Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Colleges

Florida Gators win third NCAA men's outdoor track title

EUGENE, Ore. — Florida captured the NCAA men's outdoor track and field championships late Friday, its third national title in five years.

UF pushed its way into the points lead (62) with a second-place finish in the final event, the 1,600-meter relay. The Gators, who also won it all in 2012 and 2013, spoiled hometown Oregon's attempt at a third straight title at Hayward Field. The Ducks (48) finished fourth behind Arkansas (56) and Texas A&M (50).

"I think even coming into (Friday) that nobody thought that we'd be here — except us," Gators coach Mike Holloway said after celebrating the victory.

Arman Hall helped propel UF with a victory in the 400, finishing in 44.82 seconds.

"(I was) just focused on what Coach Holloway has been teaching me for the past month or so, because I've usually been going out extremely hard," Hall said. "I just had to learn how to just go slower at first. And then the week before nationals, he really taught me how to get out to a certain extent and just keep my momentum going into the straight."

Hall was also the one who spurred UF in the title-clinching relay at the end of the night.

"Arman said it best, 'Let's go run,' " Holloway said.

Florida became the third team since 1992 to win the outdoor championships after finishing outside the top five at the NCAA indoor championships.

UF redshirt junior Eric Futch and junior TJ Holmes posted a 1-2 finish in the 400 hurdles to combine for 18 points. Futch ran a 48.91 to nab the program's fourth national title in the event.

Futch and Holmes are the second pair of teammates since 1983 to take first and second in the 400 hurdles, joining Baylor's Bayano Kamani and Michael Smith in 2001.

"I'm just happy that we came out here and did what we were supposed to," Futch said.

Arkansas' Jarrion Lawson won the 100 and 200 meters and the long jump, the first athlete to win all three since Jesse Owens did it 80 years ago.

"I'm proud of everything. This is just amazing, just to come out and win three events and be put in the same sentence as Jesse Owens," he said.

Lawson, now a six-time national champion, won the 100 in 10.22 seconds, closing to the victory over the final 30 meters. Less than an hour later he claimed the 200 in 20.19. He won the long jump Wednesday, the first day of the meet.

He accounted for 31.5 total points for the Razorbacks, also the most since Owens scored 40 in 1935 and 1936 for Ohio State. It was just the third time Lawson ran all three events at one meet.

Lawson wasn't the only record-breaker as the athletes navigated periodic showers and the occasional stiff breeze. Texas A&M freshman Donavan Brazier set a collegiate record in the 800. His mark of 1:43.55 broke Kansas star Jim Ryun's NCAA record set in 1966 and was the second-fastest time in the world this year.

Oregon's Devon Allen won the 110 hurdles, his second NCAA title in the event

Allen, also a receiver on the Ducks' football team, made a splash at the NCAA championships two years ago as a freshman. His time of 13.16 seconds set a meet record, besting Olympic gold medalist Aries Merritt's mark of 13.21 set in 2006 for Tennessee.

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