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Photo: Cheryl Treworgy/PrettySportyPhotos.com

Saturday March 9, 2013Lovett Captures NCAA Hurdles Crown in Meet Record 7.50 as Gator Men Finish Second

Fayetteville, Ark.

Photo: Cheryl Treworgy/PrettySportyPhotos.com

The University of Florida men’s track & field program scored 59 points at the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships for a runner-up finish, marking the 13th time in program history to finish in the top three and the seventh time under Florida head coach Mike Holloway. Host Arkansas won the title with 74 points.

 

“Congratulations to Arkansas, they had a great meet,” Holloway said. “That’s the most we’ve scored at the national championships since I’ve been here and to get beat by 15, I don’t know what to say. We came out here and competed well, had seasonal bests across the board. That’s what we train for, that’s what we live for and we have nothing to hang our heads about.

 

“Of course we came here and wanted to win,” Holloway continued. “We wanted to be national champions again. But being national runner-up and performing the way we did, we left our hearts and souls out here and I couldn’t be more proud of these young men.”

 

59 points is the third-most scored at an NCAA Indoor Championships by a Florida team and the highest point total since 1988.

 

Junior Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.) etched his name in the record books on the second day of the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, setting a new meet record in the men’s 60-meter hurdles with a new personal best and school record of 7.50.

 

“I felt pretty good,” Lovett said. “Yesterday, I just wanted to work on my start. I made it up in between the hurdles, and I did the same today. It wasn’t the best start like I wanted, but I made it up at the end. I’m just happy. If I got my steps and technique right, it would all fall into place.”

 

Lovett is now fourth all-time in collegiate history and brings home Florida’s first 60-meter hurdle title in program history. It’s the second hurdle crown in Florida school history, as Earl Diamond won the 55-meter hurdles at the 1989 NCAA Indoor Championships.

 

“Eddie is the kind of guy where he could have a perfect start and still say it wasn’t,” Holloway commented. “That’s just how he and Coach Tucker are. What I’ll tell you is watching his transformation…it’s always great when you can break that ice and watch him come around. He broke our school record, he’s one of the top five guys in the history of the event, the NCAA meet record holder and he’s been focused like this since August when he started. I’m extremely proud of him.”

The Florida men’s 4x400-meter relay finished second overall with a season’s best 3:03.71, the second-best time in NCAA Championship meet history and the second-best at Florida. The time, set by freshman Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.), sophomore Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.), freshman Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and sophomore Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) is third-fastest in collegiate history.

 

The only faster Florida relay was the NCAA Champion men’s 4x4 in 2005, who set the NCAA record in 3:03.51. That relay, whose record was broken tonight by NCAA Champion Arkansas (3:03.50) had two juniors (Sekou Clarke and Stefan Pastor), a sophomore (Kerron Clement) and a freshman (Bernard Middleton) participating.

 

Senior Omar Craddock (Killeen, Texas) turned in a runner-up finish in the men’s triple jump, leaping to a new personal best of 16.80m/55-1.50, keeping himself at third all-time at Florida. Sophomore Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Del.) jumped to a fourth-place result in the event, registering a 16.20m/53-1.75 mark after his record-breaking day Friday. Dendy finished with 15 points scored over the course of the two-day meet.

 

Earlier in the day, Graham, Jr. and Glass competed in the men’s 400 meters, scoring eight points for the Orange and Blue, crossing the finish in third (46.01) and seventh (46.54), respectively.

 

Also scoring for the Gator men was junior Sean Obinwa (Tampa, Fla.), who came in fourth in the men’s 800 meters with second-fastest indoor 800 of his career in 1:47.81. Obinwa was the only finalist who also made the 800 final in 2012.

 

Senior David Triassi (Jacksonville, Fla.), competing in his first NCAA Indoor Championships, finished eighth overall with his mark of 20.68m/67-10.25. Triassi earns All-America honors for the first time in his career after winning the SEC Indoor title just two weeks ago.

 

“It’s going to help us be better outdoors,” Holloway noted. “It’s a motivation, it’s a better purpose, a better focus. Any time we want to slack a little, I’ll just bring the trophy out to the middle of the infield at practice so they can see it and remember we got second indoors. We didn’t do anything wrong this weekend. Eddie Lovett, Omar, Marquis, Sean Obinwa…everyone did their absolute best this weekend and I’m so proud of them.”

 

The Gator women scored all of their 17 points on the second day of competition, using three top-five finishes, two seasonal bests and a personal best during the day to finish 13th in the team competition.

 

Sophomore Ciarra Brewer (Union City, Calif.) soared to a new personal best in the women’s triple jump with her leap of 13.69m/44-11, good for bronze-medalist honors and putting her at second all-time in Gator history.

 

Agata Strausa (Riga, Latvia) finished third in the women’s mile with a season’s best of 4:36.91, the second-fastest time of her career. Strausa was one of the final entries into the event after racing at the Alex Wilson Invitational during Last Chance Weekend.

 

The Florida women’s 4x400-meter relay, consisting of junior Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.), freshman Destinee Gause (Reynoldsburg, Fla.), freshman Robin Reynolds (Miami, Fla.) and senior Lanie Whittaker (Miami, Fla.), finished fourth overall with a season’s best of 3:31.54, the second-fastest time in program history.

 

“We talked to the women this morning about having more pride (today),” Holloway said. “They came out and ran season’s best in the 4x4, season’s best in the mile for Agata and a new PR for Ciarra.

 

“The Gators left their mark on the building,” Holloway finished. “Now we’re outside where we live and breathe and we’ll see them in a few months.”

 

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. The 2013 Southeastern Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships can also be seen on ESPNU, airing at 9:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 13.

 

The Gators open the 2013 outdoor season Saturday, March 16 at the UCF Black and Gold Challenge.

 

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.

 

2013 NCAA DIVISION I INDOOR TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS :: MARCH 8-9, 2013 :: FAYETTEVILLE, AR

 

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                        Women - Team Rankings - 17 Events Scored               

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    1) Oregon                      56        2) Kansas                     44  

    3) LSU                         43        4) Arkansas                   42.50

    5) UCF                         30        6) Clemson                    28  

    7) Arizona                     25        7) Arizona State              25  

    9) Iowa State                  23       10) Georgia                    22  

   11) Dartmouth                   20       12) Texas A&M                  18  

   13) Florida                     17       14) Illinois                   14  

   15) Florida State               13       15) Michigan                   13  

   15) UCLA                        13       18) Texas                      12  

   19) Indiana State               11       20) Kentucky                   10  

   20) Oklahoma                    10       20) Miss State                 10  

   20) Colorado                    10       24) Wichita State               9  

   25) Villanova                    8       25) Michigan State              8  

   25) San Diego St.                8       25) Kent State                  8  

   25) Eastern Illinois             8       25) Baylor                      8  

   31) South Carolina               7       31) East Carolina               7   

   31) Illinois State               7       34) Virginia Tech               6  

   35) Georgetown                   5       35) Notre Dame                  5  

   35) Duke                         5       35) Texas Tech                  5  

   35) Auburn                       5       40) TCU                         4  

   40) Utah                         4       40) Harvard                     4  

   40) Idaho                        4       40) Boston U.                   4  

   40) Oklahoma State               4       46) South Dakota                3  

   46) Alabama                      3       46) Wisconsin                   3  

   46) Kansas State                 3       50) Mid. Tenn. State            2.50

   51) West Virginia                2       52) North Carolina              1  

   52) Mississippi                  1       52) Ohio State                  1  

   52) Georgia Tech                 1 

                     
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                          Men - Team Rankings - 17 Events Scored            

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    1) Arkansas                    74        2) Florida                    59

    3) Wisconsin                   33        4) Texas A&M                  30

    5) Texas Tech                  28        6) Oregon                     22

    6) Arizona                     22        8) Oklahoma State             20

    9) Virginia Tech               19        9) Penn State                 19

    9) Indiana                     19       12) Miss State                 18

   12) Minnesota                   18       14) Auburn                     16

   15) LSU                         15       16) Northern Arizona           13

   16) Arizona State               13       18) Florida State              11

   18) Purdue                      11       18) Georgia                    11

   21) Houston                     10       21) Princeton                  10

   23) Mississippi                  9       23) Texas                       9

   25) Oral Roberts                 8       25) Clemson                     8

   25) Michigan State               8       25) North Carolina St.          8

   25) Jackson State                8       30) Stanford                    7

   30) Indiana State                7       32) Baylor                      6

   32) Nebraska                     6       32) Alabama                     6

   32) TCU                          6       32) Loyola (Ill.)               6

   32) Kansas State                 6       32) Louisiana Tech              6

   32) Notre Dame                   6       40) Texas-Arlington             5

   40) Tennessee                    5       40) Tulsa                       5

   40) UTSA                         5       44) Villanova                   4

   44) Akron                        4       44) Missouri                    4

   47) Ohio State                   3       47) UTEP                        3

   49) UCLA                         2       49) North Dakota St.            2

   49) Illinois                     2       49) Kentucky                    2

   49) New Mexico                   2       54) California                  1

   54) Eastern Illinois             1       54) George Mason                1

 

FIELD EVENTS

 

Women’s Triple Jump

3.             Ciarra Brewer, 13.69m/44-11 (PR)

 

Men’s Triple Jump

2.             Omar Craddock, 16.80m/55-1.50 (PR)

4.             Marquis Dendy, 16.20m/53-1.75

 

Men’s Weight Throw

8.             David Triassi, 20.68m/67-10.25

11.          Jeremy Postin, 20.44m/67-0.75

 

RUNNING EVENTS

 

Men’s 400 Meters – Final

3.             Hugh Graham, Jr., 46.01

7.             Najee Glass, 46.54

 

Men’s 800 Meters – Final

4.             Sean Obinwa, 1:47.81 (SB)

 

Women’s Mile – Final

3.             Agata Strausa, 4:36.91 (SB)

 

Men’s 60-Meter Hurdles – Final

1.             Eddie Lovett, 7.50 (PR/SR/NCAA/MR)

 

Women’s 4x400-Meter Relay – Final

4.             Florida (Eutsey, Gause, Reynolds, Whittaker), 3:31.54 (SB)

 

Men’s 4x400-Meter Relay – Final

2.             Florida (Glass, Graham, Jr., Hall, Dukes), 3:03.71 (SB)

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