UF stands out at Florida Relays
Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 12:19 a.m.
The second day of the Pepsi Florida Relays was as thrilling as the first, as the collegiate and professional ranks joined the high school contingent at Percy Beard Track. Friday saw two Pepsi Florida Relays records fall, as well as a Percy Beard Track Record.
Five Gators won event titles Friday, including freshman Marija Vucenovic (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) who came out Friday and won the second meet of her career in as many tries. Vucenovic threw a collegiate-leading 55.43m/181-10 to claim the women's javelin title, besting the runner-up by 17 feet.
Vucenovic was joined in the winner's circle by Mark Parrish (Tampa, Fla.) and Sean Obinwa (Tampa, Fla.), who also became collegiate leaders with their events Friday. Both Gators ran collegiate-leading times in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 800 meters, respectively. Parrish finished in a personal-best 8:42.38 to win the steeple title in a new NCAA-leading time. Obinwa turned in the fastest 800 meters in the nation in 2013, finishing in a new PR of 1:47.66.
“I'm very, very pleased with all of their performances,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “I thought Mark did a wonderful job coming out and running a five-second personal best, leading the whole way. Mark is on a mission. He's still stung from missing the national meet last year by .01. Marija, I mean, that's why we recruited her. She's the best javelin thrower in the NCAA, and she's proven that so far. We're really pleased with her improvement so far.”
Also claiming victories for the Orange and Blue were sophomores Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) and Taylor Burke (Medina, Ohio). Dukes ran a wind-aided 20.38 to take home the men's 200 meters title Friday, while Burke participated in a jump off to win the women's high jump with her mark of 1.76m/5-9.25.
“It's the Florida Relays, there's a lot of athletes, a lot of parents, a lot of fans. I'm just really pleased that the meet ran very well and very smoothly over the first two days,” Holloway commented. “The weather has been a little bit quirky, but overall the performances have been absolutely phenomenal. I'm really pleased with the way the meet has been run and the performances of all the athletes. My athletes have had a really great weekend also so far.”
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