Photos by Casey Brooke Lawson
Senior Carlos Phillips turned in a strong performance, winning the men’s 800-meter run in an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 1:49.86 and also running on Florida’s 4×400-meter relay which finished first in a provisional-qualifying time of 3:09.38.
Phillips beat his closest competitor in the 800m – unattached runner Kenny Jesensky – by more than a second-and-a-half, and was one of three Gators to finish in the top four in that event. Sophomore Lamarr Davis was third in a time of 1:52.21, while junior Ethan Philpot was fourth in 1:52.94.
In front of its home faithful for the only time this indoor season, the fan-favorite men’s 4×400-meter relay generated much excitement within the crowd, which was capped off by the Gators’ first-place finish in the event. The primary relay consisted of Christian Taylor, Phillips, freshman William Wynne and junior Calvin Smith.
Junior thrower Mariam Kevkhishvili, who last week became the first athlete in the nation to earn an NCAA automatic-qualifying mark in the women’s shot put and who entered the meet with the nation’s best mark in that event, improved upon last weekend’s performance with another automatic-qualifying toss of 56-0/17.07m, to win the shot put on Saturday.
Ten NCAA provisional-qualifying marks and twenty-four individual top-five finishes highlighted an impressive day by the University of Florida track and field team at the second-annual Tom Jones Memorial Invitational on Saturday in Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
Sophomore thrower Keely Medeiros was second in the women’s shot put, improving on her collegiate indoor personal best with a provisional-qualifying throw of 52-7.5/16.04m. Medeiros, who entered the meet in 10th place all time at UF in the women’s shot put, moved up to ninth place, surpassing Dore DeBartolo’s toss of 52-2.5/15.91m in 2003.
Junior Justin Taylor clocked a more than five-second personal-best time to win the men’s mile in an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 4:04.74. Sophomore Kaitlin Shiver bested her personal-record time in the women’s mile by more than nine seconds to finish fourth in a provisional-qualifying time of 4:46.29, while freshman Genevieve LaCaze – the 2008 Southeastern Conference Female Cross Country Freshman of the Year – who was competing in her first collegiate track and field meet had a provisional-qualifying time of 4:47.20 in the women’s mile.
Senior pole vaulter Natalie Moser highlighted a strong list of performances in the women’s pole vault for the Gators on Saturday. She recorded an NCAA provisional-qualifying leap of 12-11.5/3.95m to finish second in the event. Moser was the top collegiate finisher in an exciting competition that lasted nearly three hours. Sophomore Daisy Glasser was sixth in the pole vault (12-3.50/3.75m), while Lauren Menke bested her collegiate indoor PR in the event with a leap of 11-11.75/3.65m.
Sophomore sprinter Terrell Wilks provisionally qualified in the men’s 55-meter dash in a time of 6.25 to finish second in the event, while junior Jeremy Hall was fourth overall in 6.28.
For the second consecutive meet, senior Dennis Martin turned in a provisional-qualifying time in the hurdles, this time notching a 7.36 in the men’s 55-meter hurdles.
Three Gators finished in the top-five of the women’s 3,000-meter run with junior Charlotte Browning, competing in her first track and field meet for Florida, charting a second-place finish in a time of 9:45.32. Senior Jacy Kruzel was fourth, while senior Sara Petrick finished fifth.
The meet was 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. He oversaw the Gator women’s program for nearly half of its existence, serving as head coach for 15 of the program’s 35 season. 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.
Photos by Casey Brooke Lawson