LEXINGTON, Ky. – Florida’s three-time NCAA Champion thrower Mariam Kevkhishvili turned in the finest indoor performance of her collegiate career, breaking the Georgian National Record and the school indoor school record in the women’s shot put to highlight the Gators’ participation in the Kentucky Invitational Saturday at E.J. Nutter Fieldhouse.
In total, Florida athletes recorded two NCAA automatic-qualifying marks, posted four provisional-qualifying marks and won three events over the course of the two-day meet.
“I thought it was a very solid weekend for our team,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “We definitely have some things that we need to work on but, overall, I thought it was a good opener and gave us the opportunity to shake off some rust.”
Kevkhishvili broke her own Florida school record with an NCAA automatic-qualifying toss of 60 feet, 7¼ inches, which also set her country’s shot put record and marked a new facility record. Her toss was also the best indoor effort in the world this year.
“Mariam is just Mariam,” Holloway continued. “She and Coach (Steve) Lemke have such a great relationship and click so well. I think this is just a by-product of that. But knowing Mariam as I do, I know she’s not satisfied and she wants to continue to improve and get better.”
The Florida men’s 4×400-meter “A” relay capped a strong weekend, recording the fourth-best indoor time in school history with an NCAA automatic-qualifying mark of 3:06.40. The new-look relay consisted of Tony McQuay, Calvin Smith, Jovon Toppin and Christian Taylor.
“We expected a great performance from our men’s 4×4,” Holloway said. “Anytime you get those four guys on the track together, you know they’re going to run fast.”
The women’s 4×400-meter “A” relay ran the school’s fastest time in that event since 2005, placing second and clocking a time of 3:39.96. The squad consisted of Ije Iheoma, Alishea Usery, Danielle Williams and Lanie Whittaker.
Usery recorded an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark in the preliminaries of the women’s 60-meter dash, clocking a time of 7.44. She followed that up with a third-place finish in the event’s finals in a provisional-qualifying time of 7.41. Usery also was seventh in the women’s 200-meter dash, an event in which she qualified for the NCAA Championships as a freshman last season.
Sophomore thrower Keely Medeiros placed third overall in the women’s shot put with an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark of 53 feet even, marking a new personal record.
Junior Eric Foran captured the men’s pole vault with a 16 feet, 0¾-inch effort. He won the event in a jump off with two other competitors to claim his third career victory as a collegiate competitor.
Sophomores Jarius Cooper and William Wynne each advanced to the finals of the men’s 60-meter hurdles with Cooper placing fifth (8.16) and Wynne seventh (8.18) overall, while Smith charted a third-place finish in the men’s 200-meter dash in a time of 21.25, just missing the NCAA provisional-qualifying standard.
Middle distance runner Lamarr Davis was just shy of his indoor personal best of 48.40 in the men’s 400-meter run, placing seventh in a time of 48.41.
Sprinters Chris Rainey and Jeremy Hall each advanced to the finals of the men’s 60-meter dash with Rainey finishing ninth overall.
Florida has a week off from competition before returning to action on Jan. 29-30 at the Texas A&M Challenge in College Station, Texas. That event will feature teams solely from the Big 12 Conference, the Pacific-10 Conference and the SEC.
At Lexington, Ky.; All distances in meters
High jump: 21. Alexis Muniz, 5 feet, 4 ¼ inches; Rebecca Goldring, no height. Shot put: 1. Mariam Kevkhishvili, 60 feet, 7¼ inches (NCAA automatic qualifier); 3. Keely Medeiros, 53 feet, 0 inches (NCAA provisional qualifier). 60 hurdles semifinals: 17. Paige Morton, 8.75 seconds; 33. Amani Bryant, 9.10 inches. 60 hurdles finals: 16. Paige Morton, 8.89 seconds. 60 semifinals: 3. Alishea Usery, 7.44 seconds; 23. Shara Proctor, 7.76 seconds; 33. Daniela Griffin, 7.89 seconds; 39. Jenicia McFadden, 8.04 seconds. 60 finals: 3. Alishea Usery, 7.41 seconds (NCAA provisional qualifier). 400: 16. Ije Iheoma, 56.52 seconds; 19. Lanie Whittaker, 57.67 seconds; 23. Danielle Williams, 57.67 seconds; 24. Michelle Stegall, 57.98 seconds; 26. Ashley Usery, 58.38 seconds. 200: 7. Alishea Usery, 24.15 seconds. 4×400 relay: 2. Florida “A” (Ije Iheoma, Alishea Usery, Danielle Williams, Lanie Whittaker) 3:39.96 (NCAA provisional qualifier); 9. Florida “B” (Michelle Stegall, Ashley Usery, Amani Bryant, Paige Morton) 3:50.25.
Pole vault: 1. Eric Foran, 16 feet, 0 ¾ inches; 11. Max Lang, 14 feet, 1.25 inches. Shot put: 17. Gray Horn, 36 feet, 10.25 inches. 60 hurdles semifinals: 3. William Wynne, 7.99 seconds; 8. Jarius Cooper, 8.25 inches. 60 hurdles finals: 5. Jarius Cooper, 8.16 seconds; 7. William Wynne, 8.18 seconds. 60 semifinals: 4. Chris Rainey, 6.79 seconds; 18. Jeremy Hall, 6.93 seconds; 30. Gray Horn, 7.13 seconds. 60 finals: 9. Chris Rainey, 6.84 seconds; 15. Jeremy Hall, 6.94 seconds. 400: 7. Lamarr Davis, 48.41 seconds; 20. John Mitchell, 49.63 seconds; 32. Ethan Philpot, 50.40 seconds. 200: 3. Calvin Smith, 21.25 seconds; 10. Christian Taylor, 21.79 seconds; 11. Preston Wilson, 21.86 seconds. 4×400 relay: 1. Florida “A” (Tony McQuay, Calvin Smith, Jovon Toppin, Christian Taylor) 3:06.40 (NCAA automatic qualifier).
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Florida women’s tennis doubles team of Marrit Boonstra and Anastasia Revzina advanced to the semifinals of the Freeman Memorial Championships Saturday at the Fertitta Tennis Complex.
The Gators were tested in a quarterfinal bout against Arizona State’s Micaela Hein and Nadia Abdala, before earning the tough 9-7 victory.
Revzina came close to an upset on the singles court, but lost to second-seeded Sanaz Marand of North Carolina, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.
Freshman Caroline Hitimana won her consolation quarterfinal match, 6-0, 6-1 over UNLV’s Jana Albers. Southern California’s Cristala Andrews then beat Hitimana, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Sophomore Claire Bartlett defeated Arizona State’s Ashlee Brown, 6-2, 6-3, in an additional match that was not part of either draw. Bartlett and Hitimana lost to UNC’s Katrina Tsang and Shinann Featherston, 8-1, in consolation doubles play.
SWIMMING: Gators sweep Florida Atlantic
Sebastien Rousseau, a 2008 Olympian for South Africa, had an NCAA provisional mark in the men’s 200-yard butterfly (1:47.97) in his first meet to lead the unbeaten Florida men to their seventh dual win of the season, 159-118, over visiting Florida Atlantic Saturday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium.
Senior Liz Kemp captured the 1,000-yard free (10:05.29) title and several younger Gators stepped up to beat the Owls, 163-122. Freshman Corinne Showalter won the 200-yard free (1:50.32) and sophomore Anna-Liisa Pold claimed the 100-yard backstroke (57.22) to help the women’s team improve to 8-2.
The two Florida teams won 31 of a possible 32 events. The Florida women’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Shara Stafford, Gemma Spofforth, Stephanie Napier and Sarah Bateman won in 1:31.74, an NCAA provisional mark.
In the 100-yard breaststroke, junior Manuel Rabelo won in 57.95 seconds, while sophomore Maida Turnadzic won the 200-yard butterfly in 2:02.92. Sarah Bateman won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:04.08 and Sarra Lainef won the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:18.65.
In the 50-yard free, senior Stephanie Napier won the women’s race in 23.56 seconds and junior Matt Norton won the men’s race in 20.66 seconds.
Sophomore Colin Bell won the one-meter springboard diving event, with Grayson Patten was second and junior Jon Speed was third. Sophomore Kaylee Doback and junior Monica Dodson went 1-2 in the women’s one-meter springboard event.
Freshman Jamie Bohunicky won the women’s 100-yard freestyle in 50.20 seconds (an NCAA provisional mark). Senior Roland Rudolf won the men’s 200-yard backstroke in 1:45.32, also an NCAA provisional mark.
In the 500-yard freestyle races, Eva Lehtonen won the women’s race in 4:56.20 and Logan Storie won the men’s race in 4:32.05. Storie also won the 200-yard free in 1:39.84. Sophomore Shara Stafford (54.95) and junior Mike Yuan (50.08) won the women’s and men’s races in the 100-yard butterfly. Sophomore Jeff Raymond won the 1,000-yard freestyle race in 9:21.27.
In the 3-meter diving event, Bell, Speed and Patten went 1-2-3 for the men, while senior Kara Salamone and Doback went 1-2 for the women.
Florida wraps up its dual home season Friday against SEC rival Auburn at 4 p.m.