Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Gators track team motivated by success of school's other sports

GAINESVILLE — Florida track coach Mike Holloway took advantage of a rare weekend off and attended the myriad sporting events on the Gators' campus last week. He caught a women's lacrosse game, some baseball, softball, gymnastics and women's basketball.

Florida won them all.

The weekend of winning led the veteran coach to the inspiration and wisdom he plans to impart on his team this week as it prepares for the SEC Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., beginning Friday: The excellence needs to be contagious.

"For me, my challenge to my student-athletes is for us to get caught up in the excitement of what's going on here," Holloway said. "We need to represent the university and the athletic association the way the other sports are representing."

It's not as if the track team isn't already striving for excellence, and the Gators are extra motivated by having finished second at the conference meet last season. But Holloway said he believes the winning atmosphere can have a cumulative effect.

"I don't know how you attend this university as a student-athlete or work here as a coach, how it doesn't affect you in some way," he said. "Watching the events this weekend, you get an incredible sense of pride about what's going on around here.

"A good friend of mine asked me why I'm so motivated. I said walk into one of our coaches' meetings and you see the great group of talent in the room and the people who are motivated in that room, and you can't help but be motivated yourself. I don't want to be the guy that's not getting the job done. So my motivation and my team's motivation is to put a product on the track, something that the Gator Nation will be proud of. And that's what we plan to do."

Still hoping: Having lost four of its past five games and its starting center to injury, the Gator women's basketball team seemed to have its season on the brink. But Florida rallied behind its seniors for a 65-57 win Sunday over then-No. 20 Georgia and enters this week still holding out hope for an NCAA Tournament berth. The Gators (14-13, 7-7 SEC) travel to No. 25 Vanderbilt on Thursday then close out the season at home against Alabama on Sunday before heading to the SEC Tournament. There has been no NCAA talk, but coach Amanda Butler said everyone knows what's at stake.

"I think for this team, our focus staying really small and narrow is best," Butler said. "We have a team with five seniors on it, so are they aware that there are implications in every win and loss? Absolutely. I don't think it's something that we as a coaching staff have to talk about that much. But we know an opportunity at Vandy would be a huge mark on our resume if we can do this. … But we're going to talk about how we can beat Vandy and put all our energy into that. The only thing we can control is who we beat and who we play next."

Swimming honors: Swimming coach Gregg Troy and diving coach Donnie Craig were named SEC coaches of the year this past weekend, but the honors were bittersweet because the men's and women's teams both earned second-place finishes at the SEC meet and brought home a combined 14 SEC and 18 NCAA automatic qualifying races. The Gators also broke two SEC and six school records. "Everyone is in the same dynamic here at Florida; second just doesn't get it," Troy said. "That being said, we certainly aren't happy being second, but both teams competed extremely well. We clawed and scratched through the whole meet."

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]

Florida Gators track team motivated by success of school's other sports 02/22/10 [Last modified: Monday, February 22, 2010 9:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  3. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  4. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  5. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.