By Chris Raleigh
Men’s Track and Field
The two-time indoor track and field champion and USTFCCCA No. 1-ranked UF men’s team is bound to be running neck and neck with their archrivals, the Texas A&M Aggies at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic at Percy Beard Track on Saturday.
The No. 2-ranked Texas A&M Aggies have won the NCAA outdoor track and field champions the last two years with the Gators coming up in second.
“We’re looking forward to some great competition from the other teams,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said.
In what will probably be a preview of the NCAA outdoor national championships, Saturday’s meet at Percy Beard Track is bound to be an interesting matchup between two titans of track.
UF will feature a full host of competitors at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic, including defending NCAA 100-meter dash champion Jeff Demps (Winter Garden, Fla.), three-time NCAA Champion Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) competing in the triple jump, and the two-time defending NCAA Champion 4×100-meter relay team.
The event begins at 12 p.m. ET and it is free and open to the public.
Women’s Track and Field
Florida freshman multi-event athlete Brittany Harrell (McComb, Miss.) is making the most of her first year at the Univ of Fla.
Harrell posted the third-best heptathlon score in UF history at one of the largest meets of the year, the Texas Relays held at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, on Thursday.
Harrell, the only Gator represented at the event, did not let loneliness slow her down as she jumped, vaulted, hurdled, ran and threw her way to an 8th place overall.
Harrell and the rest of the Gators will have their hands full with the USTFCCCA No. 1-ranked #1 Texas A&M Aggie women coming to town.
Hopefully Harrell’s Texas magic along with a home track advantage will help the Gators finally knock the Aggies of their perch.
The meet is being held in honor of former longtime University of Florida women’s track and field coach Tom Jones, who passed away on March 21, 2007 at the age of 62 after a courageous battle with cancer.
“Anytime we can do something to honor Coach Jones, who meant a lot to me and to this program, it’s an important and special thing,” Holloway said.
He oversaw the Gator women’s program for nearly half of its existence, serving as head coach for 15 of the program’s 35 seasons to that point. He guided 71 athletes to 245 All-America honors on the track, while his teams posted a combined 15 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
“We’re starting to freshen up a little bit, so we’re expecting some better performances this weekend,” Holloway said.