Florida Women Take Home NCAA Indoor Title
This past weekend the Florida Gators Track and Field Team traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to compete at the NCAA Indoor National Championships.
Things got rolling Friday morning with Anna Hall and Sterling Lester competing in the pentathlon. In the very first event, Hall posted a personal best in the 60mH and Lester also posted a season best in that same event. Hall finished in first for the pentathlon with a score of 4586, as she becomes the first pentathlon champion in school history. Lester also finished 10th in the pentathlon posting a score of 4151, a season best for her.
Later in the day the men’s qualifying rounds took place, and the Gators placed three 400m runners in the final race. Dedrick Vanover (60m) and Sam Austin (800m) just missed the qualifying mark for the final as Vanover finished in ninth and Austin finished in 10th.
The first day ended with the women competing as Jasmine Moore winning the long jump by tiebreaker and Claire Bryant placing seventh. Moore jumped 6.57m, which did tie with Texas Tech’s Monae’ Nichols so it came down to the second-best jump which Moore outdid Nichols with a mark of 6.56m. Both 60m runners for the Gators, Grace Stark and Semira Killebrew, qualified for the finals. Stark also qualified for the 60mH final. In addition to that, Talitha Diggs qualified for the 400m finals. Imogen Barrett finished in 10th in the 800m race and did not qualify for the final. Barrett finished as a Second Team All American.
To open the second and final day the men’s 400m race was the first race for the Gators. Champion Allison did not finish the race for the Gators, but Ryan Willie ended up in fourth with a time of 45.96 seconds. Jacory Patterson also equaled his season best as he came in fifth with a time of 45.97 seconds. Without their anchor Champion Allison, the Gators 4x400m relay finished seventh with a time of 3:06.19.
In the evening, the Florida Gator women ended their indoor season on fire. Grace Stark finished in fourth in the 60m dash adding five points to the team score. Semira Killebrew also equaled her personal best with a time of 7.18 seconds, coming in sixth place and adding three points.
Then, Talitha Diggs climbed into the blocks and ran a blazing time of 50.98 seconds in the 400m dash, giving her the first place finish and adding 10 points to the count. This time is also a personal best for Diggs. Grace Stark continued the momentum for Florida as she wins the 60mH race in a time of 7.78 seconds, equaling the collegiate record. Stark’s time is a personal best, meet record and facility record as well.
As the end was in sight the Gators, the women just kept adding to the count. The final event that was scored for Florida was their most dominant, the Triple Jump. Jasmine Moore took home another first place trophy as on her very first jump she broke her own collegiate record with a mark of 14.57m. This jump also broke the meet record and facility record. Natricia Hooper places second for the Gators as she jumped 13.99m. The two combined for another 18 points added to the score.
Jasmine Moore is the first women to win the NCAA Indoor Conference and National Titles for both triple and long jump in the same season. That my friends is a lot of hardware.
The Florida women finished with 68 points, plenty to win the competition and take home the team title. The women finished with 5 individual NCAA Titles and 10 All Americans.
Next, both the men and women team will make their outdoor debut at Texas Relays March 23rd – 26th and at Raleigh Relays March 25th and March 26th.
Feature Photo Credit: @GatorsTF on Twitter