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Gators Make Outdoor Debut in Austin & Raleigh

The Florida Gators track and field team traveled to the Austin, Texas to compete in the Texas Relays and also sent distance runners to Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Things got going early Wednesday morning as the first part of the pentathlon began.

Anna Hall finished a wonderful performance on Thursday running the 800m in 2:04.61.

Hall finished with a total score of 6412 points, a new personal best, a new school record as well as the national leading score. Sterling Lester also finished in fifth with a total of 5616 points.

Also on Thursday, Vanessa Watson qualified for the finals in the 400mH.

On Friday, things started to heat up. Both the men's and women's 4x100m relay teams qualified for the final, as well as PJ Austin running the qualifying round of the 100m dash in 10.17 seconds (1.1 m/s) and qualifying for the finals.

Edward Shelikoff also made his season debut throwing the discus as he finished first in Section B. His mark of 56.98m is a personal best and the 10th best mark in school history.

Heading over to the runway, Natricia Hooper finished in first in the triple jump as she put down a mark of 13.91m.

To end the day in Austin, Vanessa Watson finished fourth in the 400mH final with a time of 57.38 seconds. This time is the seventh fastest in school history.

Over at Raleigh Relays, Maria Fernandez ran the 5000m race and finished with a time of 16:39.31, about a 12 second personal best for her. A handful of freshmen also made their debut in the 1500 on Thursday. Joe Wester finished with a time of 3:50.79, followed by Matthew Mule who finished in 3:51.42.

Action on Saturday began with the men competing in the 4x200m relay race. The squad of Dedrick Vanover, Jacory Patterson, Ryan Willie and Jacob Miley ended up in third with a time of 1:21.02.

Continuing the competition, the men’s 4x100m relay squad was the talk of the day. The group started with Dedrick Vanover, who handed to Tyler Davis, then came PJ Austin and once the anchor, Olympian Joseph Fahnbulleh, got the stick it was never in question. Florida finished in first with a time of 38.47 seconds, which is also fourth in school history.

Heading back over to the runway, the Gators were jumping pretty good on this hot and sunny Saturday in Austin. For the men, Caleb Foster leaped to 8.00m (3.6 m/s) and Malcom Clemons was right behind him with a mark of 7.99m (3.7m/s).

On the women’s side, on her fourth attempt Jasmine Moore jumped 6.75m (1.7 m/s) which places her second in school history. Claire Bryant, the Texas native, finished with a jump of 6.73m (1.9 m/s) and this mark moves her into third in school history.

To end the weekend action, as always it was the 4x400m relay race. The men team composed of Jacory Patterson, Ryan Willie, Jacob Miley, and Joseph Fahnbulleh opened the season with a time of 3:02.20, the second fastest time in the nation.

Looking ahead, the Gators will compete in Gainesville, Florida at Florida Relays on April 1st & 2nd.

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