TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ? Sophomore Jacy Kruzel (Cooper City, Fla.) took third in the 10,000m to pace the University of Florida women?s track and field team, while freshman Mike Morrison (Chesapeake, Va.) posted the second-best score in school history to finish second in the decathlon to lead the men on the second day of competition Friday at the SEC Track & Field Championships at Sam Bailey Stadium.
After two days, Arkansas leads the men?s standings with 21 points through three events with Florida fifth with 13. On the women?s side, Georgia is out in front with 28 points through three events with Florida in second place with 20.
On the women?s side, Kruzel clocked a time of 36:08.70 to take third and lead a trio of scorers in the 10,000m for the Gators as sophomore Sara Petrick (Apollo Beach, Fla.) was fifth in 37:08.34 and senior Jamie Geissler (Spokane, Wash.) took eighth in 37:34.19. Also scoring for the Gators were sophomore Shawneise Williams (Archer, Fla.) and junior Chinelo Ubaka (Tallahassee, Fla.), who combined to record nine points in the hammer throw as Williams was fourth with a PR of 57.13m/187-05 and Ubaka came in fifth with a mark of 56.11m/184-1.
?We saw several outstanding performances from our athletes today,? Florida interim head coach Steve Lemke said. ?Jacy, Sara and Jamie capped off a great day by doing a terrific job in the 10,000m. Earlier, Shawneise and Chinelo got us off to the start that we wanted and needed. It is always great when you can have a PR in a championship meet and Shawneise did that today. Both hammer throw competitors put us in good position after today.?
For the men, Morrison tallied 7,316 points in the decathlon to pace the men?s team and likely punched his ticket to the NCAA Championships, while junior Kurt Lee (Spring Hill, Fla.) took fourth in the decathlon with a personal record of 6,571 points.
?I?m very proud of Mike, Kurt and Calvin for their performances today,? Florida men?s coach Mike Holloway said. ?Despite the efforts from those three guys, I?m still very disappointed with how the rest of the team performed. This team has forgotten how to fight and we?ve got to figure that out starting tomorrow.?
A pair of Gators for the women advanced to finals: junior Lorain McKenzie (Clarendon, Jamaica) in the 800m and junior Natalie Knight (Snellville, Ga.) in the 200m.
On the men?s side, freshman Calvin Smith (Lutz, Fla.) moved on to Sunday?s final in the 200m with a career-best time (20.90).
On the women?s side, Kruzel competed for just the second time of her career in the 10,000m and came away with a third-place finish in
36: 08.70. Petrick also fared well with a fifth-place finish in 37:08.34, while Geissler competed for the last time in the event at the SEC Championships and captured eighth in 37:34.19.
Williams recorded a personal-best mark of 57.13m/187-05 on her second throw en route to finishing fourth and scoring five points. The mark was a PR for Williams by nearly six feet. Ubaka took fifth and scored four points with a toss of 56.11m/184-1 on her third attempt. Both competitors? throws were regional qualifying marks. Ubaka has now achieved the regional standard six times, while Williams has now done so three times.
For the men, Morrison will likely move on to the NCAA Championships with his score of 7,316 ranking eighth in the nation. He entered the final event trailing Tennessee?s Jangy Addy by 207 points at 6,772, which meant that Morrison would have to run the 1,500m 31 seconds faster to make up the difference. Morrison beat Addy by nearly 12 seconds with a time of 5:02.80, but Addy still claimed the SEC title in finishing with
7, 461 points to Morrison?s 7,316. Lee took fifth in the event in 4:54.87 to earn 590 points in finishing fourth overall with 6,571 ? a PR by more than 200 points and the eighth-best score in school history.
To open the day, Morrison clocked a PR of 15.01 to record 848 points in the 110m hurdles and remain in second with 4,705 points, while Lee was ninth in 16.29 (700 points) and fell to ninth with 4,023. Lee took second in the shot put (35.82m/117-6) to record 580 points, while Morrison was right behind in third (35.40m/116-2) to pick up 572 points. Morrison remained in second with 5,277, while Lee jumped up to fourth with 4,603. The pole vault was dominated by Florida with Morrison and Lee tying for first by clearing 4.75m/15-7 to tally 834 points. Morrison narrowed the gap to first to just 149 points with a total of 6,111, while Lee remained fourth with 5,437. Morrison nearly cracked Florida?s all-time top 10 in the javelin after posting a PR of 54.87m/180-0 to take second and earn 661 points. Lee was eighth with a PR of
46. 99m/154-2 to pick up 544 points to set up the final event.
In men?s prelim action, Smith clocked the fastest time of his career to win his heat with the fourth-fastest time of the day as he crossed the finish line in 20.90. Smith easily won his heat with LSU?s Richard Thompson the runner-up in 21.02.
In women?s prelims, McKenzie advanced to the 800m finals by winning the second of three heats with a time of 2:06.36, the fastest preliminary time and fourth regional qualifying mark of the season for McKenzie. Knight advanced to the 200m finals by running the ninth-fastest preliminary time of 23.28, a season-best and regional qualifying mark. Both the 200m and 800m finals will be contested on Sunday evening.
The SEC Championships continue through Sunday. Live results can be found at http://www.rolltide.com.