Tampa Bay Sports Day

Gators Capture Seventh NCAA Outdoor Championship Since 2010

EUGENE, Ore. – Behind four individual national champions, Florida’s men won their second consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championships team title Friday night at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

“We don’t look at anything as an obstacle. We just talk about coming in here and performing at the level we have all year long. We pride ourselves in being ready for this competition. I just challenged them all week long to engage in the party, so to speak. There was a great competition going on here. We had to match the intensity and passion of the other teams. That’s what we did,” said coach Mike Holloway.

Holloway is the seventh head coach in Division I history to win seven men’s NCAA Championship and one of four coaches to win at least seven since 1970.

This is the Gators’ fourth outdoor national title in the last six seasons, as well as the program’s seventh indoor or outdoor national title in school history. Florida has won all seven of its NCAA titles since 2010, leading all Division I programs by two titles during that span.

Florida also won the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2012, 2013, and 2016, in addition to its three straight victories at the NCAA Indoor Championships from 2010 through 2012.

“Anyone who had a Gator uniform on this weekend was a highlight. We didn’t have one guy that laid down and didn’t do their best. There wasn’t one person or one performance. We’re a team, we’re a family, and we got this done as a team and as a family,” added Holloway.

Fifth-year senior Eric Futch became the eighth man in Division I history to successfully defend his 400 hurdles title. The Darby, Pa. native crossed in 48.32 seconds, a half-second personal best that made him the No. 10-ranked 400 hurdler in collegiate history. Futch’s second crown is the fifth in school history.

With his victory Friday, Grant Holloway became the first freshman in Division I history to win both the indoor 60-meter hurdles and outdoor 110-meter hurdles national titles. Holloway is also the third freshman to win the 110 hurdles title since 1976, the first year it ceased being the 120-yard hurdles. The Chesapeake, Va. native’s title was the third in school history, with Josh Walker (2004-05) being the only other Gator to win the crown.

Holloway then came back to split 43.89 seconds on the anchor leg of Florida’s 4×400 relay, which needed a fifth-place finish to clinch the title and wound up with a fourth-place finish. Senior Nick Uruburu led off the relay, followed by Futch, TJ Holmes, and Holloway. Their time of 3:02.16 makes them the No. 10 quartet in school history.

Junior KeAndre Bates, who won the long jump Wednesday (June 7), completed the 11th sweep of the horizontal jumps in Division I history. Bates was the seventh man to complete the sweep.

Senior Andres Arroyo scored four crucial points for the Gators in the 800 meters. The 2016 Olympics semifinalist was in contention for a podium finish until a fall on the turn of the final lap wreaked havoc on the race.

Holmes, the 400 hurdles runner-up last year, took sixth to add three points for the Gators.

Junior Jhonny Victor stole 1.5 points in the high jump, clearing a personal best of 2.13 meters (6 feet, 11.75 inches). Victor’s second-run clearance at that height earned him a tie for seventh on countbacks. The Orlando, Fla. native was the last man to qualify out of the NCAA East Preliminary, and this week was his first-ever national meet.

FLORIDA NOTES: Florida’s title also marks their 19th top-2 finish in 30 NCAA Championship meets under head coach Mike Holloway, who became the men’s head coach in 200. No other program has more than nine top-2 finishes in that time frame. Florida posted its ninth consecutive top-3 finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, tying Arkansas (1992-2000) for the third-longest streak in meet history. Only USC (1933-43, 1946-56) put together a longer streak. The Gators are the second Division I program since 2000 to win four outdoor national titles in a six-year span. Florida has finished in the top three at 17 of the last 18 NCAA Championship meets, and 21 of the 30 NCAA Championship meets with Holloway as head coach.