UF women take SEC indoor track and field title
Published: Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 11:54 p.m.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The performances were bigger in Texas for Florida women’s track and field.
The Gator women captured their eighth SEC indoor championship Saturday, their third in the last five years, while the Gators men’s squad notched a second-place finish to cap off a stellar weekend at the SEC Indoor Championships at Gilliam Indoor Track & Field Stadium on the Texas A&M campus.
“We have talked a lot about the ladies stepping up and being a top-five program in the country and we made steps toward that tonight,” Florida coach Mike Holloway said.
It was the women’s weight throw and junior Jayla Bostic’s third-place finish that first pulled the women’s squad into first place Saturday with a 58-57 edge over Texas A&M before the two squads battled it out until the end.
SEC titles in the distance medley relay and 4x4-relay for the Florida women kept the Gators in the hunt down the final stretch, and with a Texas A&M disqualification in the 4x4 relay, the Gators sealed the deal with 102 points for the 2014 SEC Indoor Championship. Texas A&M finished second (96.5) and Arkansas placed third (93.5).
On the men’s side, the Razorbacks claimed their third straight SEC title (121), while Florida finished second (106) and Texas A&M placed third (83.33).
The Gators’ second-place finish on the men’s side marked six straight top-two SEC indoor finishes for UF. Florida scored an event-best 18 of its points in the 200m dash and picked up 15 points in the 60-meter hurdles between senior four-time champion Eddie Lovett, freshman Yanick Hart and sophomore Moriel Pitt.
Florida scored an event-best 19 points in the 3000m on the women’s side, and between the men’s and women’s squads, the Gators put together a combined 19 podium finishes.
Lovett started off UF’s winning ways on Saturday with an historic run in the 60m hurdles, notching his unprecedented fourth-straight indoor title in the event, becoming the first athlete in SEC history to accomplish the feat.
“Winning four in a row is something that I never really thought about,” Lovett said. “I never really tried to put that pressure on myself, but just these last two years my coach and I really talked about staying undefeated and that is what I did.”
Florida followed with four more titles — Arman Hall (200m), Ciarra Brewer (TJ) and the women’s distance medley relay and 4x4 relay titles — to bring its indoor championship tally to six after senior Cory McGee’s 3000m championship Friday.
The Gators shattered five school records throughout the span of 2014 SEC indoors, including both 4x4 relays to cap off competition in College Station on Saturday evening.