UF Roundup: Bates named Field Athlete of the Year
NEW ORLEANS — Florida junior KeAndre Bates was named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Indoor Field Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, while the Gators totaled 23 All-America honors for the 2017 season.
Bates is the third Gator in history to win an indoor national athlete of the year award: Marquis Dendy (2015) and Kerron Clement (2005).
The El Paso, Texas, native won the long jump and finished second in the triple jump at last weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships. Bates became the 11th man in history to sweep the horizontal jumps at SEC Indoor Championships.
Florida's 23 All-America honors included eight first-team accolades on the men's side: Bates, Grant Holloway (60 hurdles), Clayton Brown (high jump, triple jump), Lloydricia Cameron (shot put), Yanis David (triple jump), Eric Futch (400 meters) and Darrielle McQueen (long jump).
No. 1 Gators top No. 2 Buckeyes
ORLANDO — The top-ranked Gators have made the rounds against some of the nation's top teams and Tuesday evening they passed another stern test with a 4-1 win against No. 2 Ohio State in a challenge that was part of the USTA College MatchDay series held at the USTA National Campus in front of 642 fans.
Florida (13-0) overcame another swirling, windy evening and pushed forward all night — something UF coach Roland Thornqvist thought was a key to the win.
The Gator's doubles play also gave them the early edge, as Florida captured wins on courts one and three to earn the first point of the dual match.
In singles play, Ingrid Neel, Anna Danilina and Josie Kuhlman quickly won the first set of their respective singles matches and Florida seemed to be making quick work of the Buckeyes. But the Gators had to fight through. Neel was the first to finish her match, punching through on her fifth match-point win — a 6-2, 6-3 decision — to give Florida a 2-0 lead.
Danilina followed shortly afterward with a 6-2, 7-5 win to put the Gators within one of taking the dual match from Ohio State (14-2), that came when Kourtney Keegan won her match 6-4, 6-2.
SEC Championships Saturday in Jacksonville
The Gators quest to repeat as SEC gymnastics champions begins on the uneven bars Saturday evening in Jacksonville's Veterans Memorial Arena.
The eight-team field will compete in two sessions (2 and 6 p.m.). As the nation’s No. 4 ranked team, the Gators are the event’s No. 2 seed and will compete in the 6 p.m. session. Session II airs live on SEC Network. The seeds are based on the regional qualifying scores by Road to Nationals website. Session One has Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Missouri competing. The top seeds are facing off in Session Two: LSU, Florida, Alabama and Georgia.
Results from the two sessions combine to determine the champion of the meet. Florida won its 10th SEC title at the 2016 meet held in North Little Rock, Ark. Two Gators claimed three event titles in 2016 — Kennedy Baker (all-around, vault) and Alex McMurtry (balance beam).
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