Stockbarger notches 3rd best shot put in UF history

One day after breaking the school record in the discus, junior Wes Stockbarger (Port Charlotte, Fla.) posted the third-best mark in Florida history in the shot put to lead the men’s team at the California Collegiate Challenge, while Lakecia Ealey (Albany, Ga.) picked up two individual regional times and two as part of relays for the women’s squad on Saturday.

Stockbarger won his second event of the weekend with the No. 1 mark in the Southeastern Conference this season in the shot put (18.80m/61-8.25). Sophomore Dennis Martin (Anderson, S. C.) was the top collegian finisher with a career-best time of 14.03 in the 110m hurdles, sophomore All-American Willie Perry (Lenoir, N. C.) recorded an NCAA regional time in his first 200m of the season (20.88), freshman Calvin Smith (Lutz, Fla.) registered a regional mark in the 200m for the third time in as many tries in

2007 and the 4x400m relay of freshman Carlos Phillips (Winter Park, Fla.), Smith, junior All-American Bernard Middleton (Jacksonville, Fla.) and junior Eric Alberter

(Benton, Ill.) won the event with a regional time of 3:06.82.

“We had a very solid day out there with some great efforts from Wes, Willie, Calvin, Dennis and the 4×400,” Florida men’s coach Mike Holloway said. “The guys were focused today and we built up some momentum towards competing at the SEC Championships. The biggest thing now is that we have to stay focused and keep doing what we’ve been doing. While I’m pleased with how we performed today, we can’t become satisfied between now and SECs.”

For the women, in addition to Ealey, juniors Natalie Knight (Snellville, Ga.) in the 200m and Dominique McLeggan (Weston, Fla.) in the 400m surpassed the regional standard at the California Collegiate Challenge. Florida’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams also notched regional marks at the meet. Junior Kristen Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.) paced the Gators at the Drake Relays with a regional qualifying and personal-best mark in the 1,500m, while junior Chinelo Ubaka (Tallahassee, Fla.) in the hammer throw, junior Lindsay Sundell (Fort Salonga, N. Y.) in the 3,000m steeplechase and senior Candace Cabey (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and freshman Shara Proctor (The Valley, Anguilla) in the triple jump also eclipsed the regional standard.

“Our program is moving in the right direction going into the SEC and NCAA East Regional meets, but we know we cannot let up and have more work to do,” Florida interim women’s track and field head coach Steve Lemke said. “The highlight for us today was the impressive marks posted by our sprinters. Lakecia regionally qualified in the

100m, Natalie had another good performance in the 200m and our marks in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays were improved. We also had new regional marks put up by Kristen in the 1,500m and Shara in the triple jump. We now have most of our athletes qualified for the NCAA meet, and we have just a couple more that we’ll look to get qualified at the conference meet.”

On the men’s side, Stockbarger won the shot put by nearly two feet and posted the three-best throws of the day to claim the 10th victory of his career. His winning mark of

18.80m/61-8.25 on his fourth attempt is the top throw in the SEC this season and ranks third in the NCAA East Region and ninth nationally. Stockbarger’s toss was a PR by more than a foot and ranked third in school history.

After battling through injuries all season, Perry stepped on the track for his first 200m of the outdoor campaign and registered an NCAA regional time of 20.88 to finish as the No. 2 collegian and in third overall. His time of 20.88 ranks as the sixth-fastest in the SEC and ties for seventh in the NCAA East Region. Smith ran a wind-aided NCAA regional time of 21.01 to finish one spot behind Perry in fourth.

Martin shaved 0.02 off his PR to rank as the No. 1 collegian in the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.03 – good enough for fourth overall. Martin’s regional clocking ranks sixth in the SEC and seventh in the NCAA East Region.

The 4x400m relay claimed the victory by more than five seconds as the foursome crossed the finish line in 3:06.82. It was a season best for the Gators by nearly two seconds and ranks as the second-best time in the NCAA East Region, fourth-fastest in the SEC and seventh best in the nation.

Freshman Ethan Philpot (Titusville, Fla.) also performed well for the Gators with a fifth-place finish in the 800m. Philpot shaved nearly 1.5 seconds off his previous best to cross the finish line in 1:53.08.

On the women’s side, the Gators’ efforts at the California Collegiate Challenge were led by Ealey, who finished the 100m finals in second after running a regional time of

11.39. She reached the finals in the event by running the fastest preliminary time of 11:57. The two times were Ealey’s first individual regional qualifying marks this season in addition to being apart of the Gators 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams which have attained the standard as well. The mark of 11.39 ranks as the fifth-best mark in the SEC this season and would have been a PR for Ealey but was aided by a wind of 2.6.

Knight took second in the 200m with her second regional mark of the season, 23.39. It ranks as the 11th-best time in the SEC this season. McLeggan clocked 53.62 in the

400m, a personal-best and her second regional mark in the event this year. The time also ranks as the 11th-best in the SEC.

The Gators’ 4x100m relay team of junior Abigail David (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago), Knight, Ealey and sophomore Zan Joseph (Boynton Beach, Fla.) finished second with a time of 44.75, the seventh-fastest time in the SEC. UF’s 4x400m relay of McLeggan, Joseph, Ealey and David crossed the finished line in 3:36.06, the fourth-fastest time in the SEC, to take second. Florida has now earned regional marks in both relay events twice this season.

Johnson paced the contingent of UF athletes at the Drake Relays by running the 1,500m in 4:25.39 en route to a sixth-place finish and the first regional mark of her career. The time ranks as the fifth-best time in the Southeastern Conference this season and was a PR for Johnson by over six seconds.

Ubaka’s hammer throw of 54.97m/180-4 placed her 11th and was her fourth regional qualifying toss this year.

Sundell clocked a time of 10:47.03 to take ninth in the steeplechase and earn a second regional mark in the event this season.

In the triple jump, Cabey leaped 12.42m/40-9.0 to take 10th and Proctor jumped 12.39m/40-7.75 to finish 11th. It marks the second time Cabey has regionally qualified in the event and the first time for Proctor, who has also achieved the feat in the long jump. Proctor’s mark would have been a PR but was aided by a wind of 2.1.

Both Florida teams are slated to take next weekend off before returning to competition at the SEC Outdoor Championships May 10-13 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Courtesy UF Sports Info.