meters with a personal best time of 2:19.86 to finish fourth overall, scoring five points for Florida’s women’s team.
"I think this is kind of a prelude for what we want to do the rest of the weekend,” Holloway finished. “There's no doubt this set the tone for the rest of the weekend. When the rest of the team sees how Brittany and Gray did tonight, they're going to be very pleased and it's going to get them fired up for what they need to do."
The 2012 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships start again with day two action at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday with the men’s high jump. Fans can watch live on ESPN3.com from 2:05-7:30 p.m. ET and throughout the rest of the day on UKAthletics.com.
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2012 SEC INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS (FEBRUARY 24-26, 2012: LEXINGTON, KY)
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012
Men’s Heptathlon (AUTO: 5,750)
1. Gray Horn, 3,418 (through four events)
Women’s Pentathlon (AUTO: 4,150)
4. Brittany Harrell, 4,050
Women’s Pentathlon 60m Hurdles (AUTO: 8.14)
10. Brittany Harrell, 8.81 (950 pts)
Men’s Heptathlon 60m (AUTO: 6.60)
2. Gray Horn, 6.96 (897 pts)
Women’s Pentathlon High Jump (AUTO: 1.85m/6-0.75)
T2. Brittany Harrell, 1.73m/5-8 (891 pts)
Men’s Heptathlon Long Jump (AUTO: 8.00m/26-3)
1. Gray Horn, 7.57m/24-10 (952 pts)
Women’s Pentathlon Shot Put (AUTO: 17.20m/56-5.25)
5. Brittany Harrell, 10.95m/35-11.25 (592 pts)
Men’s Heptathlon Shot Put (AUTO: 19.35m/63-6)
2. Gray Horn, 13.70m/44-11.50 (710 pts)
Women’s Pentathlon Long Jump (AUTO: 6.45m/21-2)
5. Brittany Harrell, 5.81m/19-0.75 (792 pts)
Men’s Heptathlon High Jump (AUTO: 2.24m/7-4.25)
T2. Gray Horn, 2.06m/6-9 (859 pts)
Women’s Pentathlon 800m (AUTO: 2:04.50)
2. Brittany Harrell, 2:19.86 (825 pts)