For the second time in as many years, and for the fifth time since 2010, the Florida men’s track and field team won the NCAA Indoor Championship.
Since coach Mike Holloway came to UF in 2003, he has won all five of Florida's indoor titles. That is the most by any coach in that span.
“It just never gets old,” Holloway said in a video on secsports.com. “I challenged them all week long to be courageous, and they were.”
Junior Grant Holloway did what he has done for his entire UF career: make history. The long jumper, hurdler and sprinter swept the 60-meter races with a first place finish in both the 60-meter dash and the 60-meter hurdles. Holloway broke his own UF record in the dash with a time of 6.50. That time also tied No. 8 in collegiate history. The hurdles, however, set Holloway apart from collegiate athletes altogether.
He ran the hurdles in 7.35 seconds. That time was fast enough to break Greg Foster (1987), Allen Johnson (2004) and Terrence Trammell’s (2010) three-way tie of 7.36 for the American record. It was also fast enough to make Holloway the third-fastest 60-meter hurdler in world history, only behind England’s Colin Jackson (7.30) and Cuba’s Dayron Robles (7.33,7.34).
Even with Holloway’s performance, a team championship takes more than one man.
“I’ll be honest with you, I took offense to some of the things that were said over the last couple weeks about how we were a one-man band and we were just Grant Holloway,” Mike Holloway said. “We’re not just Grant Holloway. You can’t discount our jumpers, our throwers, our other hudlers, our other sprinters.”
Even so, Grant accumulated 27.5 points by himself. That is the second-highest total in collegiate history only behind Oregon’s Edward Cheserek in 2017 (28). Mike had high praise for the Virginia native.
“He picked the right parents,” Mike Holloway said. “He has a wonderful work ethic, and the big thing is, I challenged him all week long to stay focused.”
That focus carried Grant through three very different events. It carried his teammates through their events as well.
In the dash with Holloway, sophomore Hakim Sani Brown placed third and senior Ryan Clark placed sixth.
Quarter-miler Benjamin Lobo Vedel finished in seventh with a time of 46.07 seconds, a personal-best of his and a No. 10 time in school history.
As far as the field events, redshirt senior AJ McFarland placed fourth in the weight throw, while sophomore Thomas Mardal placed seventh. Redshirt senior Jhonny Victor placed No. 8 in the high jump and junior Clayton Brown finished finished the triple-jump in fifth.
On the women’s side, senior Yanis David won the triple-jump at 6.43 meters. The women’s team finished the indoor season in sixth place.
Mike Holloway’s teams have been historically competitive since he took over the program. UF’s nine team NCAA championships between indoor and outdoor is the most since 2010 in Division I track by four titles.
Follow Graham Marsh on Twitter @GrahamMarshUF and contact him at [email protected].