Saturday May 25, 201317 Gators Qualify for NCAA Championships to Close East Preliminary Round
Photo: Cheryl Treworgy/PrettySporty.com
Photo: Cheryl Treworgy/PrettySporty.com
17 Gator qualifiers advanced to the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on the final day of competition in Greensboro as the NCAA East Preliminary Round came to a close. In all, a program-record 28 qualifiers will make the trek from Gainesville to Eugene as 14 women, 11 men and three relays will represent the Orange and Blue at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.
“We had a phenomenal day across the board and I couldn’t be more proud of all of our athletes,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “We challenged them after the first day to not get down and to keep fighting and they did that. I’m so proud of our athletes, coaches, trainers, support staff and everyone associated with the program.”
Along with the new program record, the 15 Gator women qualified for NCAAs is also a Florida record and the 13 UF men is the second-most qualifiers in program history. The Orange and Blue qualified a program-record 16 men in 2011.
In the men’s hammer throw, Jeremy Postin (Andover, Kan.) and Kyle Strawn (Temecula, Calif.) were the first Gators of the day to advance to Eugene. Postin tossed a mark of 67.81m/222-6 on his final throw of the third flight to earn the top qualifier spot out of the East. For Strawn, his second throw of 63.07m/206-11 punched his ticket to TrackTown. This will be Strawn’s first NCAA Championships, improving his PB from 56.11m/184-1 as a freshman at UCSB to 66.90m/219-6 as a Gator, a difference of over 35 feet.
In the men’s triple jump, senior Omar Craddock (Killeen, Texas) and sophomore Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Del.) advanced to the NCAA Championships by finishing 1-2 in the event Saturday. Craddock used his opening jump to lead from the get-go, leaping 16.04m/52-7.50 to make the two-time NCAA Champion the only athlete in the field to surpass the 16-meter mark. Dendy’s first jump of the finals, a leap of 15.78m/51-9.25, proved to be his best and catapulted him in the overall standings from 13th to second behind Craddock.
“I’m proud of both Omar and Marquis for qualifying in the men’s triple jump,” Holloway said. “For Marquis to bounce back after a disappointment in the men’s long jump, it says a lot about his determination and work ethic. Today, Omar was Omar and he delivered just like he does every meet. I’m very pleased with both of their performances.”
Both Gators competing in the women’s javelin advanced to the NCAA finals site, as Marija Vucenovic (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) and Fawn Miller (Stoneboro, Pa.) turned in top-five finishes to qualify for the event in Eugene. Vucenovic utilized her first mark of the competition to seal her postseason fate, throwing 51.92m/170-4. Miller’s second attempt was her best of the day as she was one of only five athletes to break the 50-meter mark at 50.01m/164-1.
2013 SEC Outdoor Champion in the women’s triple jump, Ciarra Brewer (Union City, Calif.) advanced to her second straight NCAA Outdoor Championships appearance. The Gator sophomore had an easier day than most, passing her jumps in the final after landing a mark of 13.10m/42-11.75 to qualify second overall.
On the track, the Florida men’s 4x100-meter relay team of Antwan Wright (Riviera Beach, Fla.), Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.), Leonardo Seymore (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) advanced out of their quarterfinal for Eugene, winning the second heat of the event in 39.32 to give UF its first race qualifier of Saturday.
The women’s 4x4 will also be competing in Eugene, finishing second in their quarterfinal and fourth overall in 3:32.68 courtesy of Robin Reynolds (Miami, Fla.), Amani Bryant (Tampa, Fla.), Destinee Gause (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) and Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.)
Dukes and Graham, Jr. were also members of Florida’s 4x400-meter relay, teaming up with freshmen Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.) and Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) to run the fastest qualifying time in the East Preliminary Round in 3:04.99.
“We take a lot of pride in our 4x4s and I couldn’t be more proud of their performances today,” Holloway spoke. “For Amani to step in after the disappointment of just not making the national meet in the 400 hurdles, I thought she performed like a senior and came through for us. As for the men, this was their first race since Texas Relays and they did what they’ve done all year: they followed the race plan and focused on the Gators.”
Dukes advanced in the men’s 200 meters as well, racing to a time of 20.68 to finish second in his heat and sixth overall. He was joined in the 200-meter group by Gause and Darshay Davis (Mirimar, Fla.), who both advanced on the women’s side. Gause ran a new personal best with her time of 23.19 to improve her standing as seventh all-time in program history.
Davis was the final qualifier on time in a season’s best of 23.57 to advance to Eugene in the 200. Davis qualified in the 100 meters as well, marking the second consecutive year she qualified for NCAAs in both the 100 and 200 meters. Davis also qualified in the women’s 200 in her rookie campaign.
“Darshay continues to amaze me,” Holloway noted. “She turns it on when it matters and I just couldn’t be more pleased that she’ll be competing in her third NCAA Outdoors.
“I’m very proud of all three of our qualifiers in the 200,” Holloway continued. “This is Dedric’s first meet since his injury at Florida Relays and I thought he performed at a very high level. Destinee is really contributing as just a freshman and we always expect big things from her.”
Junior Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.) emerged as the top overall qualifier in the men’s 110-meter hurdles with a new personal best of 13.39 (+0.6). The time improves his standing as the second-fastest hurdler in Florida program history. Lovett already holds the UF 60-meter hurdles record courtesy of his 2013 NCAA Championship final performance of 7.50.
Senior All-American Ugonna Ndu (Newark, N.J.) advanced to Eugene in her second event of the weekend, finishing second in her women’s 100-meter hurdles quarterfinal and fifth overall in 13.24 (+0.7). Ndu qualified for the finals site in the women’s 400-meter hurdles as well, advancing as the top qualifier with her time of 57.08.
“Eddie and Ugonna both did a great job today,” Holloway commented. “Eddie continues to improve as the season progresses. For Ugonna to advance in both of her events, she’s just really coming through in her senior year. They’ve both developed a strong bond with Coach (Erin) Tucker and it shows.”
Competition at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships begins Wednesday, June 5 and extends through Saturday, June 8. The schedule of events can be found here and tickets for the event are already on sale on NCAA.com.
Seven Gators advancing to the 2013 NCAA Championships have competed at Hayward Field in their time donning the Orange and Blue. Craddock competed in the men’s triple jump at the 2010 NCAA Championships in Eugene, finishing sixth, and landed just outside medal contention in fourth at the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer. Also competing at TrackTown last summer were Eutsey, Dendy, Dukes, Lovett, McGee and Postin.
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.
“We’re ready to get back to Gainesville and get to work,” Holloway said. “I’m proud of the way we performed and rose to the challenge after a few disappointments the first day of the meet. We have a strong group heading to Eugene and I couldn’t be more proud to be a Gator.”
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NCAA EAST PRELIMINARY ROUND :: MAY 23-25, 2013 :: GREENSBORO, NC
ADVANCED TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS (multiple event qualifiers in bold)
Women’s 100 Meters – Darshay Davis
Women’s 200 Meters – Darshay Davis, Destinee Gause
Men’s 200 Meters – Dedric Dukes
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
Men’s 3,000-Meter Steeplechase – Mark Parrish
Women’s 1,500 Meters – Cory McGee, Agata Strausa
Women’s 10,000 Meters – Florence Ngetich
Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles – Ugonna Ndu
Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles – Eddie Lovett
Women’s 400-Meter Hurdles – Ugonna Ndu
Men’s 4x100-Meter Relay – Florida (Antwan Wright, Hugh Graham, Jr., Leonardo Seymore, Dedric Dukes)
Women’s 4x400-Meter Relay – Florida (Robin Reynolds, Amani Bryant, Destinee Gause, Ebony Eutsey)
Men’s 4x400-Meter Relay – Florida (Najee Glass, Hugh Graham, Jr., Dedric Dukes, Arman Hall)
Women’s Long Jump – Lorraine Graham
Women’s Triple Jump – Ciarra Brewer
Men’s Triple Jump – Omar Craddock, Marquis Dendy
Men’s Hammer Throw – Jeremy Postin, Kyle Strawn
Women’s Javelin Throw – Fawn Miller, Marija Vucenovic
Women’s Triple Jump – Semis
2. Ciarra Brewer, 13.10m/42-11.75Q (+0.1)
Men’s Triple Jump – Semis
1. Omar Craddock, 16.04m/52-7.50Q (-1.4)
2. Marquis Dendy, 15.78m/51-9.25Q (-1.7)
Men’s Hammer Throw – Semis
1. Jeremy Postin, 67.81m/222-6Q
6. Kyle Strawn, 63.07m/206-11Q
14. David Levin, 60.04m/197-0 (PR)
26. David Triassi, 57.61m/189-0
Women’s Javelin Throw – Semis
2. Marija Vucenovic, 51.92m/170-4Q
5. Fawn Miller, 50.01m/164-1Q
Women’s 200 Meters – Quarters
8. Destinee Gause, 23.19Q (+1.9) (PR)
12. Darshay Davis, 23.57q (+1.5)
Men’s 200 Meters – Quarters
6. Dedric Dukes, 20.68Q (+1.4)
19. Leonardo Seymore, 21.19 (+1.4)
Women’s 1,500 Meters – Quarters
6. Cory McGee, 4:19.50Q
10. Agata Strausa, 4:19.94Q
Women’s 5,000 Meters – Semis
17. Agata Strausa, 16:27.93
Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles – Quarters
5. Ugonna Ndu, 13.24Q (+0.7)
Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles – Quarters
1. Eddie Lovett, 13.39Q (+0.6) (PR)
Men’s 4x100-Meter Relay – Quarters
3. Florida (Wright, Graham, Jr., Seymore, Dukes), 39.32Q
Women’s 4x400-Meter Relay – Quarters
4. Florida (Reynolds, Bryant, Gause, Eutsey), 3:32.68Q
Men’s 4x400-Meter Relay – Quarters
1. Florida (Glass, Graham, Jr., Dukes, Hall), 3:04.99Q