"We've got a lot of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors contributing," Coach Holloway said following the meet. "The future is very, very bright for us."
The numbers back him up.
Of the 84 total points Florida scored at the outdoor meet (42 on each side), 63 came from non-seniors. That figure includes the Gators' three NCAA-scoring relay teams, which featured one senior between them. Plus, four Gators who qualified for nationals and narrowly missed finals have eligibility remaining--three were underclassmen this year.
More sunny days are indeed on the horizon for Florida, but before getting there, let's take a look back at all the fun the 2018 Gators had in Eugene. Make sure you stick around for the awards photos. (Wink, wink.)
Saturday, June 2 saw the Gators charter to Eugene, and the women's team made sure to bring their blankets.
The men's team forgot blankets, but they didn't seem too concerned.
Except for Kunle Fasasi and Jabari Hill. Jabari looks like he accidentally grabbed a veggie sandwich.
Sunday was a lighthearted day of training for the Gators, a number of whom had the day off entirely. That led to some rather interesting and hilarious moments, like senior thrower Lloydricia Cameron taking on the long jump.
There were Spectacles, laughs, and more than a few games of Heads Up!
Monday and Tuesday afternoon, the Gators made their final preparations at Historic Hayward Field. And everyone's shirt game was strong.
The PR McFarland entered the competition with would have only put him 13th in the standings, meaning he would have missed the final by more than six feet.
On his first throw of the final, McFarland PRed again, and his mark of 71.29 meters (233 feet, 10 inches) held up for eighth place. In summation, McFarland increased his personal record by over 10 feet.
First on the track was the Gators' 4x100 relay preliminary. Junior Michael Timpson Jr., freshman Chantz Sawyers, sophomore Grant Holloway, and junior Ryan Clark combined for what would end up being the second-fastest collegiate time for 2018, and tied the third-fastest time in school history (38.49 seconds).
Day One ended in the same fashion every day at NCAA Outdoors does: with a 4x400 relay race.
While the jumpers piled up 13 points, sixth-year senior javelin Avione Allgood locked in for her final collegiate competition, eyeing a storybook ending to her incredible comeback.
Shortly thereafter, Lloydricia Cameron added a point with an eighth-place finish in the shot put.
It was far from her best performance, but she and Allgood had plenty to be proud of as they reflected on the totality of their collegiate careers.
On the track, junior quarter-miler Sharrika Barnett, freshman 400-meter-hurdler Nikki Stephens (more on her later), and the Gators' 4x400 relay team all qualified for Saturday finals.
The day also had a pair of near-misses, though. Sophomore Brandee' Johnson had the eighth-fastest preliminary time but missed the 400 hurdles final, and freshman Taylor Manson finished 0.14 seconds out of the 400 meters final.
The men retook the stage Friday, with the Gators' 4x100 relay team opening the day by earning a bronze medal, making it the program's highest NCAA finish since winning consecutive titles in 2013 and 2014.
Holloway edged Illinois' David Kendziera by one hundredth of a second to become the second man in history to sweep the indoor and outdoor hurdles NCAA titles two years in a row.
In the field, redshirt junior Jhonny Victor scored for a second consecutive year in the high jump, taking eighth place. The Orlando, Fla., product became the third high jumper in school history to score at multiple NCAA Outdoors.
Sophomore Clayton Brown came painfully close to clearing 2.18 meters (7 feet, 1.75 inches), which would have kept him in the scoring hunt.
Even amidst her frustration, David was sportsmanlike as ever and congratulated Orji on a fourth consecutive outdoor national title.
The Gators closed the meet with their 4x400 relay team of Taylor Manson, Barnett, Stephens, and senior Taylor Sharpe combining for a fifth-place finish, which clinched a second consecutive fifth-place finish in the team standings as well.
Some more podium action for the Gators.