UF women seek outdoor track title
Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 1:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 1:35 p.m.
With All-American triple jumper Ciarra Brewer helping to lead the charge, the fourth-ranked Florida women's track and field team will head to Eugene, Oregon, for the NCAA Championships through Saturday looking to bring back the program's first national outdoor title.
Buoyed by a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships, Brewer and her 11 UF women's teammates who also have qualified for NCAAs are eyeing the big prize.
"We have gotten really close each year," Brewer said. "At NCAA Indoors, that was the closest we've gotten. We know that we are really good, and we just all have to come together and believe in ourselves."
The No. 2-ranked Florida men, who have qualified 13 individuals for nationals to bring the overall number of UF student-athletes making the trip to Eugene to 25, have won five NCAA titles — all since 2010 under coach Mike Holloway.
At the SEC Outdoor Championships, Brewer not only won her specialty for the third straight year, but did so with a mark of 13.91 meters (45 feet, 7 3/4 inches) that ranks No. 1 in the nation. and broke her own SEC meet and UF school-record mark of 13.85 meters set last year. "I'm just really thankful and grateful that God has blessed me with a good and healthy outdoor season," she said.
Under the tutelage of second-year jumps coach Nic Petersen, Brewer was named the SEC Women's Co-Field Athlete of the Year.
"I'm very proud of Ciarra and very proud of the work that she and Coach Petersen have put in this year, but I think both of them will be the first ones to tell you that they're not done yet," Holloway said.
Jim Harvin is a Gainesville Sun correspondent.