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Saturday April 7, 2012Gator Track and Field Makes a Statement on Day One of Florida Relays

Gainesville, Fla.

The University of Florida track and field team earned six victories on the opening day of the 68th Annual Pepsi Florida Relays, setting the Gators up for a strong day of relays on Saturday. It was a well-rounded group representing the Gators on Friday, as jumpers, sprinters, throwers and distance runners were all part of the winning circle.

 

“Tomorrow is what the Florida Relays are all about,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “It’s a team thing for us. It’s a lot of hype and a lot of passion. There are a lot of high school relays tomorrow too and for us, we want to build on what we did today. It’s hard to remember everything we did today because it was such a great performance for us. We need to have the same drive, passion and focus that we did today.”

 

Title winners for the Orange and Blue included sophomore Lorraine Graham (Springdale, Md.), who took home the women’s long jump title with a personal best of 6.20m/20-4.25 (-3.2).

 

Sophomore thrower Stipe Zunic (Zadar, Croatia) followed shortly after with a win of his own in the men’s javelin throw, tossing a mark of 73.38m/240-9.

 

Junior sprinter Tony McQuay (Riviera Beach, Fla.) turned in a time of 45.65 to take the men’s 400 meters, a time that ties for the best collegiate time in the country.

 

In the men’s 100 meters, senior sprinter Jeff Demps (Winter Garden, Fla.) won a tightly contested battle for the top spot, winning his heat and overall with a time of 10.11.

 

Freshman Marquis Dendy (Middleton, Del.) won his first long jump title of the outdoor season after capturing the SEC men’s indoor long jump title, leaping 7.68m/25-2 on Friday afternoon.

 

Newcomer Agata Strausa (Riga, Latvia) won her first individual title as a Gator with her finish of 10:21.03, a Florida Relays record and fourth all-time in Florida school history.

 

The final race of the evening, the men’s 5000 meters, proved to be worth the wait. Junior Josh Izewski (Doylestown, Pa.), who has fought back in the last year from injury, came from behind to upset a strong field, including 2012 SEC Champion in the 3000 and 5000 meters, Kentucky’s Luis Orta. Izewski won the race in 14:02.57, a personal record and fourth all-time at Florida.

 

“Josh was a guy who had a lot of success a couple of years ago, and he had a few injuries last year,” Holloway said. “We talked after cross country season about getting back to that level and I think what you saw tonight was a big by-product of that focus.”

 

Other prime performances came from the ladies’ quartermilers, as sophomore Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.) and junior Lanie Whittaker (Miami, Fla.) went neck-and-neck in the women’s 400 meters. Whittaker held a steady lead throughout the first 300 meters, but Eutsey was right on her heels and the two could not have finished any closer, as Whittaker won and Eutsey finished right behind her, turning in times of 52.06 and 52.07, respectively, to finish as the top two collegiate performers in the event.

 

“You look at those two and I don’t think anyone will be surprised with the result because they’re both very talented,” Holloway commented. “We talked with all of the women this week about believing they can be an elite team. I think what you’ll see from the women (this season) is a lot of passion and a lot of fight, because they can be one of the better teams in the country.”

 

Junior Ashley Miller (Miami Beach, Fla.) led all Gators in the women’s discus with a mark of 51.39m/168-7, placing fourth in the event.

 

Junior Jeremy Postin (Auburndale, Fla.) finished fifth in the invite section of the men’s hammer throw, setting a new school record and personal best with a mark of 67.78m/222-4.

 

Junior Ugonna Ndu (Newark, N.J.) set a new personal best in the women’s 400 meter hurdles, moving to fourth all-time at Florida with a time of 57.59, finishing sixth.

 

Sophomore Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.) finished 12th overall and third amongst collegians in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 13.86.

 

The final day of the Pepsi Florida Relays begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. beginning with girls’ 4x1600. Live results can be found here.

 

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.

 

2012 68TH ANNUAL PEPSI FLORIDA RELAYS (APRIL 6-7, 2012 – GAINESVILLE, FL)

 

FIELD EVENTS

 

Men's Hammer Throw Finals - University Men

4.             David Triassi, 57.87m/189-10

14.           David Levin, 51.64m/169-05

 

Women's Discus Throw Finals - University Women

11.           Manuela Burtsher, 42.98m/141-0

 

Women's Long Jump Finals - University Women

1.             Lorraine Graham, 6.20m/20-4.25 (-3.2)

--             Ciarra Brewer, FOUL

 

Men's Javelin Throw Finals - University Men

1.             Stipe Zunic, 73.38m/240-9

--             Zane Breakiron, FOUL

 

Women's Pole Vault Finals - University Women

T13.        Claire Spurling, 3.60m/11-9.75

T13.        Caitlin Schuessler, 3.60m/11-9.75

 

Men's Long Jump Finals - University Men

--             Josh Pederson, FOUL

 

Women's High Jump Finals - University Women

T7.          Taylor Burke, 1.70m/5-7

T17.        Alexis Muniz, 1.65m/5-5

--             Rebecca Goldring, NH

 

Women's Long Jump INVITE Finals - University Women

8.             Daniela Griffin, 5.95m/19-6.25 (-1.4)

 

Women's Discus Throw INVITE Finals - University Women

4.             Ashley Miller, 51.39m/168-7

6.             Keely Medeiros, 48.88m/160-4

9.             Kaitlin Davis, 44.26m/145-2

 

Men's Hammer Throw INVITE Finals - University Men

5.             Jeremy Postin, 67.78m/222-4 (SR)

 

Women's Javelin Throw Finals - University Women

11.          Manuela Burtsher, 42.98m/141-0

 

Men's Long Jump INVITE Finals - University Men

1.             Marquis Dendy, 7.68m/25-2.50 (-2.1)

 

RUNNING EVENTS

 

Women's 100 Meter Dash Finals - University Women

12.          Ugonna Ndu, 13.83 (+13.826) (-3.4)

30.          Paige Morton, 14.44 (-0.3)

47.           Brittany Harrell, 15.13 (-3.5)

57.          Monique Harris, 15.93 (-3.0)

 

Men's 110 Meter Hurdles Finals - University Men

12.          Eddie Lovett, 13.86 (-0.1)

 

Women's 400 Meter Dash Finals - University Men

2.             Lanie Whittaker, 52.06

3.             Ebony Eutsey, 52.07

42.           Alishea Usery, 55.62

55.          Michelle Stegall, 56.29

 

Men's 400 Meter Dash Finals - University Men

1.             Tony McQuay, 45.65

12.           Hugh Graham, Jr., 46.93

50.           Michael Burris, 48.48

52.           Jovon Toppin, 48.66

 

Women's 100 Meter Dash Finals - University Women

5.             Darshay Davis, 11.48 (+1.8)

 

Men’s 100 Meter Dash Final - University Men

1.             Jeff Demps 10.11 (+1.1)

16.          Leonardo Seymore, 10.44 +1.1)

 

Women's 800 Meter Run Finals - University Women

4.             Genevieve LaCaze, 2:07.70

6.             Mandy Perkins, 2:07.79

12.           Sarah Davis, 2:10.56

18.          Shelby Hayes, 2:12.31

 

Men’s 800 Meter Run Final - University Men

7.             Tyler Cardillo, 1:48.85

8.             John Mitchell, 1:49.20

19.           Daniel Wehunt, 1:52.17

36.          Luc Lawrence, 1:54.78

 

Women's 400 Meter Hurdles Finals - University Women

6.             Ugonna Ndu, 57.59

18.           Ashley Usery, 59.72

37.           Paige Morton, 1:01.54

54.           Monique Harris, 1:06.04

 

Women's 200 Meter Dash Finals - University Women

3.             Darshay Davis, 23.03

 

Men’s 200 Meter Dash Final - University Men

10.          Jeff Demps, 20.64 (+3.3)

11.           Dedric Dukes, 20.65 (+2.8)

12.          Leonardo Seymore, 20.71 (+3.3)

21.          Hugh Graham, Jr., 21.00 (+2.1)

 

Women's 1500 Meter Run Finals - University Women

11.          Callie Cooper, 4:29.10

 

Men’s 1500 Meter Run Final - University Men

31.          Harsha Torke, 3:57.60

34.          JL Hines, 3:59.31

35.          Eddie Garcia, 3:59.32

 

Women's 3000 Meter Steeplechase Finals - University Women

1.             Agata Strausa, 10:21.03 (MR)

5.             Stephanie Strasser, 10:32.05

 

Men's 3000 Meter Steeplechase Finals - University Men

3.             Mark Parrish, 9:01.01

8.             Michael Anderson, 9:21.65

 

Men's 5000 Meter Run Finals - University Men

1.             Josh Izewski, 14:02.57 (PR)

 

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