Special report on the Florida Gators track team.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Behind a 29-point performance Saturday evening, Florida’s men captured their fourth NCAA Indoor Championships team title, holding off a late push from Southern California. The Gators’ women also nabbed a trophy for the first time since 2015, finishing fourth in the team standings.
The Gators last won the indoor national title in 2012, when it completed a three-peat. Florida boasts eight NCAA team titles since 2010-a total that leads all of Division I by three during that span.
Florida joins Arkansas, UTEP, and Oregon as the fourth men’s program in Division I history to capture at least four NCAA Indoor titles, but only the Gators have won at least four since 2010.
Head coach Mike Holloway joins UTEP’s Ted Banks, LSU and Texas A&M’s Pat Henry, and Arkansas’ John McDonnell as the fourth men’s coach in Division I history with at least four indoor and four outdoor NCAA titles. Holloway’s eight national titles rank fourth among Division I men’s coaches since 1970. The title also marks Florida’s 20th top-two finish in 31 NCAA Championships since Holloway became its men’s head coach in 2003-no other program has more than nine such finishes during that span.
Sophomore Grant Holloway repeated as the 60-meter hurdles champion, becoming the fifth man in history to successfully defend his title. The collegiate record holder crossed in 7.47 seconds, winning in a runaway and tying the third-fastest time in collegiate history, in addition to breaking his own Gilliam Indoor Stadium record. His title also makes Florida the only program in Division I history with three NCAA 60 hurdles crowns, with Gator Great Eddie Lovett (2013) holding the other.
Coupled with his runner-up finish in the long jump Friday night, Holloway is the first man in Division I history to post top-two finishes in both the high hurdles and long jump at NCAA Indoors.
Holloway came back and teamed with Kunle Fasasi, Chantz Sawyers, and Benjamin Lobo Vedel to earn a bronze medal in the 4×400 relay. The Gators crossed in 3:01.43, decimating the school record in a race that featured the three fastest 4×400 relay times ever recorded. Holloway split 44.91 seconds, but Lobo Vedel had the team’s top split, anchoring in 44.75.
The Gators scored 13 points in the triple jump, courtesy of runner-up KeAndre Bates and fourth-place finisher Clayton Brown. Bates, a senior, posted a season-best mark (16.67 meters / 54 feet, 8.25 inches) for his second consecutive silver medal at NCAA Indoors. The El Paso, Texas native also boasts six career top-two finishes in NCAA Championships horizontal jumps competition. Brown, a sophomore from Jamaica, also logged a season best (16.34 meters / 53 feet, 7.5 inches), doing so on his third attempt as he sat in 14th place and on the outside of the final.
The women’s team secured their team trophy with a third-place finish in the 4×400 relay-which featured a 50.11-second anchor split from junior Sharrika Barnett. The quartet of Brandee’ Johnson, Destiny Ward, Lauryn Ghee, and Barnett combined for a time of 3:29.41, breaking the program record set in 2015.
In the women’s triple jump, junior Yanis David garnered runner-up honors for a second consecutive year, once again finishing behind American and collegiate record holder Keturah Orji. David joined Leah Kirklin (1991-93) as the only other Gator in history with multiple top-two finishes in the NCAA Indoors triple jump.
Individually, Barnett barely missed the 400 meters medal stand, taking fourth in a race that saw the gold and silver medalists break the collegiate record. Barnett lowered the second-fastest time in school history-which she set Friday-to 51.07 seconds. She missed Tiandra Ponteen’s school record, set at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships, by 0.16 seconds.
A condensed television replay will air Sunday, March 11 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2, and again at 9 p.m. on ESPNU. A third replay will air Monday, March 12 at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.