Florida's Thomas Mardal crowned national champion

Special to Gatorsports.com
Thomas Mardal of Florida wins the hammer with a throw of 251-9 (76.74m) during the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field.

EUGENE, Ore. — Florida senior thrower Thomas Mardal capped his collegiate career Wednesday with a national title at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field.

Mardal secured his first outdoors title with at massive throw of 76.74 meters (251 feet, 9 inches), breaking his own school record for the third time this season and becoming the sixth-best performer in NCAA Outdoor Championships history.

"It went exactly as I was hoping for, even a little better," Mardal said. "I was hoping to hit a 75 mark today, that would be a very big achievement and hitting that big PR, it was a great feeling.

“It’s incredible. Being able to do it at this facility, at this major championship is amazing.”

Florida’s men collected 10 total team points and advanced in four events, during the first day of the meet.

On the track, redshirt freshman Joseph Fahnbulleh advanced in both the 100 and 200 meters.

In the 100 meters, Fahnbulleh logged a time of 10.21 [+0.9] seconds, setting a new personal record (wind legal). He later returned to the track to match his personal-best time in the 200 meters, crossing in 20.05 [+1.3] seconds, which ranks fourth in school history.

Meanwhile, freshman Ryan Willie will run for a championship in 400 meters. The Baltimore native moved on to the final round with a time of 45.73 seconds.

Florida’s 4x400-meter relays squad — formed by Willie, Chantz Sawyers, Jacob Miley and Kunle Fasasi — closed the evening for the Gators, advancing to the finals with a time of 3:04.74.

The men's final round is scheduled for Friday. Meanwhile, the women's team will begin competition Thursday, with their finals taking place Saturday.

For a complete list of results from the first day of competition, along with a schedule of events in which Gators are slated to compete, click here.

Coverage of this week’s championship meet will continue on the ESPN family of networks, see below for information. Additionally, a detailed broadcast and streaming schedule outlined by day and event is available here.

Thursday Broadcast

6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. | ESPN2

Friday

8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. | ESPN2

Saturday

6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | ESPNU