The Florida Gators men's track team failed in their quest to win their fourth straight NCAA Indoor National Championship over the weekend, finishing in second place, 15 points behind Arkansas. The final tally was 74 points for the Razorbacks and 59 points for the Gators, who, despite being outnumbered in total participants the Razorbacks, still put up a fight.
The Gators' tally of 59 points was the most ever scored by the runner-up and would have been enough to claim every championship since 2002. The 59 points was also more they they scored in any of their past three national championship winning seasons.
This time, though, it just wasn't enough.
Little was truly bad for the Gators on the final day of competition on Saturday: Eddie Lovett won the 60m hurdles national championship with a time of 7.50 seconds, setting a meet record and a personal record; the 4x400m relay team of Najee Glass, Hugh Graham Jr., Arman Hall and Dedric Dukes came in second overall with a time of 3:03.71 seconds, the third-fastest in collegiate history despite being second-best at the meet, and a time produced by two freshmen and two sophomores; Omar Craddock and Marquis Dendy took second and fourth in the triple jump. But Florida couldn't keep pace with an Arkansas team competing in front of a home crowd in Little Rock, .
The Gators' women's track team, came in 13th overall with a total of 17 points, with triple jumper Ciarra Brewer and miler Agata Strausa each finishing third in their respective events. In case you were curious, the Oregon Ducks claimed the women's team championship with a grand total of 56 points.
The Gators now turn to the outdoor season, and they appear to be highly motivated. They will begin their outdoor season this weekend with the UCF Black & Gold Challenge on Saturday, March 16th. We will have more on that meet in the coming days.