UF's Craddock USA champ
Published: Friday, June 21, 2013 at 11:10 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 21, 2013 at 11:10 a.m.
DES MOINES, Iowa — Omar Craddock had a career day Thursday, capturing the men's triple jump title at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Craddock bested former Gator teammate and two-time Olympic medalist Will Claye, jumping an all-conditions best 17.15m/56-4.25 to take home the crown. Claye earned the runner-up spot with his leap of 17.04m/55-11 and both Gators will head to Moscow in the event. Joining them will be Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor, who has a wild card entry in the event as the champion from 2011.
Ugonna Ndu was phenomenal in her first final at the 2013 AFN/Cross Rivers State All-Nigeria Athletics Championships, capturing the 100-meter hurdles crown in 13.4 and stamping her ticket to Moscow. Ndu, the Florida record holder in the women's 400-meter hurdles, will compete in the event at the All-Nigeria Athletics Championships.
Nine Gators advanced out the preliminaries of their respective events, including a win by three-time NCAA Champion and Olympic silver medalist Tony McQuay, who turned in the top time of the men's 400 meters in 45.26. The event was as advertised, as all five Gator men advanced out of their heats. Arman Hall was third overall in 45.57, and McQuay and Hall were joined by Calvin Smith and current Gators Najee Glass and Hugh Graham, Jr. in the semifinal group.
Also advancing to semifinal races were former Gator NCAA Champions Jeff Demps and Kerron Clement, as Demps was just hundredths shy of a 100-meter victory in 10.19, turning in the second-best time of the day. Clement was sixth overall in the men's 400-meter hurdles in 50.68.
Gator junior Cory McGee, the NCAA runner-up in the women's 1,500 meters this year, qualified for the finals of the event Thursday, registering a time of 4:14.03. Fellow junior Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.) advanced out of her preliminaries of the women's 400 meters in 52.44, her best time of 2013.
The 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships continue Friday and finish up Sunday.
The event serves as qualification for the 14th IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Moscow, Russia, August 10-18. The top-three finishers in each event at the USA Outdoor Championships advance to Moscow, provided the athlete has the A standard in his or her respective event.
There are 11 members of the 2013 Florida track & field rosters competing at the 2013 USA Outdoor Championships and they will be joined by Gator freshmen Destinee Gause and Robin Reynolds, who will compete in the USA Junior Outdoor Championships beginning Friday. The twosome will look to advance to the 2013 Pan American Junior Athletics Championship, taking place August 23-25 in Medellin, Columbia.
Five-time USTFCCCA National Men's Coach of the Year Mike Holloway is the head men's coach for Team USA this summer. Holloway was a member of the Team USA coaching staff at the 2012 Olympic Games, working as the sprints and hurdles coach in London.