Hall, McQuay earn gold at worlds

The United States' men's relay team members from left, David Verburg, Tony McQuay (Florida), LaShawn Merritt, and Arman Hall (Florida) celebrate their gold medal in the men's 4x400-meter relay at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Russia, on Friday. (The Associated Press)

Published: Friday, August 16, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 17, 2013 at 12:03 a.m.

MOSCOW, Russia — The U.S. men's 4x400-meter relay was impressive Friday, winning the finals of the event by more than a second to capture gold in 2:58.71.

The Gators were well-represented, as both Tony McQuay and Arman Hall ran on the relay. McQuay turned in a 44.1 split while Hall sprinted to a 45.0 lap with a strong lead for LaShawn Merritt, the U.S. anchor.

“My job was to get the stick, get to the break first and to get around the track as fast and as comfortable as possible,” McQuay said. “To get the lead up for Arman.”

“I knew these two (Verburg, McQuay) were going to get me a big lead,” Hall said. “All I had to do was keep it, extend it. I just have to do my job. Tony said he had my back, so I had his. He already ran 43 so he didn't need to do too much.”

In the heats of the event, freshman Hall turned in a strong showing, anchoring the U.S. men to a then-world-leading 2:59.85.

Gator Olympians Christian Taylor and Will Claye both qualified for the finals of the men's triple jump, leaping 17.36m/56-11.50 and 17.08m/56-0.50 to advance to Sunday's finals at 8:45 a.m. ET. Competing alongside Taylor and Claye was fellow Gator NCAA Champion, Omar Craddock. In his first World Championships, Craddock finished just outside qualifying with a leap of 16.40m/53-9.75.

Former Gator standout Andrea Bliss competed in the heats of the women's 100-meter hurdles, advancing out of her heat on time with a finish of 13.20. Bliss will participate in the semifinals of the event at 10:20 a.m. Saturday. Should she advance, she'll race in the finals at 11:50 a.m.

Two-time Gator Olympian Kerron Clement participated in the finals of the men's 400-meter hurdles, finishing eighth with a time of 49.08.

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