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The Florida Gators track and field program represents the University of Florida in the sport of track and field. The program includes separate men's and women's teams, both of which compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Gators host their home indoor meets in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center and their home outdoor meets at Percy Beard Track, both located on the university's Gainesville, Florida campus. The Gators track teams are currently led by head coach Mike Holloway.

Florida Gators track and field
Gators track & field logo.jpeg
UniversityUniversity of Florida
Head coachMike Holloway (8th season)
ConferenceSEC
LocationGainesville, FL
Indoor trackStephen C. O'Connell Center
Outdoor trackPercy Beard Track
NicknameFlorida Gators
ColorsOrange and Blue[1]
         
NCAA Indoor Championships
Men's: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019
Women's: 1992
NCAA Outdoor Championships
Men's: 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017
Conference Indoor Championships
Men's: 1975, 1976, 1987, 1988, 2004, 2011, 2015, 2019
Women's: 1990, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2004, 2010, 2012, 2014
Conference Outdoor Championships
Men's: 1953, 1956, 1987, 2010, 2015, 2018
Women's: 1992, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2009, 2018
Percy Beard Track at Pressly Stadium is the home of the Florida Gators track and field teams.

HistoryEdit

The Florida Gators men's track and field team was organized in 1923; the Gators women's team was formed in 1973. The University of Florida joined the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in December 1932, and the Gators track team began to compete in the SEC in the spring of 1933.[2]

Historically, the Gators have been a force in the SEC, and have won a total of 21 conference team championships. The Gators men have won four SEC outdoor championships (1953, 1956, 1987, 2010), and six indoor championships (1975, 1976, 1987, 2010). The Gators women have won five SEC outdoor championships (1992, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2009), and six indoor championships (1990, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2004, 2012). Head coach Percy Beard, a former elite hurdler and silver medalist at the 1932 Summer Olympics, led the Gators to their first national prominence in the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, including their first two SEC outdoor championships. Beard's successor, Jimmy Carnes, coached the Gators from the early 1960s until 1976, and accounted for the Gators' first two SEC indoor team championships. Carnes was chosen to be the head coach of the U.S. Olympic track and field team in 1980, and later served as the head of the U.S. Track & Field Association.

In 2009, the women's team won the SEC outdoor championship.[3]

In 2010, the men's teams won both the NCAA Men's Indoor Track and Field Championship and the SEC men's outdoor championship.[4] The 2010 women's team placed second in the SEC outdoor meet.[4]

The Gators men's team won their second consecutive NCAA Men's Indoor Track and Field Championship in 2011, following their sixth SEC indoor championship. At the 2011 SEC outdoor track tournament, the Gators men and women's teams both placed second of twelve SEC teams in the 2011 conference track meet held in Athens, Georgia.[5] In the remarkably close final standings at the 2011 NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Des Moines, Iowa, the Texas A&M Aggies men finished first with fifty-five points, the Florida State Seminoles men were second with fifty-four points, and the Gators men were third with fifty-three points.[6]

The Gators men's team won their third straight NCAA Men's Indoor Track and Field Championship in March 2012, and following a string of four NCAA outdoor second-place finishes since 2004, won their first NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship in June 2012. They proceeded to win their second, third, and fourth outdoor championships in 2013, 2016, and 2017.

In 2015, Marquis Dendy was named winner of The Bowerman[7], the first in Gator history to win the award.

Coaching staffEdit

The Gators' current head coach for both the men's and women's track and field teams is Mike Holloway.[8] Following the Gators' 2010 NCAA indoor track and field championship, Holloway was named the 2010 indoor track and field coach of the year.[9]

The associate head coach and assistant coach for throwing is Steve Lemke.[10] The assistant coach for cross country and distance running is Chris Solinsky. [11] The assistant coach for hurdles and sprints is Erin Tucker.[12] The assistant coach for horizontal jumps and pole vault is Nic Petersen .[13] The assistant coach for high jump, sprints, recruiting is Mellanee Welty

Olympic track and field medalistsEdit

The following Florida Gators athletes have earned medals in one or more track and field events at the Summer Olympics:

  • Will Claye, American silver and bronze medalist at 2012 London Olympics, and silver medalist at 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics
  • Kerron Clement, American gold and silver medalist at 2008 Beijing, and gold medalist at 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics
  • Jeff Demps, American silver medalist at 2012 London Olympics
  • Michelle Freeman, Jamaican bronze medalist at 1996 Atlanta Olympics
  • Tony McQuay, American silver medalist at 2012 London Olympics, and gold medalist at 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics
  • Dennis Mitchell, American gold medalist and bronze medalist at 1992 Barcelona Olympics, silver medalist at 1996 Atlanta Olympics
  • Christian Taylor, American gold medalist at 2012 London Olympics, and gold medalist at 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics
  • Bernard Williams, American gold medalist at 2000 Sydney Olympics, and silver medalist at 2004 Athens Olympics
  • Novlene Williams, Jamaican bronze medalist at 2004 Athens Olympics, silver medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, silver medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, and silver medalist at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "UF Identity Style Guide". March 1, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  2. ^ History of the program
  3. ^ "Florida Women Claim 2009 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Title," GatorZone.com (May 18, 2009). Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "UF men's track and field wins first SEC outdoor title since 1987," Gainesville Sun (May 16, 2010). Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  5. ^ "UF track teams take second at SECs," The Gainesville Sun (May 15, 2011). Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  6. ^ "Men's track finishes 3rd at NCAAs," The Gainesville Sun (June 11, 2011). Retrieved June 12,
  7. ^ "Dendy, Prandini Win 2015 Bowerman Awards ::: The Bowerman: The Nation's Top Award for Collegiate Track & Field Athletes". The Bowerman. Retrieved 2018-12-31.
  8. ^ GatorZone.com, Track & Field, Coaching & Support Staff, Mike Holloway. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  9. ^ "UF track and field coach wins national honor Archived 2011-07-11 at the Wayback Machine," Gainesville Sun (March 19, 2010). Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  10. ^ GatorZone.com, Track & Field, Coaching & Support Staff, Steve Lemke. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  11. ^ FloridaGators.com, American Distance Great Chris Solinsky Joins Gators’ Coaching Staff, [1]. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  12. ^ GatorZone.com, Track & Field, Coaching & Supoort Staff, [2]. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  13. ^ GatorZone.com, Track & Field, Coaching & Support Staff, [3]. Retrieved May 15, 2011.

External linksEdit