Roundup: Tennis to host NCAA’s first two rounds


Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 11:32 p.m.

The Florida men’s and women’s tennis teams were both chosen as one of 16 hosts of their respective NCAA First and Second Round Championship matches, the NCAA Committee announced from Indianapolis.

The event will run from May 11 to 13 at UF’s Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex.

The Gator women will host two first-round matches on May 11 and a second-round contest on May 12, while the men will play their first round matches on Saturday and the second round on May 13. The winning team from each of the regionals advances to Athens, Ga., for the NCAA Round of 16 and beyond.

The Gator women, ranked No. 2 in the country with a 21-1 overall record, received the No. 2 seed in the 64-team draw. Florida faces Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion South Carolina State (16-0) for the third consecutive year in its first-round contest on May 11 at 2 p.m. The other NCAA Women’s First Round match played in Gainesville features 35th-ranked Florida State (13-10) versus 31st-ranked Washington State (18-5) on Friday at 11 a.m. The winning teams from those first-round matches meet in the second round on May 12 at 3 p.m.

The Gator men, ranked No. 11 with a 14-9 overall record, will host the first two rounds on May 12-13, holding the top seed in the Gainesville regional. Florida will play Navy (18-8) in the opening round with the winner of the match to face the winner of 23rd-ranked Harvard (22-2) and Virginia Tech (11-11).

TRACK & FIELD: The Florida men’s 4x400-meter relay team, composed of Dedric Dukes, Hugh Graham, Jr., Leonardo Seymore and Tony McQuay, earned Southeastern Conference Co-Men’s Runners of the Week honors for their exceptional performance this past weekend at the 103rd Annual Drake Relays, the league offices in Birmingham, Ala., announced Tuesday.

The Gator quartet clocked a season-best time of 3:02.41 to win the men’s 4x400-meter relay event at Drake Relays, turning in the eighth-best time in school history, the best time in the SEC this season and the No. 2 time in the nation this year.

Florida was the only team in the finals to start out with two freshmen on the first two legs, and McQuay torched the track for a time of 44.03 on the anchor leg.

The Gators now own nine weekly honors in 2012, as the men’s 4x100-meter relay team earned the same honor a week ago. Senior sprinter Jeff Demps and junior sprinter Lanie Whittaker were each honored for their performances at the 85th Annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays and 68th Annual Pepsi Florida Relays, respectively.

Former Gator All-American thrower Kemal Mesic earned SEC Men’s Field Athlete of the Week honors twice during the indoor season, bookending a weekly honor for freshman jumper Taylor Burke, who was named SEC Co-Women’s Freshman of the Week earlier in the indoor season.

WOMEN'S GOLF: Florida is part of the field for the NCAA East Women’s Golf Regional tournament hosted by Penn State University at the par-72, 6,253-yard Penn State Blue Course in State College, Pa., from May 10-12.The Gators will attempt to advance to the NCAA Championships for the 23rd time in school history and the first back-to-back appearances since 2006. Florida has received a bid to participate in a regional 19 of 20 years since the regional format began in 1993, only missing out in 1999.

The East Regional includes eight teams that won their conference championships and eight teams ranked in the Top 25 of the Golf World/NGCA Coaches’ Poll as of April 23: No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Arizona State, No. 8 Duke, No. 13 Texas A&M, No. 14 Florida, No. 16 Oklahoma State, No. 19 Arizona and No. 25 South Carolina. Alabama, Florida and South Carolina represent the SEC in the East.

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