Roundup: Indoor track season starts Saturday
Published: Friday, January 11, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 12:03 a.m.
The No. 2 Florida men and No. 5 Gator women open the 2013 season on the road this weekend at the Crimson Tide Indoor Opener. The Gators take to the track today at the CrossPlex Indoor Arena in Birmingham, Ala., hosted by the University of Alabama.
Led by 2012 USTFCCCA National Indoor and Outdoor Head Coach of the Year Mike Holloway, the Gator men return seven 2012 Indoor All-Americans, while the women welcome back nine 2012 Indoor All-Americans to the track in 2013.
Eight SEC Champions will compete today, including triple jumper Ciarra Brewer and high jumper Taylor Burke on the women’s side. A 2011 SEC champion in the mile, Cory McGee will compete in the 800 meters today.
For the men, 2013 Bowerman Watch List honoree Omar Craddock will compete in the long jump on Sunday after sweeping the SEC and NCAA titles in the men’s triple jump in 2012. Craddock will jump alongside SEC Indoor champion in the men’s long jump Marquis Dendy.
Dedric Dukes and Hugh Graham, Jr., who ran the opening legs on the SEC and NCAA champion men’s 4x400-meter relay, will race today, and two-time defending SEC 60-meter hurdles champion Eddie Lovett will compete in that event this afternoon.
Twelve Gator freshmen will compete today as two of the highest-recruited classes in the country. These dozen athletes help comprise the No. 3 (women) and No. 7 (men) recruiting classes in the nation. Among these 12 are IAAF World Junior champion Gino Hall and Najee Glass, who claimed a gold medal at the 2011 IAAF World Youth Championships in the men’s 4x400-meter relay and captured the 2012 Indoor National Championship in 46.57, good for fourth all-time in U.S. history.
GYMNASTICS: The nation’s top freshmen gymnastics class goes to Florida, according to CollegeGymFans.com’s list of the top 10 recruiting classes for the 2013 season.
Three of Florida’s four member freshmen class — Bridgette Caquatto, Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto and Bridget Sloan — trained with the Gators this fall. Both Caquatto and Sloan have represented the U.S. at several international meets. Sloan, the youngest member of the U.S.’s 2008 silver-medal Olympic team, claimed the 2009 World Championships’ all-around crown. She is the first world all-around champion to compete as a collegian and after the first week of action for the Gators, Sloan picked up the season’s first Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week honor. She and Caquatto both were part of the U.S.’s 2011 Pan American Games gold-medal team. Caquatto also took Pan Am gold for the all-around and uneven bars. Sloan and Dancose-Giambattisto both competed at the 2010 World Championships as Dancose-Giambattisto was part of Canada’s team.
Joining the Gator freshmen class for the spring semester is Morgan Frazier. She was a part of the Orlando Metro club team and has competed at the Junior Olympic Level 10 Championships.
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