fbpx

UF Track & Field: Stark Headlines Gators’ First Day at Arkansas, Ekevwo Impresses during Season Debut

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY RICK HURTADO

Grace Stark leads the NCAA, while Raymond Ekevwo ranks second and Florida’s DMR seventh

Florida hurdler Grace Stark and sprinter Raymond Ekevwo posted world and NCAA top-10 times, while the Gators women’s DMR team logged one of the fastest times in the nation during the first day of this year’s Tyson Invitational inside the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Stark, who broke the under-20 world record in the 60-meter hurdles during last year’s SEC championships, posted her best performance this season after logging an NCAA-leading time of 7.96 seconds. Her season-best time ranks tied for eighth in the world.

Meanwhile Ekevwo, who made his season debut Friday afternoon, exploded in the 60 meters. The 2020 indoor SEC champion logged at time of 6.57 seconds, moving to the No. 2 spot of this year’s NCAA Division I Indoor Qualifying list. His time ranks seventh in the world.

Don't Miss a Post!

Florida’s DMR unit, headlined by Gabrielle Wilkinson, Talitha Diggs, Abbie Harrelson, and Imogen Barrett, posted the seventh-fastest time in the nation after crossing in 11:09.82. The time also ranks seventh on UF’s Indoor All-Time Top 10 list.

Other notable performances included new personal-best times by newcomer Ryan Willie and redshirt freshman Caden Monk. Willie crossed in 46.41 seconds in the 400 meters, while Monk logged a time of 8:24.10 in the 3,000 meters.

The action will resume Saturday starting at 1 p.m. with Malcolm Clemons and Jonathan Miller opening up the day for the Gators in the triple jump.

Meanwhile Joseph Fahnbulleh, who was named the SEC Co-Runner of the Week after running the third-fastest time in the nation last week, will compete in the men’s 200 meters. On the women’s side, Diggs, who ranks fourth in the nation, will be joined by Lauryn Ghee, Semira Killebrew, and Taylor Manson in the 200 meters.

On the distance front, Wilkinson will look to improve her NCAA top-10 time in the 800 meters. The redshirt sophomore crossed in 2:05.71 at South Carolina, landing on the No. 9 spot of this year’s NCAA Division I Indoor Qualifying list.

Meanwhile, Barrett, who made her season debut with Florida’s DMR squad on Friday, will make her first individual appearance this season when she competes in the mile.

On the men’s side, sophomore Hugh Brittenham and redshirt senior Marshall Dillon will run the mile, while redshirt sophomore Trevor Foley will represent the Gators in the 5,000 meters.

A complete list of Gators participating in Day 2 of the Tyson Invitational, along with the full schedule of events and entries, is below.

Coverage of the meet will continue Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. ET on SEC Network+, and it can be watched here.

TYSON INVITATIONAL MEET INFORMATION (all times Eastern)

  *   Live Results / Start Lists (Flash Results)
  *   Day 1 Results
*   Venue: Randal Tyson Track Center
  *   Coverage: Saturday’s competition will be streamed on SECN+. Additionally, fans can stay up to date by following the Gators’ social media platforms.