Florida’s Men Win 2016 NCAA DI Outdoor Team Title

EUGENE, Oregon — The Florida Gators are national champions once again.

Using 18 points in the 400 hurdles, 14 from KeAndre Bates, 13 in the 400, 13 in the relays and four in the hammer throw, Florida rolled to its third NCAA outdoor title in the past five years.

It wasn’t locked up until the Gators finished second in the 4×400, though. If Florida finished worse than seventh — or committed the Cardinal sin of dropping the baton — Arkansas would capture its first crown since 2003. The Gators’ foursome of Kunle Fasasi, Arman Hall, Hugh Graham Jr. and Najee Glass came through — just like it had throughout Friday’s proceedings.

This was a far cry from the sixth-place finish Florida had at the SEC Championships, but it might have actually helped them according to head coach Mike Holloway.

“That’s a plus for us sometimes to just be able to run without all the hoopla — there was some hoopla about some of the other teams — and just fly under the radar,” Holloway said. “There wasn’t anybody who thought we would be standing here right now. That’s why we’re standing here right now, because they (the team) really believed and really thought it was going to happen.”

The Gators were one of five SEC teams in the top-6 along with runner-up Arkansas, third-place Texas A&M, fifth-place LSU and sixth-place Tennessee. Two-time defending champion Oregon took fourth.

We’ll have plenty more from Day 3 of the 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Fiele Championships later.