Special to Gatorsports.com
EUGENE, Ore. – Behind four top-five performances Saturday, including a runner-up finish by junior Yanis David in the triple jump, Florida’s women finished fifth in the team standings at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for a second consecutive season.
Gators’ team notables
*Florida finished in the top five at NCAA Outdoors for the third time in the last five seasons.
*The Gators posted consecutive top-five finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the second time in school history (2003-04).
For the first time in school history, two Gators scored in the triple jump, with David garnering runner-up honors and senior Darrielle McQueen finishing eighth. David’s silver medal marks the second-highest finish in school history, only ranking behind Leah Kirklin’s national title in 1992. McQueen scored in triple jump at NCAA Outdoors for the first time in her four-year career.
Junior quarter-miler Sharrika Barnett took fourth in the 400 meters, marking the highest finish by a Gator in the event since Tiandra Ponteen’s silver medal in 2005. Barnett improved her standing from a year ago by one place.
The biggest surprises of the weekend came in the form of freshman Amanda Froeynes in the heptathlon and freshman Nikki Stephens in the 400-meter hurdles. Froeynes entered the day in 17th place, but strong performances in the javelin throw and 800 meters enabled her to finish fifth overall, matching Heidi Mann (1987) for the second-highest finish in school history. Mann holds the best finish in school history as well, as she took fourth in 1986. Froeynes joined Kansas State’s Nina Schultz (2017) and Georgia’s Kendell Williams (2014) as the only other freshman in the last five NCAA Outdoor Championships to score in the heptathlon.
Stephens, who converted from the multis to the 400-meter hurdles midway through the outdoor season, finished sixth in Saturday’s final.
Stephens came back with Barnett, freshman Taylor Manson and senior Taylor Sharpe in the 4×400 relay. The Gators finished fifth in that race, securing the team’s fifth-place finish with those four points.
As a program this year, the men captured the NCAA Indoor Championships team title and finished second at these championships Friday; and the men’s and women’s teams combined to sweep the SEC Outdoor Championships for the first time in program history.