Special to Gatorsports.com
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Watch out NCAA Indoor Track and Field programs, coach Mike Holloway again has the Florida men’s team on a national championship roll.
The Holloway-led Gators repeated as national champions Saturday by winning the NCAA meet, giving UF back-to-back trophies after winning three consecutive from 2010-12.
“It never gets old,” Holloway said. “I challenged them all week long to be courageous and they were.”
The Gators garnered 55 points to outdistance Houston (44) and LSU (31). The UF women finished sixth (21), as Arkansas won the meet to give the SEC the national sweep.
Junior Grant Holloway, no relations to the UF coach, had an evening that will go down as one of the greatest in not just collegiate history, but the history of indoor track and field. Within 40 minutes, Holloway became the third man in history to sweep the straightaway events (60 meters and 60-meter hurdles), highlighted by an all-timer in the hurdles, his signature event by setting the American record in the 60-meter hurdles in a time of 7.35 to defend his title.
Holloway became the first man in Division I history to win three high hurdles titles, as he claimed the crown each of the last three seasons.
Florida’s men opened the day with eight points in two field events, well before anyone took the track. Redshirt senior AJ McFarland tied Jeremy Postin (2012) for the highest weight throw finish in school history, placing fourth. Sophomore Thomas Mardal took seventh in the weight, which marked the third-highest finish in school history. Redshirt senior Jhonny Victor finished eighth in the high jump, marking the third time he’s scored at a national meet (and he entered all three not projected to score at all).
While Holloway took the 60 meters title, sophomore Hakim Sani Brown collected bronze and senior Ryan Clark scored his first career individual points at a national meet with a sixth-place finish.
The Gators also got points from junior jumper Clayton Brown and sophomore quarter-miler Benjamin Lobo Vedel. Brown placed fifth in the triple jump with a 12-centimeter season best, while Lobo Vedel clocked a personal best of 46.07 seconds to finish seventh overall and take over the No. 10 spot on the program’s All-Time Indoor Top 10 list.
For the UF women, Yanis David captured the fourth indoor triple jump national title in program history, as she bounded to 14.03 meters (46 feet, 0.5 inches) on her sixth and final attempt to win the title by 20 centimeters. In David’s six-jump series, she posted four jumps good enough to win the title.
“Everybody is a part of this,” UF’s coach said. “We have a standard and we fight to that standard every single day. We work hard to get better. That’s why we do the things we do.”
Florida Men’s Track & Field All-Time NCAA Championships
· Indoor (5) – 2010, 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019
· Outdoor (4) – 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017
Notables from an Active Dynasty
· This is Florida’s fifth men’s team title at NCAA Indoor Championships since 2010, two more than any other Division I program in that span. The Gators’ five titles are also the most since 2003, when head coach Mike Holloway took over the men’s program.
· Adding in the four outdoor national titles, Florida’s nine team titles at NCAA Championships since 2010 lead all of Division I by four titles. The only other programs to win multiple national titles within that span are Oregon (five) and Texas A&M (four).
· Florida’s nine overall national titles are also four more than any other program has won since 2003. Only Arkansas, Oregon, and Texas A&M (five apiece) have more than two in that time frame.
· Florida’s fifth NCAA Indoor Championships victory breaks a tie with Oregon for the third-most titles in the event’s history, only trailing UTEP (seven) and Arkansas (20).
· Florida’s ninth all-time national title breaks a tie with UCLA for the fifth-highest total in NCAA Championships history.
· Coach Holloway’s nine men’s national titles are the fifth-highest total in Division I history, only sitting behind LSU and Texas A&M’s Pat Henry (10), UTEP’s Ted Banks (11), Southern California’s Dean Cromwell (12), and Arkansas’ John McDonnell (29).
· Coach Holloway joins Banks and McDonnell as the only men’s coaches in Division I history to win five NCAA Indoor Championships.
· Florida’s men finished second or won the title at 22 of 33 NCAA Championships (66.7 percent) Holloway has been head coach for. No other program has more than nine top-two finishes in that span (2003-19).
Holloway’s Historic Night
· Won the hurdles title with a time of 7.35 seconds, breaking the American record of 7.36 held by Greg Foster (1987), Allen Johnson (2004), and Terrence Trammell (2010).
· The time was also the fourth-fastest in indoor track and field history and made him the No. 3-ranked performer on the world all-time 60 hurdles list, only trailing Great Britain’s Colin Jackson (7.30) and Cuba’s Dayron Robles (7.33; 7.34).
· Holloway became the first man in Division I history to win three high hurdles titles, as he claimed the crown each of the last three seasons.
· Holloway joined South Carolina’s Terrence Trammell (2000) and Tennessee’s Willie Gault (1983) as the only men to sweep the 60 hurdles and 60 meters titles at NCAA Indoors (Gault did it in the 55-meter hurdles and 55 meters, the distance run prior to 1999).
· Holloway’s winning time in the 60 meters (6.50 seconds) broke his own school record of 6.51 and moved him into a tie for No. 8 on the collegiate all-time top 10; he also tied the 10th-fastest time in collegiate history.
· Including his third-place finish in the long jump Friday and his run for Florida’s third-place 4×400 relay team, Holloway totaled 27.5 points, the second-highest individual total in NCAA Indoors history, only behind Edward Cheserek’s 28 for Oregon in 2017.
· Holloway also moved to fourth on the career NCAA Indoors scoring list, as his 59 career points only sit behind Cheserek’s 91, Suleiman Nyambui of UTEP’s 78, and Erick Walder of Arkansas’ 60.
Florida National Championship Notes
· Florida is one of two programs to win at least one team national title each of the last 11 seasons, and this is the 20th national title in that span.
· The Gators’ 20 national titles in the last 11 seasons only trail Stanford’s 23. Oregon is the next-closest program, boasting 19.
· This is the 41st national title for the Gators’ program.
· Fourteen different Gators sports have won national titles, which is the nation’s fourth-largest array of sport titles for a program (and highest east of Mississippi).
· Florida is the only Southeastern Conference program to win team national titles in 10 or more sports.