Relays forge UF into SEC title contender

Coach Holloway told reporters Monday that with the SEC Championships just around the corner, his team’s respectable showing at the 2011 Penn Relays and Drake Relays last weekend can hopefully form them into conference contenders.

“It was a very successful weekend. We did get better in a lot of areas though I still think there are a lot of things we can do better,” Gators head coach Mike Holloway said. “The Penn Relays is a situation where it’s very hectic and it’s something everyone needs to experience, but after being there it makes you better, helps you handle other situations better.”

It was the UF sprinters who especially shined at the Penn Relay Carnival at Franklin Field where the Men’s 4x100m Relay team of Eddie Lovett, Christian Taylor, Terrell Wilks and Jeff Demps blazed its way to second place overall with a time of 40 seconds flat.

Both the men and women Gators took second overall in the sprint medley relay. The women’s sprint medley relay (Ugonna Ndu, Darshay Davis, Ebony Eutsey, Cory McGee) finished at a time of 3:50.50 while the men (Demps, Wilks, Christian Taylor, Sean Obinwa) came in at 3:17.30.

On the field, it was jumper Omar Craddock along with thrower Keely Medeiros who stole the show. 

Craddock claimed the Penn Relays men’s triple jump championship for the second consecutive year and became the first person to win the event back-to-back since 2002. As for Medeiros, she won the women’s discus and took second place in the shot put.

“Keely has been working really hard in practice (on the shot put),” associate head coach Steve Lemke said.  “She switched to (a new technique) before the outdoor season and it becomes almost like a new event for her.”

Coach Holloway said they may be cutting the workload in half in preparation for the SEC Championship on May 12, but there will be one thing he says they’ll be doubling — their focus.

“They’re young people and sometimes they get a little complacent. We have to understand basically that the slate’s clean and we start over now,” Holloway said.  “In two weeks, we’re going to be in the midst of a battle for the conference title.”

Chris Raleigh is the beat reporter for Gator track & field and volleyball. You can also follow him on Twitter at