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Photo: Cheryl Treworgy/

Friday March 8, 2013Two Florida Records Fall on Opening Day of NCAA Indoor Championships

Fayetteville, Ark.

Photo: Cheryl Treworgy/



Gator history was made on the opening day of the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships Friday, as sophomore Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Del.) and junior Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.) broke their own school records in the men’s long jump and men’s 60-meter hurdles at the Randal Tyson Track Center at the University of Arkansas.


“I thought our men did really well today,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “They came out and performed the way we knew they could. We qualified everyone today and that was our goal.”


Dendy captured his first individual NCAA crown, leaping to a new personal best and school record of 8.28m/27-2 to take home the title. The two-time SEC Champion indoors in the event, Dendy fouled his first two jumps before leaping 8.10m/26-7 on his third and final jump of the first flight to take the lead into the finals. On the first jump of the finals, Dendy improved to 8.23m/27-0 to extend his lead. Getting the crowd into it, Dendy got Randal Tyson Track Center on its feet and clapping, using the energy and one of his best approaches of the night to jump 8.28m/27-2. Dendy is now the sixth-best performer in the history of the NCAA and leads the NCAA and the U.S. in the event this year. His mark is second in the world in 2013.


“We’ve talked all year about being who we are and doing what we do,” Holloway said. “His first two jumps, he got a little anxious. Third jump, he executes the way Coach (Nic) Petersen wants him to and he leads the competition and never looks back. In the finals, he was wonderful. I’m very proud of him. It’s his first NCAA championship and it got us off to a great start.”


Dendy is Florida’s first-ever men’s long jump champion and won the Gators’ eighth horizontal jumps national title in program history, all coming in the last four years. Dendy will turn around tomorrow and compete in the men’s triple jump alongside defending NCAA Champion Omar Craddock (Killeen, Texas) at 7 p.m. ET Saturday.


“This track facility is a great place to jump. I felt really, really good here,” Dendy said. “I just had to do it like I did at SECs. This was a much-needed ten points. I have to go back and either get ten or eight (points) tomorrow in triple jump. Hopefully I can get the team eighteen to twenty points here.”


“When we recruited him, we knew we wanted him to be a double (jumps) guy,” Holloway said. “So it’s no surprise to anyone who recruited him or anyone who saw him in high school that he’s triple-jumping as well as he is right now. He just needs to get back to the hotel and get rested up. It’s going to be a great competition tomorrow. It was an unbelievable meet tonight and it’ll be unbelievable tomorrow as well.”


Lovett scorched the track in the prelims of the men’s 60-meter hurdles, crossing the finish in a school record of 7.53, a new personal best and the fastest in the NCAA and the U.S. this year. Lovett is currently fourth in the world this year and the sixth-best performer in NCAA history. The junior looks to capture his first NCAA individual title at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday.


“Eddie was tremendous today,” Holloway noted. “He’s just running his race and focusing on himself. He’s executing the plan he and Coach (Erin) Tucker have worked on and he’ll be exciting to watch tomorrow.”


Three other Gator men qualified for Saturday’s finals, as freshman Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.) and Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.) each advanced to the finals of the men’s 400. Glass ran the race of his young career, finishing fifth overall with a new personal best of 45.97, good for seventh all-time at Florida. Glass was the 16th entrant in the event heading into the championship meet. Graham, Jr., a member of Florida’s NCAA Outdoor Champion men’s 4x400-meter relay, finished seventh overall in 46.24 to advance to Saturday’s finals.


“When we recruited Najee, we knew he was a special talent,” Holloway commented. “He had some injuries last year during his high school season and we got those worked out. When he came here, they crept back a bit during the indoor season. When he went to Notre Dame last week, he ran a collegiate best and was the last person to get into the meet. For him to come out here and run like he did today, I’m just so proud of him. He did a phenomenal job.”


Junior Sean Obinwa (Tampa, Fla.), the 2013 SEC Champion in the men’s 800, advanced on time in the event with his time of 1:48.83. Obinwa was the final qualifier in the event Friday, finishing fifth in what was the fastest section of the night. Obinwa was the 10th entrant heading into the championship meet.


Sophomore Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) competed in his first NCAA Indoor Championships, advancing to the finals of the men’s 200 meters with a preliminary time of 20.89. Dukes then raced in the fastest final of the night, taking third in his section and fifth overall with a time of 20.70, tying his personal best.


“Dedric had a rough semifinal, and I take the blame for that, but he came back in the final and tied his PB and I’m very pleased with his performance tonight,” Holloway commented.


Agata Strausa (Riga, Latvia) advanced in the women’s mile Friday, finishing fifth overall in the preliminaries in 4:37.56. Strausa is advancing to her second women’s mile finals, having finished seventh overall a year ago. Strausa will compete at 7 p.m. ET Saturday.


Freshman Kyra Jefferson (Detroit, Mich.) set a new personal best in her first-ever NCAA Indoor Championships, crossing the finish of the women’s 200 meters in 23.43 to finish tenth overall. Junior Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.) also turned in a top-10 finish Friday, finishing in 52.90 in the women’s 400 meters to come in 10th.


The Gator men have nine scoring opportunities Saturday, with seniors Jeremy Postin (Andover, Kan.) and David Triassi (Jacksonville, Fla.) participating in the men’s weight throw at Walker Pavilion at 3 p.m. ET. Four Gators begin competition at 7 p.m. ET, with Strausa on the track in the women’s mile and sophomore Ciarra Brewer (Union City, Calif.) joining Craddock and Dendy on the runways, as Brewer will compete in the women’s triple jump.


“We have the chance to do really, really well tomorrow,” Holloway said. “We need to go back to the hotel, rest up and come out here and be the University of Florida tomorrow and do what we do.


“We want to show the world how great it is to be a Florida Gator,” Holloway finished.


The meet will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app Saturday, March 9 beginning at 7 p.m. ET. A full highlight package of the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships will air on Sunday, March 17 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Prior to the start of the ESPN coverage, fans can watch the meet live online through


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                     Women - Team Rankings - 6 Events Scored
    1) Kansas                      20        2) UCF                        14   
    3) Arizona State               13        3) Michigan                   13   
    5) Dartmouth                   10        5) Arizona                    10   
    5) Indiana State               10        5) Clemson                    10   
    5) LSU                         10        5) Texas A&M                  10   
   11) Oregon                       9       12) Arkansas                    8.50
   13) Villanova                    8       13) Michigan State              8   
   13) Iowa State                   8       16) South Carolina              7   
   16) East Carolina                7       18) Wichita State               6   
   19) Auburn                       5       19) UCLA                        5   
   19) Florida State                5       22) TCU                         4   
   22) Kentucky                     4       22) Boston U.                   4   
   22) Illinois State               4       22) Kent State                  4   
   27) Georgetown                   3       27) Texas                       3   
   29) Mid. Tenn. State             2.50    30) Notre Dame                  2   
   30) Duke                         2       30) Wisconsin                   2   
   33) Ohio State                   1       33) North Carolina              1   
   33) Alabama                      1                                           


                     Men - Team Rankings - 6 Events Scored


    1) Arkansas                    30        2) Texas Tech                 18  

    3) Wisconsin                   15        4) Florida                    14  

    5) Arizona State               13        6) LSU                        11  

    7) Princeton                   10        7) Texas A&M                  10  

    9) Oklahoma State               9       10) Penn State                  8  

   10) Oral Roberts                 8       10) Northern Arizona            8  

   10) Jackson State                8       14) Minnesota                   6  

   14) Mississippi                  6       14) Louisiana Tech              6  

   17) Indiana                      5       17) UTSA                        5  

   17) Tennessee                    5       20) Nebraska                    4  

   20) Villanova                    4       20) Texas-Arlington             4  

   20) Akron                        4       24) Florida State               3  

   24) Auburn                       3       24) UTEP                        3  

   27) Virginia Tech                2       27) Alabama                     2  

   27) Texas                        2       27) Illinois                    2  

   27) UCLA                         2       32) Purdue                      1  

   32) Stanford                     1       32) New Mexico                  1  

   32) Eastern Illinois             1 




Women’s High Jump

13.          Taylor Burke, 1.78m/5-10


Men’s Long Jump

1.             Marquis Dendy, 8.28m/27-2 (PR/SR/NCAA)




Women’s 200 Meters – Semifinal

10.          Kyra Jefferson, 23.43 (PR)


Men’s 200 Meters – Semifinal

7.             Dedric Dukes, 20.89q (20.881)


Men’s 200 Meters – Final

5.             Dedric Dukes, 20.70 (PR)


Women’s 400 Meters – Semifinal

10.          Ebony Eutsey, 52.90


Men’s 400 Meters – Semifinal

5.             Najee Glass, 45.97q (PR)

7.             Hugh Graham, Jr., 46.24q


Men’s 800 Meters – Semifinal

8.             Sean Obinwa, 1:48.83q


Women’s Mile – Semifinal

5.             Agata Strausa, 4:37.56q

11.          Cory McGee, 4:39.05


Men’s 60-Meter Hurdles – Semifinal

1.             Eddie Lovett, 7.53Q (PR/SR/NCAA)



3:00 p.m. ET

Men’s Weight Throw (P/F)

Jeremy Postin, David Triassi

7:00 p.m. ET

Women’s Mile (F)

Agata Strausa

7:00 p.m. ET

Men’s Triple Jump (P/F)

Omar Craddock, Marquis Dendy

7:00 p.m. ET

Women’s Triple Jump (P/F)

Ciarra Brewer

7:30 p.m. ET

Men’s 60m Hurdles (F)

Eddie Lovett

7:50 p.m. ET

Men’s 400m (F)

Hugh Graham, Jr., Najee Glass

8:30 p.m. ET

Men’s 800m (F)

Sean Obinwa

9:05 p.m. ET

Women’s 4x4 Relay (F)


9:20 p.m. ET

Men’s 4x4 Relay (F)



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