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UF Track & Field: Gators Finish Seventh at NCAA Outdoors

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY RICK HURTADO

Day 4 was highlighted by top-3 finishes from Talitha Diggs and Gabrielle Wilkinson

Florida’s women placed seventh at this year’s NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday, finishing with a total of 28 team points inside Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

In the 400 meters, Talitha Diggs exploded in the straightaway to secure a second-place finish and give Florida an eight-point boost. The freshman clocked a personal-record time of 50.74 seconds, which ranks second on UF’s All-Time Outdoor Top 10 list.

Diggs was joined by fellow sprinter Taylor Manson in the race, who finished eighth with a time 51.55 seconds and added one point to the team tally.

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SEC champion (1,500m) Gabrielle Wilkinson finished third nationally in the 800 meters. The redshirt sophomore, who already ranked second in school history, improved her personal-record time to cross in 2:01.20.

Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Grace Stark contributed five team points with a fifth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles. Stark, who had tied the school record during the semifinals round (12.73), crossed in 12.89 [+0.4] seconds Saturday.

The Gators’ 4×400-meter relay team–formed by Manson, Sterling Lester, Doneisha Anderson, and Diggs–took fourth place with a season-best time of 3:26.31. That time ranks second in school history.

Out on the field, redshirt senior Natricia Hooper finished 10th with a mark of 13.42 meters (44 feet, 0.50 inches) [+0.5] in the triple jump.

The Gators finished tied for seventh place with Texas.

On the men’s side, the Gators closed the week Friday after finishing fourth in the nation with 34.5 points.

The men’s performance in Eugene was highlighted by national championship wins by sprinter Joseph Fahnbulleh in the 200 meters and thrower Thomas Mardal in the hammer throw.

The men have finished every NCAA Championships meet in the top four since 2009.

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