Florida's team of Najee Glass, Hugh Graham, Jr., Dedric Dukes, and Arman "Gino" Hall didn't just hold its own in a loaded field featuring teams with multiple Olympic medalists — the Gators won, setting a school record in 2:59.73, turning in an ultra-rare sub-3:00.00 time in the event, and putting up the No. 2 time in the event in NCAA history.
Predictably, the GatorVision video of this is also pretty cool.
It was one of many great performances from the weekend in Gainesville, but these Gators all did something tremendous, especially Hall, whose anchor leg of 43.7 (or 43.8) seconds was absolutely monstrous. The time trails only a 2005 time of 2:59.59 turned in by LSU among college teams.
Where it ranks among 4x400 teams that aren't just college teams is even more remarkable. A time of 2:59.73 would have placed second behind the United States at the 2009, 2011, and 2013 World Championships, would have won bronze at the 2008 Olympics, and would have placed the Gators fifth at the 2012 Olympics.
And that Gainesville Elite team that Florida beat? It was great.
David Verburg, part of that 2013 World Championships-winning U.S. team, led off. He handed off to Torrin Lawrence, the 2010 NCAA champion in the 400. Lawrence handed off to Christian Taylor, a former Gator and mutant/beast/cyborg/freak athlete who won gold in the triple jump at the 2012 Olympics and is running the 400 again because there are no world championships to win in the jumping events this year. Taylor handed off to Kerron Clement, another former Gator, the world record-holder in the indoor 400 meters, and part of the U.S. 4x400 relay team that won gold at two World Championships and the Olympics from 2007 to 2009.
Basically, Florida was running against a pseudo-Dream Team of Olympic-caliber athletes and record-holders ... and won.
For this and many other reasons, Florida's men's outdoor track team debuted at No. 1 in the outdoor season's first in-season rankings, released Tuesday.