UF roundup: Softball, track and field begin SEC postseason play


Published: Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 9:44 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 9:44 a.m.

No. 1 Gators start SEC Tournament

The No. 1-ranked and SEC softball champion Florida (52-4) opens SEC Tournament play at 5 p.m. ET today against No. 9 seed Ole Miss (39-19), a 4-2 winner Wednesday over No. 8 seed Georgia (40-17).

Florida enters the SEC Tournament as the No. 1 seed and looking for its fourth league tournament crown (also: 2008, 2009, 2013). Three of the last four times UF has won the SEC regular-season title, it has gone on to win the conference tournament. UF is 23-25 all-time in the SEC Tournament.

"The SEC Tournament is a great opportunity for our team to feel what a one-game elimination style atmosphere is like," UF coach Tim Walton said. "My goal is to try to get all three pitchers some good work and keep them sharp as we gear up for a postseason run."

Track and Field: Gators chasing titles at SEC championships

The Florida track and field program heads is seeking its sixth SEC Outdoor Championships title for both its men's and women's teams starting today through Saturday.

UF's men are also looking to defend their 2015 title and win back-to-back crowns for the first time in school history.

The Gators, who enter the league's outdoor championship event ranked No. 2 on the men's side and No. 6 in the women's rankings, return six of the 11 athletes who won an SEC title in 2015. Eddie Garcia and Kyra Jefferson will pursue consecutive wins in the men's 10,000 meters and 200 meters, respectively. Three legs of both the men's and women's championship-winning 4x400-meter relay teams are back as well.

UF also boasts four SEC-leading times and marks entering the three-day meet. Freshman hammer thrower Anders Eriksson, who shattered the school record in his fourth collegiate meet, boasts a top mark of 71.14 meters, which is 1.06 meters (3.5 feet) farther than any other SEC competitor has thrown this year. Redshirt junior Eric Futch hasn't run since his season-opening race in Los Angeles, but holds the fastest 400-meter hurdles time (49.45 seconds). Both the women's 4x100 and 4x400 relays feature SEC-leading times, too, carrying season bests of 42.85 seconds and 3:26.28 seconds.

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