Men's and Women's T&F Defend East Region Titles

Both the University of Florida men's and women's track and field teams defended their East Region titles Saturday at Percy Beard Track, winning the meet for the second consecutive season. The Gator men finished 125.50 points, nearly doubling second-place Georgia's total of 64 points, and the Florida women tallied 85 points to finish ahead of Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina.

A Florida school record in the field and Gator wins on the track highlighted the final day of the East Region meet.

"I thought we did a wonderful job. Our goal coming in was to get as many people as we could to nationals," said men's head coach Mike Holloway. "I think we ended up with 13 of the 19 people advancing to nationals. We are very, very happy about that."

Added women's head coach Tom Jones, "I told our kids in the team meeting after SEC Championships that we have to rebound. We have the quality of team to come back and win the regional championship. You just have to believe we can do it. We have high enough quality in six and eight events. We can get it done and they believe it. I think that had a lot to do with how we performed this weekend."

Reggie Witherspoon won the 400m dash in a personal-best time of 45.51, while Sekou Clarke finished second in a personal-best time of 45.85, which is also the 10th best time in school history. Josh Walker was the runner-up in the 110m hurdles, clocking in at 13.53. Kerron Clement placed seventh in 13.93. Clement came back and won the 400m hurdles in 49.01 - two seconds faster than Friday's preliminary time of 51.06. Rickey Harris finished third in 49.45, followed by teammate Dwight Ruff in fourth in 50.02.

The men's 4x100m relay team of Witherspoon, Mike Morrison, Kyle Farmer and Sekou Clarke finished second in 39.18 and will advance to the NCAA Championships as one of the top three relay teams in the region.

Steve Zieminski finished second in the 3,000m steeplechase in 8:47.32, and Daniel Parker clocked in at 8:54.38 to finish fourth. Moise Joseph crossed the finish line in 1:48.26 to finish fourth in the 800m to advance to nationals. Shane Stroup clocked in at 3:57.54 in the 1,500m to finish 10th.

The team of Clarke, Witherspoon, Harris and Clement combined to close out the regional with a win in the 4x400m relay, clocking a time of 3:03.25 to automatically advance to the national meet.

A day after winning the shot put, Ryan McIntyre notched a runner-up finish in the discus with a throw of 56.19m/184-4. Paul Condron finished seventh in the pole vault, clearing 5.16m/16-11.00.

Kim Barrett re-set her own school record in the shot put with her second-place mark of 18.28m/59-11.75. Candice Scott followed with a third-place and personal-best mark of 17.28m/56-8.50. Karen Freberg finished sixth (16.04m/52-7.50) and LaQuanda Cotten finished ninth (15.75m/51-8.25) to round out the top 10 for Florida.

Andrea Bliss scored in the 100m hurdles with a third-place time of 13.05 - equaling her personal best from Friday. Bliss also competed in the 400m hurdles but did not finish the race.

Novlene Williams won the 400m in 51.53, while teammate Tiandra Ponteen finished fourth in a personal-best time of 51-82 - the fourth-best time in UF history. Kamille Bratton won the 800m in a personal-best time of 2:04.56, which is also the seventh fastest time in school history.

Krystle Moss finished fourth in the high jump with a mark of 1.79m/5-10.50.

In the final event of the meet for the women, the team of Ponteen, Bratton, Bliss and Williams was the runner-up in the 4x400m relay, finishing in 3:32.47 to clock the seventh-fastest time in school history.

Those athletes that advance to nationals will head to Austin, Texas, to compete in the NCAA Outdoor Championship held June 9-12.

UF Advancing Athletes

Men (13): Sekou Clarke (400m dash), Kerron Clement (400m hurdles), Kyle Farmer (200m dash), Alex Harris (long jump), Rickey Harris (400m hurdles), Moise Joseph (800m), Ryan McIntyre (shot put, discus), Mike Morrison (high jump, long jump), Daniel Parker (3,000m steeplechase), Dwight Ruff (400m hurdles), Josh Walker (110m hurdles), Reggie Witherspoon (400m dash), Steve Zieminski (3,000m steeplechase), 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay

Women (9):Kim Barrett (shot put), Andrea Bliss (100m hurdles), Kamille Bratton (800m), LaQuanda Cotten (discus), Jukina Dickerson (hammer throw), Krystle Moss (high jump), Tiandra Ponteen (400m dash), Candice Scott (hammer throw, shot put), Novlene Williams (400m dash), 4x400m relay.

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