By Zach Dirlam, UF Sports Information
Florida all-around track sensation Grant Holloway is the 2018-19 Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Male Athlete of the Year after a vote of the conference’s athletic directors, the leagueWednesday.
Holloway topped a group of male nominees that included Alabama football’s Tua Tagovailoa, Kentucky linebacker and top-10 NFL Draft pick Josh Allen, Tennessee basketball’s Grant Williams, as well as Vanderbilt outfielder and top-five MLB Draft pick JJ Bleday.
This is the seventh time a Gators student-athlete garnered the award, first distributed in 1976. Florida’s past winners are Caeleb Dressel (2018, swimming), Tim Tebow (2008-09, football), Ryan Lochte (2005, swimming), and Danny Wuerffel (1996-97, football).
Other notable winners since the award’s inception are Herschel Walker (1983, Georgia football), Bo Jackson (1986, Auburn football), Shaquille O’Neal (1991-92, LSU basketball), Jamal Mashburn (1993, Kentucky basketball), Todd Helton (1995, Tennessee baseball), Peyton Manning (1998, Tennessee football), David Price (2007, Vanderbilt baseball), Mark Ingram (2010, Alabama football), and Anthony Davis (2012, Kentucky basketball).
“Grant and Maria are perfect examples of what it means to be a student-athlete in the Southeastern Conference. They have competed at the highest level of collegiate athletics and through their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence have been successful in their endeavors both in competition and in the classroom,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “They are outstanding representatives of their universities as both students and athletes, and the SEC is proud to honor them for their accomplishments.”
Holloway won four individual national titles, set three collegiate records and an American record, and put his name all over the collegiate all-time top 10 lists.
The Chesapeake, Va., native is also a finalist for The Bowerman, collegiate track and field’s highest individual honor and the sport’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
Holloway won his third consecutive 110-meter hurdles national title in 12.98 seconds, breaking Renaldo Nehemiah’s 40-year-old collegiate record of 13.00 seconds and tying Americans Mark Crear (1999) and Jason Richardson (2012) for the No. 18 ranking on the world all-time list. The NCAA Outdoor Championships victory also made Holloway the only collegian in history to sweep the indoor and outdoor high hurdles titles three consecutive years.
The same day, Holloway ran the third leg for Florida’s collegiate record-breaking 4×100 relay team, which won the NCAA Outdoors title in 37.97 seconds. And he capped it all off with a 43.75-second split for Florida’s 4×400 relay team, which finished second and tied the fourth-fastest time in collegiate history (2:59.60).
At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Holloway demolished his own collegiate record and broke a 32-year-old American record to win the 60-meter hurdles, crossing in 7.35 seconds. The time was the fourth-fastest in history and made him the No. 3 performer on the world all-time list.
Holloway also won the 60 meters title and became the third man in Division I history to complete the straightaway sweep. Even more impressive, he did it with the fastest single-day combined time in the sport’s history (13.85 seconds).
Grant Holloway’s Additional 2019 Achievements
· Third man in the world to break 13.00 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles since the start of 2016 (Omar McLeod, Sergey Shubenkov)
· Scored second-most individual points in NCAA Indoor Championships history (27.5 – won 60 meters and 60-meter hurdles, third in long jump, third in 4×400 relay)
· Posted five 110 hurdles times that rank among the 11 fastest in collegiate history (12.98 / 13.07 / 13.10 / 13.12 / 13.16), as well as the world-leading time and five of the world’s 10 fastest times this year
· Posted four of the six fastest 60 hurdles times in collegiate history (7.35 / 7.43 / 7.44 / 7.44 – fifth man in history to break 7.45 seconds four times in a season), as well as the world-leading time and seven of the world’s 10 fastest times this year
· Joined South Carolina’s Terrence Trammell (2000) and Tennessee’s Willie Gault (1983) as the only men to sweep the 60 hurdles and 60 meters titles at NCAA Indoors (Gault did it in the 55-meter hurdles and 55 meters, the distance run prior to 1999)
· Only man in outdoor track and field history to break 13.10 seconds in the 110 hurdles and wind-legally long jump at least 8.00 meters, according to athlete bios maintained by the IAAF
· Joined Trammell and Great Britain’s Colin Jackson as the only other men in indoor track and field history to break 7.40 seconds in the 60 hurdles and run 6.50 or faster in the 60 meters.
· Joined Leroy Burrell and Dwight Phillips as the only men in indoor track and field history to run 6.51 seconds or faster in the 60 and long jump at least 8.00 meters, a feat Holloway accomplished in less than 21 hours at January’s Razorback Invitational
· Became No. 8 performer on the collegiate all-time top 10 in the 60 meters with a time equal to 10th-fastest in collegiate history (6.50 seconds – broke Jeff Demps’ school record)
· Ran the third- and fourth-fastest 60 meters times in the world for 2019 (6.50 / 6.51)
· Broke Marquis Dendy’s school record for career individual national titles (eight)
· Scored 28 individual points at SEC Indoor Championships (second man in history to win 60 meters and 60-meter hurdles; took second in long jump), breaking the previous meet record of 22.5