Gators win individual titles at SEC Outdoors Championships


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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Florida won a trio of individual titles – two from its women and another from its men – on the final day of the SEC Outdoor Championships, as the men’s team finished second in the team race, while the women settled for a tie for fifth place.

LSU won the men’s meet, while Arkansas won the women’s. The Gators won both last year.

But the night may be remembered for an upset in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, where UF stalwart Grant Holloway finished second to Kentuckey’s Daniel Roberts, who equaled the second-fastest time in collegiate history and the meet record (13.07) set by Holloway in Friday’s preliminary.

Sophomore Hakim Sani Brown gave the Gators their second title of the weekend on the men’s side, as he and teammate Raymond Ekevwo combined for a 1-2 finish in a stellar 100 meters final. Sani Brown clocked a wind-legal 9.99 seconds, tying Bernard Williams’ school record from the 2000 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Florida’s 1-2 finish was the first of its kind since 2014, when Texas A&M’s Prezel Hardy Jr. and Shavez Hart swept the top two spots. Sani Brown’s title is the ninth in program history and first since Jeff Demps (2010) and Terrell Wilks (2011) won it in consecutive years.

Senior Yanis David and freshman Imogen Barrett captured individual titles to lead Florida’s women, giving the Gators five individual championships for the meet – which marked the program’s highest total since winning six in 2012.

David completed the indoor and outdoor horizontal jumps sweep with the third-farthest triple jump mark in collegiate history (14.35 meters / 47 feet, 1 inch). The Lamentin, Guadeloupe native popped the huge jump on her sixth and final attempt. Only Georgia’s Keturah Orji, who graduated last year, jumped farther as a collegian.

David joined Gator Great and Olympian Shara Proctor (2010) as the only other women in history to win all four horizontal jumps SEC titles (indoor and outdoor long jump and triple jump) in the same year. Her title is the ninth in school history and first since Ciarra Brewer’s in 2014.

Barrett became the first freshman to win the 1,500 meters title since Tennessee’s Sarah Bowman in 2006. The Australian stayed with the pack much of the race, then swung wide and outkicked the rest of the field in the closing 100 meters. It is the sixth 1,500 meters crown in school history, and Barrett is the first Gators runner to win it since Cory McGee in 2014. 

On Friday night, Florida won two individual titles, broke a meet record and two facility records.

Sophomore combined events athlete Amanda Froeynes entered the seventh and final event of the heptathlon, the 800 meters, trailing by 319 points – which meant she would need to finish the race almost 25 seconds faster than the leader (something unlikely, but not unheard of) to win. Froeynes set a personal record of 2:11.97 and crossed 24.95 seconds clear of six-event leader Tyra Gittens from Texas A&M. That gap was enough for Froeynes to win the heptathlon by eight points, a razor-thin margin, with the nation’s fourth-highest overall score (5,801 points).

Froeynes’ heptathlon title is the third in program history. The other two belong to Brittany Harrell (2012) and Heidi Mann (1987).

Senior Yanis David, who swept both the long jump and triple jump titles at February’s SEC Indoor Championships, broke the John McDonnell Field record en route to her third conference title of the year. David’s top mark of 6.65 meters (21 feet, 10 inches) secured the fourth SEC Outdoors long jump title in school history, and the first since Olympian Shara Proctor won two in a row in 2009 and 2010. Her mark also ranks second nationally.

Junior Grant Holloway broke the facility record and his own SEC Outdoors record in the 110-meter hurdles, as he ran the second-fastest time in collegiate history (13.07 seconds) in the prelims. Later in the evening, the Chesapeake, Va., native scored three points with a sixth-place finish in the long jump.