The Florida Gators men's and women's track and field teams were both successful on Saturday if you look past the current standings. And since I'm a "glass half full" type of guy (not really when it comes to sports, but it does sound better) that's how we're going to look at things.
While both teams are in fourth-place after day-three, both teams appear to be in good shape for Sunday. Through six events the men's team has 26 points and through nine events the women's team has 39 points. Both teams are behind Arkansas, Georgia and LSU in some order. If you're wondering, Arkansas leads the men's teams and Georgia is in first-place on the women's side of things.
In Saturday's women's field events, jumper Taylor Burke (who is also the starting goalkeeper on the soccer team) won the SEC Championship in the high jump with a best height of 1.83 meters. She accomplished that Championship by clearing 1.83 meters on her first five jumps.
In the long jump finals, Daniela Griffin finished fifth overall with a best distance of 5.67 meters and picked up four points for her effort. Coming off of her heptathlon victory, Brittany Harrell finished last in the javelin with a best distance of 36.72 meters.
As for the women's track events, Genevieve LaCaze won the 3,000 meter steeplechase SEC Championship with a time of 10:13.99 seconds. For her championship she picked up ten points and moved the Gators closer to the top of the standings.
Darshay Davis qualified for the finals on Sunday in the 100 meter dash with a qualifying time of 11.34 seconds. Lanie Whittaker and Ebony Eutsey both qualified for the finals of the 400 meter dash with times of 53.22 and 52.67 seconds respectively. In the 100 meter hurdles, Ugonna Ndu qualified for the finals with a time of 13.38 seconds. There were five women's qualifiers for the finals in the 1,500 meter run in Agata Strausa, LaCaze, Cory McGee, Shelby Hayes and Mandy Perkins. They finished first, fourth, fifth, eighth and eleventh respectively.
As always, more on the men's team and a preview (and schedule) of Sunday's events after the jump.
In one of the more disappointing aspects of the Championships thus far, Omar Craddock and Marquis Dendy failed to live up to expectations in the long jump finishing seventh and eighth respectively. Craddock's best jump of 7.70 meters earned the Gators two points and Dendy's best jump of 7.60 meters earned the Gators a single point.
The Gators (men's) aren't going to win the SEC Championship by under-performing. Especially since they're missing Gray Horns automatic ten points in the decathlon.
While we're on the subject of disappointing, neither Dedric Dukes or Leonardo Seymore will be competing in the 100 meter finals on Sunday either after finishing tenth and sixteenth in the prelims. Losing Jeff Demps to a "tweaked" hamstring hurts. Much in the same way that losing Horn hurts. That's nearly 20 points left out in the open.
In the 400 meter dash prelims, Tony McQuay cruised to a second-place finish with a time of 45.88 seconds. He finished 0.04 seconds behind Torrin Lawrence of Georgia and I suspect that it will be one of them who will win the SEC Championship on Sunday.
Does that count as going out on a limb? No? Didn't really think so. Remember, I'm a "glass half full" type of guy. Or so, whatever.
In the 110 meter hurdles prelims, Eddie Lovett continued to impress with a second-place finish. His time of 13.74 seconds guarantees that he'll be running the hurdles on Sunday. Mark Parrish missed out on points by finishing ninth in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:18.03 seconds.
The action resumes Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and continues on until roughly 7:30 p.m. For a quick reference guide on Sunday's schedule, here's a neat spreadsheet:
(Schedule graph via GatorZone)
(Please note on the schedule that the times listed are in central time.)
As you have throughout the entire meet, you can view all results up-to-the-minute online courtesy of Delta Timing. You can also watch the action live on ESPN3 if you so choose. Also, ESPNU will air a highlight show of the Championships on May 23rd from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET if you missed any of the action and prefer to watch things on the television.