The 2015 Pepsi Florida Relays was just what any Track and Field lover needed besides the rain. Elite athletics ranging from high school to the Olympians were on display giving their all.
Records are meant to be broken and that is just what happened. Senior Bridgette Owens (Florida) glided over the hurdles to a time of 12.75. She was .11 of a second from breaking the 100 Hurdle meet record. Freshman’s Dior Hall (USC 13.00) and Jacklyn Howell (Kentucky 13.08) showed that they are ready to run at this level. Look for them to improve as the season progress.
Junior Rachel Serafin (Louisville) was business as normal in the Hammer throw. Her fifth throw of 57.75 sealed the win and meet record. Rachel Fatherly (Penn State) took second with 55.04 while standout freshman from Miami North Western Loydricia Cameron (Florida) was third with 54.80. The previous record was 54.14 which five contestants clear this year .
The open 400 meters the women was a battle to the end. Super sophomore SHAKIMA WIMBLEY (Miami) was closing in fast but another super sophomore KYRA JEFFERSON (Florida) held on for the photo finish win!! The time was 51.50. SHAKIMA WIMBLEY “I don’t get hype about what I do. I go back to the drawing board and work. I want to be the best!”
The open 800 meters women and men records were broken. 2014 University of Florida standout Sean Obinwa 800 meter record of 1:46.68 did not survive a year. Alex Amankwah (Alabama) powered his way to a 1:45.91 new meet record. Junior Ryan Schnulle will have to drop a full second next year to bring the record back to the Gators. Brannon Kidder (Penn State) was third with a time of 1:47.14. On the women side both the meet and track record were broken. Chanelle Price (Nike) was unchallenged while taking down the 23 year old record in a time of 2:00.62. Natoya Goule (Celmson) ran an outstanding race to capture the 20 year old record in a time of 2:01.63. Great job ladies!!! The Florida Gator men’s 1600 Sprint Medley team took down another 20+ record when they crossed the finish line at 3:13.96. The team consisted of senior Dedric Dukes, juniors Najee Glass , Antwan Wright and sophomore Andres Arroyo.
The 4 x 200 meter relay belonged to the University of Southern California. This team had three freshman and still posted a time of 1:31.41. The team has a chance of breaking the record 2016 if Deanna Hill, Ky Westbrook, Gabriella Cantrell and Tynia Gaither can stay healthy. Junior Tynia Gaither stated, “It was practice for us. My goal is to help my team out best I can.” Our next interview was with the great USA sprinter Justin Gatlin. We asked Mr. Gatlin what is the goal for this season? He quickly explained that “The goal is to get the gold. When you step to the line it is all a mental thing. You can train every day for 6 six hours a day and forget you trained that hard. Don’t Let it go to waste!”
The host team chomped their way to victories in the men’s and women’s 4 x 400 meter relays. The Gators women wanted to set the tone in the Tom Jones 4 x 400 meter relay. DESTINEE GAUSE, KYRA JEFFERSON, DESTINY WASHINGTON and CLAUDIA FRANCIS edged out Clemson by .89 to take the win in a time of 3:31.00. Freshman Destiny Washington states ” Its a lot of pressure running with the upper class-men, but they do a great job of keeping me relax.” KYRA JEFFERSON explained how important it is to win at this meet. “We have to show out its our home meet. Its the hypest home meet of the year.” The Gators men owned the Jimmy Carnes 4 x 400 meter relay to close out the meet. The team that consisted of NICK URUBURU, DEDRIC DUKES, ERIC FUTCH and NAJEE GLASS cruised to a meet record 3:01.78. Najee Glass stated, “I know we are ready for anybody.”