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UF Track & Field: Bandel Collects Silver, Stark Breaks World U20 Record as Gators Begin Indoor SEC Championships

Freshman Grace Stark set an new world U20 record in the 60-meter hurdles
Photo by Tim Casey

Courtesy of UF Athletic Association

The Gators finished the first day of the 2020 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships Friday evening in College Station with a silver medal collected by redshirt junior Connor Bandel and a world record-setting time by freshman Grace Stark.

Bandel became the 2020 SEC indoor runner-up in the shot put after throwing for 19.67 meters (64 feet, 6.5 inches), improving his personal record by 0.6 meters, and maintaining the No. 11 spot on the Division I Indoor qualifying list. The thrower also remains in the No. 3 spot on UF’s All-Time Top 10 list.

Stark logged a time of 7.93 seconds in the hurdles, setting a new world U20 record and moving to the No.2 spot in the nation. The freshman’s new personal-best time, which still ranks second in program history, was only 0.02 seconds short from setting a new meet record.

Stark will compete in the final round of the women’s hurdles on Saturday.

Senior Justin Pacifico entered UF’s All-Time Top 10 list after logging a time of 1:49.13 and a new personal record in the 800 meters. The distance runner now ranks 10th in school history and will compete in the final round of the 800 on Saturday.

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NCAA leader Raymond Ekevwo logged a 6.62-second time in the 60 meters, automatically advancing to the finals. Meanwhile, fellow sprinter Semira Killebrew, who entered the weekend ranked eighth in the nation, will represent the Gators in the final round of the women’s 60 meters on Saturday.

On the 400 meters, quarter-milers Doneisha Anderson and Taylor Manson, will also have their chance to clinch an SEC title. Anderson, who leads the nation in that event, crossed in 52.53 seconds, while Manson logged a time of 52.78 seconds.

Florida’s men closed the evening with 12 points, while the women piled up nine. Competition will ramp up Saturday afternoon, as the SEC top performers enter the final rounds of this year’s indoor tournament.

Coverage of the last day of the championship will continue with an SEC Network + broadcast starting at 4:55 p.m.

ADDITIONAL NOTABLE PERFORMANCES

Freshmen Joseph Fahnbulleh and Jackie Addy set new season- and collegiate-best times. Fahnbulleh crossed in 6.78 seconds in the 60 meters, while Addy logged a time of 5:03.40 in the women’s mile.

SCORERS

  *   Connor Bandel; Men’s Shot Put – 2nd (19.67 meters / 64 feet, 6.5 inches)
  *   Jalen Chance; Men’s Long Jump – 7th (7.39 meters / 24 feet, 3 inches)
  *   Amanda Froeynes; Women’s Pentathlon – 4th (4,031 points)
  *   Kala Penn; Women’s Long Jump – 7th (6.15 meters / 20 feet, 2.25 inches)
  *   Men’s DMR – 7th (9:46.65)
  *   Women’s DMR – 7th (11:38.82)

MEDALS

  *   Connor Bandel – 2nd (19.67 meters / 64 feet, 6.5 inches); Men’s Shot Put

ADVANCED TO FINALS

  *   Raymond Ekevwo – Men’s 60 meters
  *   Semira Killebrew – Women’s 60 meters
  *   Tyler Davis – Men’s 200 meters
  *   Doneisha Anderson – Women’s 400 meters
  *   Taylor Manson – Women’s 400 meters
  *   Justin Pacifico – Men’s 800 meters
  *   Imogen Barrett – Women’s 800 meters
  *   Abbie Harrelson – Women’s 800 meters
  *   Jack Guyton – Men’s Mile
  *   Emily Culley – Women’s Mile
  *   Cory Poole – Men’s 60-meter Hurdles
  *   Grace Stark – Women’s 60-meter Hurdles