Roundup: UF track & field star has record day


Published: Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 17, 2010 at 12:04 a.m.

Florida’s three-time NCAA champion thrower Mariam Kevkhishvili turned in the finest indoor performance of her collegiate career, breaking the Georgian national record and the UF indoor school record in the women’s shot put to highlight the Gators’ showing in the Kentucky Invitational.

Kevkhishvili, who has won eight consecutive indoor competitions dating to the 2008 season, broke her own Florida school record with an NCAA automatic-qualifying toss of 18.47m/60-7.25, which also set her country’s shot put record and marked a new E.J. Nutter Fieldhouse facility mark.

Kevkhishvili’s mark goes down as the best indoor shot put measure in the world so far this year, topping Nadine Kleinert of Germany, who recorded a mark of 18.30m on Dec. 20, according to IAAF.org.

Also winning were Eric Foran in the men’s pole vault (4.90m/16-0.75) and the men’s 4x400-meter “A” relay team (Tony McQuay, Calvin Smith, Jovon Toppin and Christian Taylor) at 3:06.40.

“I thought it was a very solid weekend for our team,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “We definitely have some things that we need to work on but, overall, I thought it was a good opener and gave us the opportunity to shake off some rust. We’ll get back and get in two good weeks of training before the Texas A&M Challenge.”

Football:Former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother will appear in a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl next month.

The Christian group Focus on the Family says the Tebows will share a personal story centering on the theme “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.”

The group isn’t releasing details, but the commercial is likely to be a anti-abortion message chronicling Pam Tebow’s 1987 pregnancy. After getting sick during a mission trip to the Philippines, she ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child and gave birth to Tim.

All-Star Games: Former Florida wide receiver Riley Cooper has officially accepted an invitation to participate in the Under Armour Senior Bowl, game officials announced Saturday. He will join Tebow at the Jan. 30 game.

Cooper was a second-team All-SEC selection at wide receiver this past season by the Associated Press. He led the Gators (13-1) with 961 receiving yards and nine touchdowns and was second on the team with 51 catches. Cooper was among the SEC’s leading receivers in 2009, ranking third in receiving yards (961), fifth in receiving yards per game (68.64) and ninth in receptions per game (3.64).

Meanwhile, UF linebacker Ryan Stamper has accepted an invitation to play in the 85th East-West Shrine set for Jan. 23 in Orlando.

Swimming and diving: Sebastien Rousseau captured an NCAA provisional mark in the men’s 200-yard butterfly (1:47.97) in his first meet and first individual race for UF to lead the men (7-0, 2-0 SEC) to a 159-118 win over FAU at the O’Connell Center.

Under the leadership of senior Liz Kemp, who captured the 1,000-yard free (10:05.29) title, several younger Gators stepped it up for UF (8-2, 2-1 SEC) to defeat the Owls, 163-122, in women’s swimming and diving action.

Combined, the Gators went on to win 31 of the 32 possible events, including all four relays, the men with 15 of 16 and the women taking all 16 event titles.

Women’s tennis: The Florida doubles team of Marrit Boonstra and Anastasia Revzina advanced to the semifinals of the

Freeman Memorial Championships held at UNLV.

After a successful first day Friday, Revzina was eliminated from singles’ competition.

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