Wilkinson wins gold, Gators collect 7 medals at SEC Outdoors

Special to Gatorsports.com
Florida sophomore Gabrielle Wilkinson won the 1,500-meter race Saturday at the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Redshirt sophomore Gabrielle Wilkinson was crowned SEC champion in the 1,500 meters during the final day of the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, helping the Florida women’s team to a sixth-place finish Saturday night.

The UF men finished fourth with a total of 74 points. Arkansas won both the women and men's championship

“I think as a whole, the team does a great effort across the board," UF coach Mike Holloway said. "There's always a bump here and a bump there, but I think that everybody — even the people that didn't run well — walked away today with a great attitude and worked hard… Overall, I thought everyone came in here and fought hard and did a phenomenal job and I'm really proud of them.”

Wilkinson rallied during the last stretch of the race, moving all the way from third place to take the lead and clinch her first SEC gold medal with a time of 4:15.28.

“It feels amazing," Wilkinson said. "Just knowing that you did all the hard work and it's paid off. This is a great feeling to be able to score for my team, so it's been really good.”

Wilkinson’s SEC title is the second consecutive 1,500 meters conference crown for the Gators, as Imogen Barrett won it in 2019.

Wilkinson’s gold medal adds to thrower Thomas Mardal’s SEC crown, which he clinched during the first day of competition.

Including Wilkinson and Mardal’s SEC titles, the Gators collected 11 top-3 finishes throughout the championship meet.

Redshirt freshman Grace Stark finished second Saturday in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 12.74 [+3.6] seconds.

Meanwhile on the men’s side, Joseph Fahnbulleh clocked a time of 20.05 [+1.7] in the 200 meters to win a silver medal. A personal record for Fahnbulleh, that time ranks fourth in UF history and second in the NCAA this year.

Fellow sprinter Dedrick Vanover also earned a medal. The Gainesville native logged the fifth-fastest time in Division I, crossing in 10.03 [+3.2] seconds to earn bronze in the 100 meters.

Freshman Talitha Diggs collected a bronze medal in the 400 meters with a time of 51.27 seconds. 

In the jumps Natricia Hooper, earned a bronze medal in the triple jump with a mark of 13.93 meters (45 feet, 8.25 inches) [+5.1]. Hooper moved the No. 2 spot UF’s Outdoor All-Time Top 10 list with a wind legal jump of 13.92 meters [+1.9] and joined fellow jumpers Claire Bryant (Long Jump, Silver), and Clayton Brown (High Jump, Bronze), in earning top-3 finishes at SECs.

Florida’s 4x400-meter relays squad, formed Taylor Manson, Sterling Lester, Doneisha Anderson and Talitha Diggs, finished the weekend for the Gators on high note, logging a time of 3:28.33 to earn a silver medal.

The Arkansas men won with 129 points, followed by Alabama (109), LSU (108), Florida (74), Kentucky (70), Tennessee (67), Texas A&M (67), Georgia (48), Ole Miss (43), Auburn (30), Mississippi State (29), South Carolina (23) and Missouri (22).

The Arkansas women won with 127 points, followed by LSU (120.5), Alabama (116), Texas A&M (82), Georgia (64), Florida (62), Auburn (59), Ole Miss (55), Tennessee (38), South Carolina (29), Kentucky (28), Missouri (26) and Mississippi State (11.5)

This marks the 20th SEC outdoor title for the Arkansas men and the ninth for the Arkansas women.