The Florida Gators track and field teams set twenty one season best marks over the weekend at the LSU and Stanford Invites respectively as they gear up for the SEC Outdoor Championships that are set to begin in a little under two weeks. With eighteen of those personal or season best marks coming at the LSU Invite, I'm sure the Gators will remain in the drivers seat to claim that championship.
Led by Robin Reynolds' two victories, the women's team largely dominated all performances at the LSU Invite. Reynolds scored victories in the 400m dash (51.89s) and 4x400m relay (3:32.48s). The other three runners who helped Reynolds get the victory in the 4x400m relay were Destinee Gause, Loreal Curtis and Ebony Eutsey.
Some of the other top women performers at the LSU Invite include Bridgette Owens, who set a personal best with her victory in the 100m hurdles with a time of 12.88s. Ciarra Brewer also had a season best performance in the triple jump with a best jump of 13.58m and Fawn Miller scored a victory in the javelin with a best throw of 55.33m.
As for the men, well, they didn't disappoint either.
Hugh Graham Jr. and Antwan Wright finished 1-2 in the men's 400m dash setting personal and season bests in the process. Graham Jr's time of 45.45s would be good enough to win the NCAA Championship and Wright's personal best time of 45.55s shows that he isn't all that far behind him.
Marquis Dendy returned to form in the long jump and that was a refreshing sight to see. The junior, who has had an up and down year to say the least, turned in a best jump of 7.79m. Stipe Zunic took home the victory in the men's shot put with a best distance of 19.45m.
All in all, it was a great performance by the Gators' team out in Baton Rouge and as a result they are sure to remain at or near the top of the next USTFCCCA poll, which will be released in a few days. The Gators teams are looking good as they get ready for championship season.
Despite all those great performances at the LSU Invite, the Gators weren't quite ready to call it a weekend. They still had the Payton Jordan Invite out in California on Sunday. It was at the Payton Jordan Invite in which the Gators sent three runners and two of the three finished as the top collegiate finishers.
While Cory McGee and Agata Strausa finished eighth and ninth overall, they were the top collegiate finishers in the 1,500m run with times of 4:12.50s and 4:12.54s respectively. Becky Greene, who ran in section three of the 1,500m, finished with a personal best of 4:17.36s which was good for fourth overall amongst her group.
Up next for the Gators is the Seminole Twilight Invitational in Tallahassee, Florida which is the final meet before the teams will head to Kentucky for the SEC Outdoor Championships. The Seminole Twilight Invite, which is the regular season finale for the Gators, will be a one-day contest on May 9th.