The Florida Gators men's track and field team finished second, behind Arkansas, in the SEC Indoor Championships. Despite holding a lead heading into Sunday and continuing to hold that lead halfway through the events on the final day, the Gators were finally passed by Arkansas.
Disappointing finishes for the Gators and great finishes by the Razorbacks in the 60m dash, mile and 800m finals proved to be the deciding factors.
Jeff Demps, who is the Gators' pride and joy, surprisingly finished in third place in the 60m dash finals. While he picked up 6 points for his effort, he lost by .01 seconds. First place went to Harry Adams of Auburn and Michael Granger of Ole Miss crossed the line in second.
The most eventful final in my opinion was the 60m hurdles finals. While Eddie Lovett took home the SEC Championship for the Gators, Gray Horn and William Wynne finished fourth and fifth respectively. Horn entered the finals solely for the purpose of picking up points and that's exactly what he did. The Gators as a team earned 19 points from the 60m hurdles.
After the 60m events, the Gators held on to a 75-62 point lead.
However, the most disappointing event on the day was the mile run. By finishing fifth, Tyler Cardillo was the lone Gator to score any points. He picked up four, while Arkansas as a team picked up 21 points by finishing first, third and fourth. At this point, Arkansas took a 83-79 lead in the points and never looked back.
Tony McQuay also picked up an SEC Championship of his own in the 400m dash, with a time of 45.92s. Also in the 400m dash, Hugh Graham Jr. finished fifth with a time 46.54s. In the 800m final, Arkansas placed three runners in the Top 5, while the Gators could manage only one runner (Sean Obinwa) in the Top 5. Obinwa was passed in the last 200m of the race and finished second.
The Gators would make one final attempt at a comeback in the field event finals by winning the shot put and triple jump, but Arkansas was just too far ahead. Omar Craddock and Kemal Mesic won the triple jump and shot to claim the SEC Championship in their events.
As always in track and field meets, the medley's (distance and 4x400) were the last events to be run. The Gators managed to finish in second place overall in the distance medley, but Arkansas finished in first which put the SEC Championship officially out of reach for the Gators.
The final Top 5 men's standings were:
1) Arkansas: 151 points
2) Florida: 137 points
3) Georgia: 85.50 points
4) LSU: 68.50 points
5) Auburn: 56 points
On the women's side, the Gators were able to claim the team SEC Championship. Lorraine Graham and Florance Ngetich captured individual Championships as well in the long jump and 5,000m run.
While those events were the lone victories for the Gators on the women's side, they were very consistent in nearly every other event. The Gators amassed second and/or third place finishes in the distance and 4x400m medleys, 400m dash, 5,000m run, mile run and weight throw.
The final Top 5 women's standings were:
1) Florida: 132 points
2) LSU: 109 points
3) Arkansas: 99 points
4) Tennessee: 68 points
5) Georgia: 52 points