Jeff Demps continued his great start to the 2012 outdoor track and field season. Actually, most of the Gators in action on day-one of the Pepsi Florida Relays did just that as well.
In his 100 meter dash race, Demps edged out Kemar Hyman of Florida State by 0.03 seconds. Demps' time of 10.11 seconds (+1.1 wind) was his second best of the season. Granted, that is a small sample size, but Demps isn't going to be breaking the 10-second barrier any time soon folks. Still though, a very nice run by Demps overall. It's hard to argue with yet another title.
The 200 meter dash however, was a different result for Demps. He finished a pedestrian tenth with a time of 20.64 seconds. Eleventh and twelfth-place finishers were also Gators: Dedric Dukes (20.65 seconds) and Leonardo Seymore (20.71 seconds).
Tony McQuay also won his event in a similar fashion to Demps' win. McQuay won the 400 meter dash with a time of 45.65 seconds. The similarity being he also won by 0.03 seconds. Hugh Graham Jr., finished in a respectable twelfth in the 400 meter with a time of 46.93 seconds.
Stipe Zunic cruised to a victory in the javelin, winning by almost two meters. His winning distance of 73.38 meters easily outpaced Kentucky's Raymond Dykstra's 71.43 meters. They were the only two competitors to crack the 70-meter barrier.
David Triassi continued his strong start to the season for the Gators as well by finishing fourth overall in the hammer throw. His distance of 57.87 meters was accomplished on his first throw of the afternoon. David Levin, finished fourteenth in the hammer throw with a best distance of 51.64 meters. In the hammer throw invite, which is a different "event" than the normal section, Jeremy Postin finished fifth with a distance of 67.78 meters.
Speaking of the invite events, Marquis Dendy continued to show why he is the best long jumper in the country. His second jump of 7.68 meters sealed yet another title for the freshman.
Tyler Cardillo and John Mitchell finished seventh and eighth in the 800 meter run with times of 1:48.85 seconds and 1:49.20 seconds respectively. Mark Parrish finished third in the 3,000 meter steeplechase (9:01.01 seconds) and Josh Izewski gave the Gators their first distance title in a long time by winning the 5,000 meter run with a time of 14:02.57 seconds.
A great day overall by the men. It's no wonder why they are the No. 1 ranked team in the country. After the jump, we'll break down how the women performed on the first day of the Pepsi Florida Relays.
While not the first women track and field athlete to get into the action for the Gators, Ugonna Ndu gave the Gators their first respectable finish. Her twelfth-place finish in the 100 meter hurdles in a time of 13.83 seconds had to be broken down to the thousandth of a second due to a three-way tie across the line.
Ndu also had a good race in the 400 meter hurdles as well. Her time of 57.59 seconds was good enough for sixth-place.
Lorraine Graham, with a distance of 6.20 meters, won the long jump by 0.02 meters over Tynita Butts of East Carolina. Lanie Whittaker and Ebony Eutsey followed that up with second and third-place finishes in 400 meter dash respectively. Whittaker and Eutsey were separated by 0.01 seconds (52.06 seconds to 52.07 seconds).
Darshay Davis finished fifth in the 100 meter dash, 0.05 seconds out of fourth. Her time of 11.48 seconds isn't going to be good enough to ever win the title, but it's good enough to consistently finish in (or near) the top-five at every meet. In the 200 meter dash, Davis finished third with a time of 23.03 seconds.
Genevieve LaCaze (2:07.70 seconds) finished fourth and Mandy Perkins (2:07.79 seconds) finished sixth in the 800 meter run for the Gators, while Sarah Davis came across the line just outside of tenth.
Agata Strausa set the Pepsi Florida Relays record in winning the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 10:21.03 seconds. Her time shattered the previous record set in 2010 by former Gators runner Julie Northrup.
Taylor Burke (seventh in the long jump),Callie Cooper (eleventh in the 1,500 meter run), Doniela Griffin (eighth in the long jump invite) and Ashley Miller (fourth in the discus invite) were some other notables for the women Gators on the first day of the Pepsi Florida Relays.
You can follow all of Saturday's action (day two, of two) online courtesy of Delta Timing.