The No. 1 University of Florida men’s track and field team captured the first NCAA Indoor Championship in program history on Saturday night, scoring 57 total team points and the Gator women placed fourth to cap off one of the most successful national meets in program history at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas.
The Gator men scored 57 total team points, winning by 13 points over Oregon and Texas A&M, who finished tied for second with 44 total team points. The No. 4 Florida women placed fourth with 33 total team points. The Ducks won the women’s team title with 61 points, while Tennessee was second with 36 points and LSU was third with 35 points. It was the first top-five indoor finish on the women’s side since the Gators were second nationally in 2005.
The national championship by the Florida men’s track and field team marked the 23rd by a Gator team (all sports) in program history.
“It has been a long journey and I’m just so proud of my athletes and my staff,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “I’m almost at a loss for words because of how happy I am. We kind of felt coming in that the first team that got to 50 would be the national champion. Everybody that put on the Gator uniform got after it this weekend. It shows the direction this program is headed in to win a national championship on the men’s side and to finish fourth on the women’s side.”
Over the course of the weekend, Florida captured national titles in the women’s mile (Charlotte Browning), men’s 60-meter dash (Jeff Demps), women’s shot put (Mariam Kevkhishvili) and men’s triple jump (Christian Taylor). The Gators also recorded 16 All-America honors on the weekend.
Freshman sprinter Jeff Demps (Winter Garden, Fla.) became the first person in school history to win the NCAA men’s 60-meter dash championship, doing so in a time of 6.57. That’s just shy of the school-record-setting time of 6.56 that he set in the preliminaries last night. Senior sprinter Jeremy Hall(Jacksonville , Fla.) placed sixth in 6.66. The Gators earned 13 total team points in the men’s 60m dash.
Senior thrower Mariam Kevkhishvili (Tbilisi, Georgia) became just the second woman in NCAA history to capture three consecutive NCAA indoor shot put titles, claiming the championship on Saturday with a school-record toss of 18.59m/61-0. That shattered her previous personal-record throw of 18.56m/60-10.75.Kevkhishvili has now won 13 consecutive indoor competitions dating back to her 2008 NCAA Indoor Championship also held in Fayetteville, Ark. Regina Cavanaugh of Rice is the only other woman in NCAA history to accomplish that feat, doing so from 1984-86.
Junior distance runner Charlotte Browning (Pullborough, England) became just the second person in school history to win the NCAA mile championship, doing so in a time of 4:35.66. Browning, the 2010 SEC Indoor Champion in both the mile and 3,000m run, is the first Gator woman to win a national champion in the mile since Becki Wells did so in 1997. Browning set the school record in the women’s mile already this season at 4:31.24.
Sophomore jumper Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) broke his own school record in winning the NCAA title the men’s triple jump, becoming the first athlete in school history to break the 17-meter plateau at 17.18m/56-4.50. Taylor captured the event for the second consecutive year, becoming the first person to win back-to-back NCAA men’s indoor triple jump title since Walter Davis of LSU accomplished the feat in 2001 and 2002.
Freshman jumper Omar Craddock (Kileen, Texas) placed seventh in the men’s triple jump to earn All-America honors in the first NCAA meet of his young career with a mark of 16.15m/53-0.
Freshman sprinter Tony McQuay (Riviera Beach, Fla.) earned All-America honors, finishing third in the men’s 400-meter dash in a career-best time of 45.74, which goes down as the third-fastest time in school history. Senior sprinter Calvin Smith (Lutz, Fla.) was eighth in 46.60.
The men’s 4x400m relay placed fourth overall in a time of 3:05.78, using the quartet of Preston Wilson(Orlando, Fla.), McQuay, Jovon Toppin (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad) and Smith to earn All-America honors.
With two All-America honors in the meet, Smith became Florida’s all-time men’s leader in total All-America honors with 15 in his career. He surpassed Mike Morrison (14) for the all-time lead – indoors and outdoors combined.
Senior jumper Shara Proctor (The Valley, Anguilla) earned All-America honors in her second event of the weekend, placing third in the women's triple jump with a mark of 13.71m/44-11.75.
Junior thrower Keely Medeiros (Luziana, Brazil) finished eighth in the women’s shot put to earn All-America honors with a toss of 16.44m/53-11.25.
Florida opens its 2010 outdoor track and field season on Saturday, March 20, when it travels to Orlando, Fla., to participate in the UCF Black and Gold Challenge.
NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS (MARCH 12-13, 2010, FAYETTEVILLE, ARK.)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Men’s Heptathlon – 12 p.m. ET (AUTO: 5,675; PROV: 5,325)
15th/DNF. Gray Horn – 4,256
Heptathlon 60mH (AUTO: 7.70; PROV: 7.91)
15. Gray Horn – 10.78 (403 points)
Heptathlon Pole Vault (AUTO: 5.50m; PROV: 5.20m)
13. Gray Horn – 4.40m/14-5.25 (731 points)
Heptathlon 1,000m Run (Not an NCAA Championship Event)
--. Gray Horn – DNS
Women’s Shot Put – 5:30 p.m. ET (AUTO: 16.90m; PROV: 15.20m)
1. Mariam Kevkhishvili – 18.59m/61-0 (10 points)
8. Keely Medeiros – 16.44m/53-11.25 (1 point)
Men’s Triple Jump – 6:30 p.m. ET (AUTO: 16.15m; PROV: 15.45m)
1. Christian Taylor – 17.18m/56-4.50 (10 points)
7. Omar Craddock – 16.15m/53-0 (2 points)
Women’s Mile Final – 7:25 p.m. ET (AUTO: 4:37.00; PROV: 4:46.70)
1. Charlotte Browning – 4:35.66 (10 points)
Women’s Triple Jump – 7:30 p.m. ET (AUTO: 13.30m; PROV: 12.65m)
3. Shara Proctor – 13.71m/44-11.75 (6 points)
Men’s 400m Final – 7:55 p.m. ET (AUTO: 46.15; PROV: 47.25)
3. Tony McQuay – 45.74 (6 points)
8. Calvin Smith – 46.60 (1 point)
Men’s 60m Final – 8:15 p.m. ET (AUTO: 6.60; PROV: 6.71)
1. Jeff Demps – 6.57 (10 points)
6. Jeremy Hall – 6.66 (3 points)
Men’s 4x400m Relay – 9:25 p.m. ET (AUTO: 3:06.50; PROV: 3:10.40)
4. Florida – 3:05.78 (5 points)
(Preston Wilson, Tony McQuay, Jovon Toppin, Calvin Smith)
FLORIDA NCAA CHAMPIONS (ENTIRE WEEKEND)
- Charlotte Browning – Women’s Mile – 4:35.66
- Jeff Demps – Men’s 60m – 6.57
- Mariam Kevkhishvili – Women’s Shot Put – 18.59m/61-0
- Christian Taylor – Men’s Triple Jump – 17.18m/56-4.50
FLORIDA ALL-AMERICANS (ENTIRE WEEKEND)
- Charlotte Browning – Women’s Mile – 4:35.66 (1st)
- Omar Craddock – Men’s Triple Jump – 16.15m/53-0 (7th)
- Jeff Demps – Men’s 60m – 6.57 (1st)
- Jeremy Hall – Men’s 60m – 6.66 (6th)
- Mariam Kevkhishvili – Women’s Shot Put – 18.59m/61-0 (1st)
- Tony McQuay – Men’s 400m – 45.74 (3rd)
- Tony McQuay – Men’s 200m – 20.80 (8th)
- Keely Medeiros – Women’s Shot Put – 16.44m/53-11.25 (8th)
- Kemal Mesic – Men’s Shot Put – 19.26m/63-2.25 (2nd)
- Shara Proctor – Women’s Long Jump – 6.64m/21-9.50 (3rd)
- Shara Proctor – Women’s Triple Jump – 13.71m/44-11.75 (3rd)
- Calvin Smith – Men’s 200m – 20.67 (6th)
- Calvin Smith – Men’s 400m – 46.60 (8th)
- Christian Taylor – Men’s Triple Jump – 17.18m/56-4.50 (1st)
- Christian Taylor – Men’s Long Jump – 7.93m/26-0.25 (2nd)
- Men’s 4x400m Relay – 3:05.78 (Wilson, McQuay, Toppin, Smith) (4th)
Final NCAA Indoor Championship Men’s Team Scores
1. Florida – 57
2. Texas A&M – 44
2. Oregon – 44
4. LSU – 42
5. Arkansas – 38
Final NCAA Indoor Championship Women’s Team Scores
1. Oregon – 61
2. Tennessee – 36
3. LSU – 35
4. Florida – 33
5. Texas A&M - 31