SEC Indoor Track and Field: Several individual titles for Gators


COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Florida’s Grant Holloway repeated as 60-meter hurdles champion Sunday and Clayton Brown won the triple jump, but it wasn’t enough for Florida to win the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships at Texas A&M’s Gilliam Indoor Track & Field Stadium.

The No. 3 UF men, who entered the day in first place after Saturday’s competition, finished third to No. 8 Alabama, which won its first SEC trophy in the sport since 1972. Arkansas placed second. The Gators also finished third last year.

“I’m disappointed,” UF coach Mike Holloway said. “We lost the meet by six-and-a-half or seven points, and we left a lot of points out there. I’m not going to go through and embarrass anybody but, as a whole, this group has to know we were potentially the best team here.

“And I told them this morning the team that believed the most, the team that fought the hardest would win. Kudos to Dan Waters and Alabama, because they were the team that wanted it most and fought hardest. We’ve got to understand that people want to beat us because we’re Florida, and no one is going to lie down for us.

Alabama won the title with 91 points, three points ahead of runner-up Arkansas (88). Florida (83.5), Texas A&M (75.5) and Georgia (71) round out the top five. In second place after Saturday’s events, the Tide roared to the front of the pack behind a 21-point performance in the 5,000 meters and four additional top-three finishes Sunday.

No. 2 Arkansas’ women won their eighth all-time SEC Indoor Championship and fourth in a row by scoring 106.5 total team points, while Georgia was second, Kentucky third, LSU fourth, Texas A&M fifth and Florida finished sixth. The Gators improved their finish from last year when they were eighth.

Yanis David had the best finish for the UF women Sunday by finishing second in the triple jump with a school record 14.11m (46-3½) leap. On Saturday, Lloydricia Cameron won the Gators’ first indoor shot put title since 2010.

UF’s KeAndre Bates finished third to Brown in the triple jump. The UF men 4×400-meter relay team finished second in their race.

“This year was definitely a better showing than last year,” Holloway said of his repeat. “Kind of shut it down within four hurdles, so I know I’ve got a lot of potential going into NCAAs in two weeks. Just have to keep training. Coach Holloway definitely saw something I need to work on. Going to get back to Gainesville and just start training again.”

Brown on his win: “The feeling to win is very special, because I didn’t come in expecting to win. All I came in to do was qualify for nationals, and I got the win and qualified for nationals. I’m very happy. That last jump, I was thinking I couldn’t let Alabama beat me and that my team is going to need me at nationals. That was running through my head. I thought that would help me get the last push.”

The NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held at Texas A&M University on March 9-10. Final qualifiers for the NCAA meet will be announced later this week.

“When we get back here in two weeks, if we want any chance of getting the (championship) trophy, we better wake up, dot our Is and cross our Ts,” UF’s veteran coach said.