MEET RECAP: Florida Men, Arkansas Women Capture Team Titles At NCAA DI Indoor Championships
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The SEC reigns again!
For the second year in a row and the 13th time in the past 32 years, the SEC swept the team titles at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Florida ran away with the men’s team trophy, while Arkansas held off Southern California for the women’s crown. It was the fifth indoor title in program history for the Gators and the second in program history for the Razorbacks.
Florida had a clear-cut advantage entering the final day of the meet as it owned the most remaining entries out of any men’s team (10), with multiple athletes scheduled to compete in the weight throw and 60. Oh, and the Gators also had Grant Holloway, arguably the most talented athlete in the meet, ready to try his hand at the 60, 60 hurdles and the 4×400 relay.
By the end of the day, Florida amassed 55 points – 11 more than runner-up Houston – and Holloway accounted for 27½ of those, which is the second largest total in NCAA DI history behind Edward Cheserek’s near-perfect 28 from 2016.
After finishing third in the long jump on Friday, Holloway turned his attention to history on Saturday. Holloway entered the final day ranked No. 1 in both the 60 and 60 hurdles and if he swept both, he would become the first athlete to do so since Terrence Trammell in 2000.
True to form, Holloway handled business in both. Holloway first smashed the collegiate record, set an American record and became the third fastest man in world history in the 60 hurdles with his time of 7.35. Then he outdistanced Houston’s Mario Burke by 0.05 seconds for the sweep.
While Holloway stole the spotlight, he wasn’t the only Gator to step up when it mattered as they had seven different athletes score points, including relays. Hakim Sani Brown and Ryan Clark stood out the most as the combined with Holloway to give Florida 19 points in the 60.
The aforementioned Cougars finished runner-up for their best placing in program history, while LSU finished third and there was a fourth-place tie between Stanford and Wisconsin.
Arkansas bided its time – but when that time finally came, Lance Harter’s team thrived.
Behind 21 points in the pole vault and 10 more in the 3000, the Razorbacks scored 43 of their 62 points in the final four events of the meet.
Lexi Jacobus, Tori Hoggard and Desiree Freier got it started for Arkansas in the pole vault. Jacobus won the event for the third time in the past four years, while Hoggard finished third and Freier took fourth with a personal best of 4.46m (14-7½).
Taylor Werner and Lauren Gregory continued the trend in the 3000 as they finished second and seventh, respectively. Werner contended for the win throughout the race.
Arkansas entered the 4×400 up eight points on Southern California, which meant if the Razorbacks finished no worse than seventh they would claim at least a share of the title. Morgan Burks Magee, Kiara Parker, Kethlin Campbell and Payton Chadwick made sure Arkansas would have the title by its lonesome when they got the baton around in 3:30.86 to finish third, three spots better than the Women of Troy.
Southern California recorded its second runner-up finish in program history (1986), while Oregon and Ohio State rounded out the podium.