Four more Gators score at NCAAs
Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.
EUGENE, Ore. — Four Gators scored Friday on the third day of the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, led by freshman Arman Hall, who turned in a podium finish in the men's 400 with a collegiate-best 45.02, tying Geno White (2000) for fifth all-time in Florida program history.
With Hall's finish, the rookie became just the 13th freshman in NCAA history to finish in the top three in 92 years of the event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Hall joins former Gator All-American Tyrone Kemp (2nd - 1989) as the only other Gator freshman to earn a podium finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the men's 400 meters.
Joining Hall in scoring in the men's 400 meters with sophomore Hugh Graham Jr., who finished sixth with his time of 45.57, just .01 off his personal best set in the semifinals of the event Wednesday. Graham, Jr. and Hall are both members of Florida's men's 4x400-meter relay and will compete in the finals of the event Saturday.
“Just an awesome job by everyone today,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “For the men, I felt that Arman ‘Gino' Hall and Hugh Graham, Jr. both did an excellent job in the 400, finishing third and sixth. For Gino to come into his first NCAA championships and run a personal best as a frosh speaks volumes about his future here at UF. Hugh has had a great year and has established himself as one of the premier 400 runners in the country.”
Senior Ugonna Ndu finished her collegiate hurdles career on a high note Friday, finishing fifth in the women's 400-meter hurdles final with a time of 56.13, just .01 her personal best set at the 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships. Ndu ran the third leg of the women's 4x400-meter relay Thursday and should be in the lineup for the finals of the event Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore Ciarra Brewer survived a scare in the preliminaries of the women's triple jump, utilizing a mark of 13.36m/43-10 (+1.5) on her final jump after two fouls to advance as one of the final nine competitors and receive three additional jumps. Brewer then jumped to fifth place overall in the event after her final jump of 13.53m/44-4.75 (+2.7) to score four points for the Gators and advance to the finals of the event for the second consecutive season.
“Extremely proud of Ugonna Ndu finishing an awesome senior season which has seen her set personal bests in all her events,” Holloway said. “Finishing fifth in the 400 hurdles, running right at her personal best, she just had a great race.
“I'm also proud of CiCi Brewer for fighting through a hamstring injury and coming up big on her final jump to finish fifth in the triple jump. We have been talking to our women's team about believing in themselves and competing at the level of this meet. I felt that both CiCi and Ugonna did that today.”
The four-day meet concludes today. The Gators have six scoring opportunities today, including four on the men's side and two on the women's.
“We have set ourselves up to have a great finish to the national meet,” Holloway said. “We have some very strong events for us tomorrow.”
And I am very excited to watch the Gators compete Saturday.”