Freedom's Calvin Smith anchors Gators' school-record relay run
Former Freedom standout Calvin Smith (left) ran the anchor leg for Florida's 4x400 meter relay team at Saturday's Florida Relays, helping the Gators win the race in a school-record time of 3:00.31. That time is the fastest in the NCAA this season and the fastest in the world, according to tilastopaja.org.
Along with Smith, the relay team consisted of senior R.J. Anderson, freshman Tony McQuay and sophomore Christian Taylor.
“It feels great,” Smith said. “I can’t believe it was the fastest relay I have ever run on in my life and I’m just really happy. That was the most I’ve ever heard the crowd during the race in any meet I’ve ever competed in. I’m just really proud to be on that relay team.”
It was a banner weekend for the Gators, beginning with sprinter Jeff Demps' record run in the 100-meters on Friday. The Gators broke numerous records in the 4x100-meter relay, the 4x200-meter relay and the sprint medley relay.
The Florida men’s 4x200-meter relay team finished in a time of 1:20.38, which went down as the top time in the world so far this season. It is a new UF school record and set the Pepsi Florida Relays record and the Percy Beard Track facility record. That relay corps consisted of McQuay,senior Jeremy Hall, junior Terrell Wilks and Smith.
The Gator men’s 4x100-meter relay team, which in June will look to defend its NCAA Outdoor Championship, led by Demps at the anchor leg, finished in an NCAA-leading time of 38.93, the second-fastest time in the world in 2010. The relay group, which set a Pepsi Florida Relays meet record, featured freshman Jeremy Rankin, Hall, Wilks and Demps.
The Florida sprint medley relay team finished second overall in a time of 3:18.47, one of the top-four times in program history. The quartet consisted of Rankin, freshman Jovon Toppin, Anderson and Phillips.
“When you look at it, the relays are the consummate team events,” UF coach Mike Holloway said. “I think what we were able to do today in the relays really showed what this team is all about. It’s the Florida Relays and it’s about the relays. We had absolutely great relays (on Saturday).''
Florida has a week off from competition before hosting the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational on April 17 at James G. Pressly Stadium at Percy Beard Track.
[Photo: University of Florida]