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UF Track & Field: Gators Open Indoor Season with Eight NCAA Top-10 Performances; Freshmen Impress

In her very first collegiate jump, Claire Bryant entered UF’s Indoor All-Time Top 10 list with a mark of 6.28 meters, ranking tied for 5th in the nation.

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY RICK HURTADO

Three freshmen began their careers with NCAA top-5 performances and a spot on UF’s Top 10

The Gators kicked off the season Saturday by posting eight NCAA top-10 performances with the help of three freshmen who logged times and marks that rank among the best in school history.

Jumpers Malcolm Clemons and Claire Bryant kicked off their careers with top marks in the long jump. Meanwhile, sprinter Talitha Diggs impressed in the 200 meters before helping Florida’s 4×400 relay team to one the fastest times in the nation.

Diggs crossed in 23.14 seconds in the 200 meters, logging the fourth-fastest time in the nation. A new personal record for the freshman, her time ranks tied for third in school history.

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Out on the field, Clemons landed on the No. 5 spot of this year’s NCAA Division I Indoor Qualifying list with a mark of 7.85 meters (25 feet, 9.25 inches). Clemons, who hails from Oakland, California, now holds the No. 10 spot on UF’s Indoor All-Time Top 10 list.

Meanwhile in her very first collegiate jump, Bryant entered UF’s Indoor All-Time Top 10 list with a mark of 6.28 meters (20 feet, 7.25 inches). Her new indoor personal best ranks ninth in school history and is tied at fifth on the NCAA qualifying list.

All three Gators lead the nation among freshmen in their respective individual events.

Although the freshmen had an impressive afternoon, they were not the only Gators with NCAA top-10 times.

Sophomore Semira Killebrew, who led the nation among freshmen 60-meters sprinters last year, made her way back into the top 10 of the NCAA Division I Indoor Qualifying list with a time of 7.31 seconds. Her 60 meters time is tied for seventh nationally.

Meanwhile, mid-distance runner Gabrielle Wilkinson crossed in 2:07.59, securing the No. 6-ranked time on the NCAA Division I Indoor Qualifying list.

On the men’s side, sprinter Joseph Fahnbulleh logged an NCAA fifth-ranked time of 20.79 in the 200 meters for a new personal record, in addition to helping Florida’s 4×400 relay squad to a top-10 performance.

The men’s 4×400 relay team, composed of Fahnbulleh, Denzel Villaman, Ian Davis, and Jacob Miley, logged a time of 3:09.76. Meanwhile the women’s team, formed by Diggs, Taylor Manson, Sterling Lester, and Lauryn Ghee, finished the afternoon for the Gators with a time of 3:36.70. Both times rank ninth nationally in their respective categories.

In addition to Fahnbulleh, Clemons, and Diggs, Miley and fellow mid-distance runner Chase Ruskin also posted new personal records in the 800 meters. Miley, who anchored the 4×400 squad, crossed in 1:51.98, while Ruskin posted a time of 1:55.56.

The Gators are back in action Feb. 5 when they return to Columbia for this year’s South Carolina Invitational.

CAROLINA CHALLENGE MEET INFORMATION

  • Results (Adkins Results)
  • Venue: Carolina Indoor Track and Field Complex
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