They were shinning like lighters in the dark in the middle of a rock show.
The Florida Gators men's track and field team won their first-ever national championship yesterday at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships hosted by Drake University. After back-to-back-to-back NCAA Indoor National Championships and back-to-back-to-back failures during the outdoor season, they finally broke through.
The Gator men finished two-points clear of second-place LSU (50-48) and were ten-points clear of last year's champion, Texas A&M. Florida State and Virginia Tech rounded out the top five with thirty-eight and thirty-three points respectively.
They were doing it right.
The Gators entered the 110 meter hurdles in third-place (behind the leader, FSU, and second-place LSU) but were only two points out of first. Eddie Lovett responded with a very respectable fifth-place finish with a time of 13.82 seconds. Lovett's finish moved the Gators into second-place and but they remained two-points behind new leader LSU heading into the last event, the 4x400 meter relay.
They were coming alive.
The 4x400 meter relay team that consisted of Dedric Dukes, Hugh Graham Jr., Leonardo Seymore and Tony McQuay ran the second-fastest relay time in the world this year with a time of 3:00.22 seconds. With the win the Gators received all ten points and by virtue of LSU's third-place finish in same relay race, the Gators pulled into the overall points lead.
It would probably be a fax-paux of sorts to write all this and not mention how the women's team performed on the final day of the Championships. In the finals of the women's triple jump, Ciarra Brewer finished fourth with a best jump of 13.65 meters.
To finish up the women's side of things for the Gators, Cory McGee finished sixth overall in the 1,500 meter run with a time of 4:14.95 seconds and the 4x400 meter relay team of Ebony Eutsey, Amani Bryant, Lanie Whittaker and Ugonna Ndu finished seventh with a time of 3:32.36 seconds.
The women's team ended up in a tie with Southern Mississippi for twelfth-place with a total of eighteen points.