Gators grab 3 medals to close USATF Outdoor Championships

Christian Taylor (UF, 2009-11) competes in the men's 400 meters at the U.S. Championships athletics meet Friday, June 22, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Following a three-hour rain delay, a trio of Gators — Marquis Dendy, sophomore Grant Holloway, Kyra Jefferson— earned medals to close the USATF Outdoor Championships, bringing Florida’s four-day medal count to six.

Florida Gators Medalists – 2018 USATF Outdoors (6)

· Avione Allgood (2017-18) – Silver, Javelin Throw

·Grant Holloway – Silver, 110-meter Hurdles

·TJ Holmes (2015-17) – Silver, 400-meter Hurdles

·KeAndre Bates (2015-18) – Bronze, Triple Jump

·Marquis Dendy (2012-15) – Bronze, Long Jump

·Kyra Jefferson (2013-17) – Bronze, 200 meters

Holloway led nearly all of the 110-meter hurdles final, but 2016 Olympic finalist and two-time American champion Devon Allen closed late and took the victory by two thousandths of a second. It is Holloway’s first medal at a USATF Outdoors meet. The Chesapeake, Va., native and The Bowerman finalist will be a junior for the Gators in 2019.

After clocking nearly a half-second season best in the semifinal, run over five hours prior to the delayed final, Jefferson took third place in a tight final. The Detroit, Mich., native came off the curve in solid position and held on for the bronze medal. It is the first USATF Outdoors medal for Jefferson, a four-time NCAA champion for the Gators.

Dendy’s top long jump mark came before the rain delay, and no one was close to it following the restart. A seven-time NCAA champion and 2015 The Bowerman winner, Dendy’s bronze is his third long jump medal in the last four USATF Outdoors, previously winning gold in 2015 and silver in 2017. 

At the Jamaican Junior Championships, freshman Chantz Sawers took the 400 meters title, running 45.76 seconds and punching his ticket for July’s IAAF World U20 Championships.

 Sawyers joins fellow freshmen Taylor Manson (women’s 400 meters) and Cory Poole (men’s 110-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles) as Florida’s official qualifiers for World U20s. It is expected freshman Enzo Hodebar will represent France in the horizontal jumps as well.