Senior jumper Daniela Griffin (Jacksonville, Fla.) and sophomore thrower Stipe Zunic (Zadar, Croatia) turned in victories on Friday as the Gators completed the third day of the 85th Annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, hosted by the University of Texas.
Griffin earned her first career victory on Friday, leaping to a personal-best 6.25m/20-6.25 in section B of the women’s long jump. Teammate Lorraine Graham (Springdale, Md.) finished ninth in the event, tallying a 5.69m/18-8 mark.
“For Daniela, she had a great meet today,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “Her training has been going really well and I think this bodes well for her as we continue outdoors.”
Zunic, who is coming off a javelin win at the UCF Invitational last weekend, threw a career-best 77.89m/255-6 to dethrone two-time defending Texas Relays champion Sam Humphreys from Texas A&M.
“For Stipe, I think it’s less about the victory and more about the PR,” Holloway said. “We’re all really pleased with his effort and look forward to seeing that continue.”
Freshman Ciarra Brewer (Union City, Calif.), coming off a sixth-place performance in the women’s triple jump at NCAA Indoors, turned in a career-best 13.07m/42-10.75 in the event to finish seventh.
“We knew what we were getting from Ciarra when we recruited her out of high school,” Holloway commented. “There’s a lot more there and today was certainly a step in the right direction.”
In the women’s discus, junior thrower Ashley Miller (Miami Beach, Fla.) finished 11th with a throw of 45.80m/150-3 and senior thrower Keely Medeiros (Blumenau-SC, Brazil) finished 14th overall with a toss of 40.10m/131-7.
In the 100-meter hurdles, Ndu and freshman Ashley Favors (Riverview, Fla.) both put in solid performances. Ndu finished 18th overall with a time of 13.66, a new personal best. Favors, in just her second 100 meter hurdles race of her career, finished with a time of 15.24.
The Orange and Blue had five qualifiers for Saturday’s finals, as the men’s 4×100 meter relay was the first group to qualify with a time of 39.73. The foursome of Jeff Demps (Winter Garden, Fla.), Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.), Leonardo Seymore (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) will compete on Saturday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. ET.
Sophomore hurdler Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.) advanced to the finals of the men’s 110 meter hurdles with a time of 13.94 (+2.2), finishing fifth overall.
Sprinters Darshay Davis (Mirimar, Fla.) and Demps each qualified for their respective 100-meter finals, as Davis set a new personal best with a time of 11.33 (+2.0), finishing sixth and moving into fifth all-time at Florida. Demps, in his first race after claiming three consecutive NCAA Championships in the men’s 60 meters for the first time in NCAA history, came in fourth overall with his run of 10.29 (+1.8).
Florida’s women’s 4×400 meter relay came out strong on Friday, qualifying for Saturday’s finals with a sixth-place time of 3:35.41. The group, consisting of Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.), Alishea Usery (St. Louis, Mo.), Ugonna Ndu (Newark, N.J.) and Lanie Whittaker (Miami, Fla.), will compete again late on Saturday afternoon as the women’s 4×400 meter relay is the second-to-last event of the Texas Relays.
“Tomorrow, we’re looking for effort,” Holloway said. “We didn’t come all the way to Texas to just participate in the Texas Relays. We came here to be a factor.”
“This is a great meet that Texas puts on,” Holloway continued. “We give credit to Coach Thornton and Coach Kearney for hosting such a great meet. We’re pleased we came here and we’re excited about tomorrow.”
On Saturday, the Longhorn Network will show coverage from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. ET. Fans can follow live results from the Texas Relays at http://www.texassports.com/livestats/tex-relays/.
Courtesy UF Communications