By Zach Abolverdi, Correspondent
Florida junior Grant Holloway, former Gator Christian Taylor and the men’s 4×100-meter relay team shined Saturday during the second day of the Tom Jones Memorial Track and Field meet at James G. Pressly Stadium.
Holloway won the men’s 110-meter hurdles at 13.25 seconds, the second-fastest time in the world this year. He defeated UNA’s Nicholas Anderson (13.86) and Florida State’s Tyricke Highman (13.91).
“I felt good about my run,” said Holloway, who owns the second-fastest time in collegiate history (13.15 seconds). “I ran 13.34 in prelims and executed way better than I did a month ago. I came back for the final and really just focused on making sure I’m not as tight in my chest area.
“I executed from the start to the finish, actually for the first time in my three years here, I would say. So I guess Coach (Mike) Holloway and I are doing good.”
Holloway also led UF to victory in the men’s 4×100-meter relay over No. 9 Florida State, which finished in second place (39.14 seconds). The Gators’ team of junior Raymond Ekevwo, sophomore Hakim Sani Brown, Holloway and senior Ryan Clark won in 38.52 seconds, topping their previous season best of 38.55 seconds last week at top-ranked LSU.
Florida’s time of 38.52 seconds is also the fifth-best in school history.
“We’re staying consistent,” Holloway said of the relay team. “We’ve had a couple hiccups here and there that we need to fix, but each week we’re getting better. We’re the only team in the NCAA right now that’s ran 38.5 three times.”
Sani Brown took first in the men’s 100-meter dash with a time of 10.06 seconds [+2.2]. Ekevwo came in third at 10.12 seconds behind UNA’s Kemar Hyman (10.10) and Clark finished 12th (10.30). The times from Sani Brown and Ekevwo both rank in the top-10 nationally.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor took the men’s triple jump at 17.13 meters, the fifth-best mark in the world. If not for the wind, Taylor would have broken a 39-year-old stadium record. Florida’s Yanis Davis won the women’s triple jump (13.69 m), fellow senior Asa Garcia placed fourth (13.20 m) and junior Kala Penn finished sixth (12.73 m).
Olympic gold medalist quarter-miler Tony McQuay also returned to his alma mater Saturday, finishing fourth in the men’s 400-meter dash at 46.07 seconds. McQuay’s PURE Athletics teammate, Machel Cedenio, won the race (45.03).
UF sophomore Chantz Sawyers placed sixth at 46.26 seconds, junior Cole Johnson (11th) set a personal record of 46.64 records and sophomore Benjamin Lobo Vedel (12th) recorded a season-best 46.69 seconds.
Other Gator highlights:
In the women’s 400-meter dash, senior Sharrika Barnett (51.88) and sophomore Taylor Manson (52.53) placed fourth and fifth, respectively, behind PURE Athletics runners Shaunae Miller-Uibo (49.05), Shakima Wimbley (51.32) and Chrisann Gordon (51.33). Miller-Uibo won with the world’s fastest time.
The Gators dominated the men’s discus throw, with top-five finishes from sophomores Connor Bandel (54.61 meters, first place) and Thomas Mardal (53.04 m) and freshmen Edward Shelikoff (51.16 m) and Adam Schuler (49.90 m).
Freshmen Gabrielle Wilkinson won the women’s 1500-meter run at 4:23.41, followed by juniors Elisabeth Bergh (4:23.89) and Jessica Pascoe (4:24.82) in the top three. Sophomore Justin Pacifico placed fourth in the men’s 1500-meter run at 3:45.21.
Freshmen Grace Blair finished second (11:17.43) in the women’s 3000 steeplechase, while sophomore Blake Lowery (9.44:71) came in third in the men’s 3000 steeplechase.
Complete results at halfmiletiming.com.