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Photo: Tim Casey

Friday May 24, 2013Eight Gators Punch Tickets to Eugene on Second Day of NCAA Prelims

Greensboro, N.C.

Photo: Tim Casey

Eight members of the Florida track and field teams qualified to compete at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. by way of Greensboro and the NCAA East Preliminary Round Friday. In addition, six event qualifiers from Friday and two from Thursday will all compete in their respective quarterfinals Saturday with a trip to Eugene on the line.


“I’m extremely proud of all of our athletes who advanced to the NCAA Championships in Eugene,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “It’s always great to have your teammates with you for the finals and we’re looking forward to another great showing tomorrow.”


Senior All-American Ugonna Ndu (Newark, N.J.) was the top qualifier in the women’s 400-meter hurdles Friday, racing to an easy win in her quarterfinal in 57.08 and punching her ticket to Eugene. She also reached her second quarterfinal of the weekend, turning in a new all-conditions best in the women’s 100-meter hurdles. Ndu won her heat in 13.04 (+3.3) and will race in the quarters at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.


“Ugonna is a special athlete and she and Coach (Erin) Tucker have a great bond,” Holloway commented. “She’s had a great weekend so far and I look forward to seeing her run tomorrow in the 100 hurdles. For her to be the top qualifier in the 400 hurdles speaks to the hard work she’s put in this year.”


Junior Darshay Davis (Mirimar, Fla.) advanced to Eugene in the women’s 100 meters for the second consecutive year, crossing the finish in a new all-conditions best of 11.29 (+3.8). She also qualified out of the preliminaries of the women’s 200 meters in 23.80, nabbing a spot in the quarterfinals at 7:35 p.m.


Joining Davis in the 200 quarterfinals is freshman Destinee Gause (Reynoldsburg, Ohio), who improved her standing in the Florida record books with her PR of 23.24 (+1.0). Gause now ranks seventh all-time at UF in the event.


“I’m really proud of both Darshay and Destinee,” Holloway stated. “For Darshay to advance to the finals site speaks volumes of the work she has put in outdoors this year. I look forward to their race in the 200 tomorrow. Darshay wasn’t especially pleased with her time but she has the chance to improve tomorrow. For Destinee to run a PR at NCAAs is great, especially for a freshman, and she has the potential for a great day tomorrow.”


Five of the Gators’ quartermilers advanced to Eugene in the respective 400 races, as Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.) and Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.) will represent the men at Hayward Field, while Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.) and Lanie Whittaker (Miami, Fla.) will race for the Orange and Blue in Oregon.


“It’s always great to have so many of your teammates with you in a field of 24,” Holloway noted. “I think it speaks highly of their work ethic and while I would have loved to have all six of our 400 runners make it to Eugene, five out of six is great too.”


Hall was the top overall UF qualifier with a time of 46.43, while Glass and Graham, Jr. grabbed the final two spots to Eugene with times of 46.66 and 46.68, respectively. For the women, Eutsey automatically qualified with her second-place finish in the first quarterfinal in 52.54, while Whittaker earned an auto-qualifier finish with her time of 52.97 in the third quarterfinal.


Junior Sean Obinwa (Tampa, Fla.) advanced to Eugene in the men’s 800 meters, running the fourth-fastest time of his career outdoors to finish fourth overall in 1:47.98. Fellow junior distance runner Mark Parrish (Tampa, Fla.) advanced on time in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, turning in the top qualifying time of 8:43.63 after his fourth-place finish in the quarterfinals of the event. This is Parrish’s first NCAA Finals appearance.


“I’m extremely proud of Mark Parrish and the work he’s done to get to this point,” Holloway said. “He’s been working incredibly hard and he rebounded well from his finish at SECs to get to Eugene.”


Junior Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.) cruised to a win in his preliminary of the men’s 110-meter hurdles, crossing the finish in 13.53. Lovett was the second overall qualifier in the event.


“We have to remember to come out tomorrow and be the Gators,” Holloway said. “This is a win or go home situation and we have to keep a positive attitude and compete at our best.”


Action at the NCAA East Preliminary Round finishes Saturday, as the men’s hammer throw kicks things off on the final day of competition. Seniors Jeremy Postin (Andover, Kan.) and David Triassi (Jacksonville, Fla.) will be joined by sophomores David Levin (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) and Kyle Strawn (Temecula, Calif.) in the circle Saturday. Levin will compete in the first flight of the event, Triassi in the second while Postin and Strawn will throw in the third flight. 16 will advance to the finals and 12 of those final athletes will move on to Eugene.


48 individual qualifiers and 24 relay teams from each region are competing at either the East or West Preliminary Rounds, as the qualifiers are then whittled down to 24 individuals and 12 relays who will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8. Florida was awarded 48 qualifiers (22 men, 26 women) for the NCAA East Preliminary Round.


The Gator men are the defending NCAA Outdoor Champions and have placed in the top three at the last four NCAA Outdoor Championships, while the Florida women recorded a third-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships.


Results for the meet are provided by Flash Results and a full recap and daily results are available on GatorZone.


For all of the latest information on Florida track and field, please log on to or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow Florida track and field on Twitter at @GZTrackField or You can also find the Gators on Facebook.





Women’s 100 Meters – Darshay Davis

Women’s 400 Meters – Ebony Eutsey, Lanie Whittaker

Men’s 400 Meters – Najee Glass, Hugh Graham, Jr., Arman Hall

Men’s 800 Meters – Sean Obinwa

Women’s 10,000 Meters – Florence Ngetich

Women’s 400-Meter Hurdles – Ugonna Ndu

Women’s Long Jump – Lorraine Graham



Women’s 200 Meters – Darshay Davis, Destinee Gause

Men’s 200 Meters – Dedric Dukes, Leonardo Seymore

Women’s 1,500 Meters – Cory McGee, Agata Strausa

Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles – Ugonna Ndu

Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles – Eddie Lovett




Women’s High Jump – Semis

21.          Taylor Burke, 1.77m/5-9.75


Women’s Hammer Throw – Semis

22.          Jayla Bostic, 55.05m/180-7




Women’s 100 Meters – Quarters

5.             Darshay Davis, 11.29Q (wPR)


Women’s 200 Meters – Prelims

7.             Destinee Gause, 23.24Q (+1.0) (PR)

21.          Darshay Davis, 23.80q (+0.9) (SB)


Men’s 200 Meters – Prelims

6.             Dedric Dukes, 20.94 (+1.6)

24.          Leonardo Seymore, 21.06 (+2.7)


Women’s 400 Meters – Quarters

5.             Ebony Eutsey, 52.54Q

6.             Lanie Whittaker, 52.97Q

13.          Robin Reynolds, 53.08


Men’s 400 Meters – Quarters

5.             Arman Hall, 46.43Q

11.          Najee Glass, 46.66q

12.          Hugh Graham, Jr., 46.68q


Men’s 800 Meters – Quarters

4.             Sean Obinwa, 1:47.98Q


Women’s 3,000-Meter Steeplechase – Quarters

25.          Stephanie Strasser, 10:25.04 (PR)


Men’s 3,000-Meter Steeplechase – Quarters

10.          Mark Parrish, 8:43.63Q


Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles – Prelims

4.             Ugonna Ndu, 13.04Q (+3.3) (wPR)

31.          Lorraine Graham, 13.67(+2.3)


Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles – Prelims

2.             Eddie Lovett, 13.53Q (+2.6)


Women’s 400-Meter Hurdles – Quarters

1.             Ugonna Ndu, 57.08Q

13.          Amani Bryant, 58.92


2013 NCAA East Preliminary Round – Greensboro, N.C. – Erwin Belk Track & Field Center at Aggie Stadium


10:00 am

M Hammer (Semi)

David Levin, Jeremy Postin, Kyle Strawn, David Triassi

12:00 pm

W Javelin (Semi)

Fawn Miller, Marija Vucenovic

1:00 pm

M Triple Jump (Semi)

Omar Craddock, Marquis Dendy

5:30 pm

W Triple Jump (Semi)

Ciarra Brewer

6:15 pm

M 4x100 (Quarter)


6:30 pm

W 1500m (Quarter)

Cory McGee, Agata Strausa

7:05 pm

W 100m Hurdles (Quarter)

Ugonna Ndu

7:20 pm

M 110m Hurdles (Quarter)

Eddie Lovett

7:35 pm

W 200m (Quarter)

Darshay Davis, Destinee Gause

7:50 pm

M 200m (Quarter)

Dedric Dukes, Leonardo Seymore

8:05 pm

W 5000m (Semi)

Agata Strausa

9:25 pm

W 4x400 (Quarter)


9:45 pm

M 4x400 (Quarter)


Participation in quarterfinal contingent upon advancing from earlier preliminary


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