Postin leads Florida to strong start at SEC Outdoor Championships

Sophomore Florida thrower Jeremy Postin broke his own school record in the men’s hammer throw for the fourth time this season and the team’s multi-event athletes opened their competitions on a high note, as the Gators began the 2011 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships on Thursday at Spec Towns Track in Athens, GA.

“Everyone that competed today got the meet off to a great start for us,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “Jeremy and David did a wonderful job in the hammer throw, especially Jeremy coming through with a big two-foot PR on his last throw. Brittany Harrell did a great job with a first-day PB in the heptathlon. Gray faced a little bit of adversity, stumbling a bit in the 100, but he was very steady overall and was close to his all-time best. The big thing is that they’re both in a position to do very well tomorrow. We’ve got to go back to the hotel and get them rested and hydrated. If we can compete at the level those guys competed today for the rest of the weekend, we’re going to be just fine.”

Postin broke his own school record in the men’s hammer throw for the fourth time this season, using a personal-best toss of 66.69m/218-9 to place third overall in the competition. Sophomore thrower David Triassi placed eighth in the event with a mark of 54.67m/179-4. The Gators picked up seven team points in the men’s hammer throw.

“Jeremy has been steady all season and it was really nice to see him hold up under the pressure of an SEC Championship,” said associate head coach Steve Lemke. “He just continues to get better week-by-week and I’m really proud of him. At this level, we expect everyone to do their job, and today we expected both Jeremy and David to score points for us. To come away with seven points is a really good start for our team.”

Freshman multi-event athlete Brittany Harrell set a personal-best first-day score of 3,245 and currently sits in fourth place after the opening four events of the competition. She is 213 points off the lead, held by Arkansas’ Makeba Alcide (3,458).  Harrell charted a personal-best mark in each of the four events in which she competed on Thursday. The final three events commence at 12:30 p.m., Friday.

Harrell opened the day with a personal-best time of 14.49 (+0.4) in the 100-meter hurdles, before placing third in the high jump with a personal-best mark of 1.73m/5-8. She then was sixth overall in the shot put competition with a personal-best toss of 10.88m/35-8.50, which bettered her previous personal-best mark of 10.72/35-2, set at the Texas Relays in April. Harrell closed out the day with a personal-best time of 25.33 in the 200-meter dash.

Junior multi-event athlete Gray Horn, the two-time defending SEC Outdoor Champion in the decathlon, finished the day in second place with a point total of 4,022, just shy of his personal-best first-day point total of 4,080. He is 100 points off the lead, held by Georgia’s Michael Ayers (4,122). Mississippi State’s Tevarus Christian is in third place with a score of 3,977. The final five events of the men’s decathlon begin at 1 p.m., Friday.

Horn struggled in his opening event, placing seventh in the 100-meter dash in a time of 11.02 (-0.8) after getting locked up with another runner down the stretch. He then placed second in the long jump with a mark of 7.43m/24-4.50 (+0.4).

Horn redeemed himself with a personal-best mark of 13.13m/43-1 in the shot put, which shattered his previous PR of 12.92m/42-4.75, recorded at the 2011 Mt. Sac Relays. He then placed fourth in the high jump with a mark of 1.94m/6-4.25, before closing out the day with a fifth-place finish in the 400m at 49.80, just shy of his personal-best time in that event.

The second day of the 2011 SEC Outdoor Championships continue at 10 a.m., Friday from Spec Towns Track in Athens, GA.

2011 SEC OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: Results from Thursday, May 12, 2011

Men’s Hammer Throw – 10 a.m. ET

3. Jeremy Postin – 66.69m/218-9 (SR)

8. David Triassi – 54.67m/179-4

Women’s Heptathlon – 12:30 p.m. ET

4. Brittany Harrell – 3,245 (after four events)

Heptathlon 100m Hurdles

10. Brittany Harrell – 14.49 (+0.4) (910 points)

Heptathlon High Jump

3. Brittany Harrell – 1.73m/5-8 (891 points)

Heptathlon Shot Put

6. Brittany Harrell – 10.88m/35-8.50 (587 points)

Heptathlon 200m

6. Brittany Harrell – 25.33 (-0.1) (857 points)

Men’s Decathlon – 1 p.m. ET

2. Gray Horn – 4,022 (after five events)

Decathlon 100m

7. Gray Horn – 11.02 (-0.8) (856 points)

Decathlon Long Jump

2. Gray Horn – 7.43m/24-4.50 (+0.4) (918 points)

Decathlon Shot Put

4. Gray Horn – 13.13m/43-1 (675 points)

Decathlon High Jump

4. Gray Horn – 1.94m/6-4.25 (749 points)

Decathlon 400m

5. Gray Horn – 49.80 (824 points)