BY Jared Rigdon, Florida Athletics Department
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Championship season is officially here in the 2022 Indoor Track and Field season. The No. 2 ranked Florida’s Women’s Track and Field team and No. 10 Florida Men’s Track and Field team will head to Texas A&M this weekend in pursuit of the 2022 SEC Indoor Championship title.
Live coverage of the two-day meeting will be streaming on the SEC Network+ with live results and other updates available throughout the entire championships. READ MORE: When is the 2022 SEC Indoor Championships and how to watch it?
How will battle for Florida for SEC Indoor Championships?
Florida starts are the top SEC team at this weekend’s championships on the women’s side, according to the NCAA Division I Women’s Indoor Track & Field National TFRI, announced in Week 5 by USTFCCCA.
However, the Mike Holloway Gator squad can brace itself for a challenging weekend and can expect to have strong encounters with Arkansas, at No. 3 in the nation and ranked second in the SEC, as well as LSU, which is No. 4 in the country and Kentucky, the No, 5 ranked women’s program in the latest national rankings.
On the men’s side, Florida side behind the newly installed No. 1 team in the rankings, the Arkansas Razorbacks. Also ahead of the Gators in the Week 5 rankings are No. 4 Georgia, which is No. 2 in the SEC, No. 6 Alabama, and No. 9 Kentucky.
The Gators have had a tremendous amount of success to begin the season so far. The Florida women have already broken five school records and one NCAA record after just three full weekends of competition.
Florida has big traveling squad
Florida will travel 27 men and 21 women to the SEC Indoor Championships this weekend. The women will have entries in 15 of the 17 competitions and the Florida men will enter into 11 of the 17 events.
The 400 meters will feature a plethora of Gators. The men will enter five into the race while the women will enter four. On the women’s side, Talitha Diggs and Taylor Manson have both run marks that rank in the top-16 in the NCAA this season.
Jacory Patterson, Ryan Willie and Champion Allison all rank within the top-8 in the NCAA this season. Those three were all NCAA finalists in the event a season ago.
Diggs (200m, 400m) and Anna Hall (Pentathlon, High Jump) will both enter into two individual events and the 4×400 relay. Claire Bryant (High Jump and Long Jump) and Jasmine Moore (Long Jump and Triple Jump) are also double entered in this weekend’s competition.
SEC Indoor Championships featured event for the Gators
Seven of the individual men’s events will feature three or more Gators (60m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 3000m, Long Jump, Triple Jump). Just two of the women’s events will feature three or more (60m, 400m).
Joseph Fahnbulleh will feature in the 60 meters and 200 meters after making his season debut at the Jarvis Scott Open this past weekend. Cameron Miller also made his return to action by running one of the top times (20.67) in the SEC this season in the 200 meters.
The Florida women have never had an SEC Indoor Champion in the Pentathlon, 60 meters or 60-meter hurdles. The Gators currently have the SEC Leaders (Hall, Grace Stark) in the Pentathlon and 60 meters respectively. Stark is also second in the SEC in the 60-meter hurdles.
The Gator men haven’t won a 4×400 relay at the SEC Indoor Championships since 2016. Florida’s team this year currently leads the SEC, NCAA and World with a mark of 3:02.09.
No team has swept the 400 meters on both the men’s and women’s side since 2014 (Texas A&M). Florida’s army of runners in the 400 meters will look to break that streak this year.
No woman has swept the Long Jump and Triple Jump since Florida’s Shara Proctor in 2010. Moore is a two-time SEC Indoor Champion in the Triple Jump and a leading contender in the Long Jump.
Diggs is the only returning individual SEC Indoor Champion for Florida (400m) but Hall (Pentathlon) and Moore (Triple Jump) both won titles last year competing for Georgia.
Patterson was also the ACC Indoor Champion (200m and 400m) last year at Virginia Tech.
The Florida men have placed in the top-5 of the SEC Indoor Championships for 24 consecutive seasons and will look to make it 25 straight this year. The Florida women were the runner-up last year and will look to regain the crown for the first time since 2014.