Baton Rouge, La. — Tony McQuay will look to go one better this season when he races for the 2012 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships men’s 400m title at Bernie Moore Stadium on Sunday.
The Florida Gators junior finished second to Kirani James last season, but is the favourite to strike gold this season with James giving up his remaining collegiate eligibility to join the professionals.
On Saturday McQuay eased into the final after winning his heat in 45.88 seconds, which is the second quickest of the heats.
The USA outdoor champion will race out of lane five and he is expected to be challenged by Georgia senior Torrin Lawrence, who posted the fastest time of the heats, at 45.84, Clayton Gravesande of South Carolina and Robert Simmons of LSU – the other sub-46 seconds runners in the preliminaries with 45.93 and 45.99, respectively.
Experts believe the race will be won from the middle lanes, with both McQuay and Lawrence have identical outdoor year bests of 45.65secs.