Roundup: Eight Gators qualify for NCAAs in Eugene
Published: Friday, May 24, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 12:05 a.m.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Eight members of the Florida track and field teams qualified to compete at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. by way of Greensboro and the NCAA East Preliminary Round Friday. In addition, six event qualifiers from Friday and two from Thursday will all compete in their respective quarterfinals Saturday with a trip to Eugene on the line.
Senior All-American Ugonna Ndu was the top qualifier in the women's 400-meter hurdles, racing to an easy win in her quarterfinal in 57.08 and punching her ticket to Eugene.
Junior Darshay Davis advanced to Eugene in the women's 100 meters for the second consecutive year, crossing the finish in a new all-conditions best of 11.29 (+3.8).
Five of the Gators' quartermilers advanced to Eugene in the respective 400 races, as Arman Hall, Najee Glass and Hugh Graham, Jr. will represent the men at Hayward Field, while Ebony Eutsey and Lanie Whittaker will race for the Florida women.
Junior Sean Obinwa advanced to Eugene in the men's 800 meters, running the fourth-fastest time of his career outdoors to finish fourth overall in 1:47.98. Fellow junior distance runner Mark Parrish advanced on time in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, turning in the top qualifying time of 8:43.63 after his fourth-place finish in the quarterfinals of the event.
The Gator men are the defending NCAA Outdoor Champions and have placed in the top three at the last four NCAA Outdoor Championships, while the Florida women recorded a third-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Women's golf: At Athens, Ga., Senior Mia Piccio finished her UF career on a high note in the final round of the NCAA Championship after carding three straight birdies and a par on the final four holes for a three-over (75), her third straight round of 75 for the week. The senior combined for a 10-over (298) in all four rounds, which not only was the lowest Gator of the week, but also her second lowest in an NCAA Championship in her career. Her previous low (294) came in 2011 when she tied for 19th.
As a whole, the Gator team had to contend with some high winds in the early hours, but still managed to shoot a 15-over (303), two shots better than yesterday. For the tournament, Florida finished with a 53-over (1,205), but climbed quite a few spots on the board to 18th as they finished their rounds. The Gators ended up in 17th place after all rounds were reported.
Southern California claimed this year's trophy with a score of 19-under (1,133), while their own Annie Park also claimed the medalist title with a 10-under (278).
Women's tennis: At Urbana, Ill., Florida's Lauren Embree and Sofie Oyen lost to Alabama's No. 7-ranked Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane in the round of 16 at the NCAA Doubles Championships held at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center on Friday afternoon.
Embree and Oyen close the season with a 28-7 all-time as a tandem, including an 18-6 mark this year.