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Grace Stark and Alida van Daalen Rewrite School Records at Tom Jones Memorial Invitational

Grace Stark and Alida van Daalen were both in record-breaking form after rewriting respective Florida Gators program records at Tom Jones Memorial Invitational.

Arik Morton

Alida van Daalen in action for Florida Track and Field
Alida van Daalen in action for Florida Track and Field

In a display of remarkable performances, the University of Florida’s Track & Field program made waves on the final day of the prestigious Tom Jones Memorial Invitational and the Bryan Clay Invitational. The standout moments of the day were marked by Grace Stark and Alida van Daalen resetting their own school records in the 100m Hurdles and Discus Throw, respectively.

Alongside these exceptional feats, the Gators secured an additional 19 top ten finishes, four Florida All-Time Top 10 marks, and seven personal bests over the weekend.

Grace Stark delivered a stellar performance, clocking a record-breaking time of 12.56 in the 100m Hurdles finals. The White Lake native’s impressive run not only shattered her previous school record set in 2022 but also placed her at the top of the NCAA rankings for 2024 and the fifth-best time globally this year.

Read Also: Florida Gators Star Parker Valby Makes History Again With Another CR

Meanwhile, Alida van Daalen continued her streak of excellence by breaking her own discus school record for the third consecutive week. Her remarkable throw of 62.58m/205’4” at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational now stands as the second-best mark in the nation for 2024, securing her first place in the Discus Throw Invite.

Grace Stark in the hurdles at Tom Jones Memorial Invitational 2024
Grace Stark in the hurdles at the 2024 Tom Jones Memorial Invitational. Photo: Gators Track and Field & Cross Country

Among other notable performances, Gracelyn Leiseth clinched victory in the Women’s Discus Throw Open with a throw of 51.93m/170’4”, showcasing her consistent form this season. Will Gross IV impressed in the Men’s Hammer Throw Invite, securing second place with a throw of 66.35m/217’8”.

The Florida Men’s 4x400m relay team, comprising Reheem Hayles, Wanya McCoy, Jevaughn Powell, and Jenoah McKiver, stood out with a commanding first-place finish in the event, clocking a time of 3:01.20.

This performance ranks as the third-fastest time in the nation for the year and secures the team a spot on Florida’s All-Time Top 10 list.

Noteworthy achievements continued at the Bryan Clay Invitational, where Flomena Asekol, Elise Thorner, and Parvej Khan all earned Florida All-Time Top 10 marks in the 1500m Invites.

Asekol, Thorner, and Khan displayed exceptional prowess in their respective events, solidifying their places among the university’s track and field elite.

Personal bests were also celebrated, with athletes like Malique Smith-Band, Kevar Williams, Ryan Maseman, Miguel Pantojas, Joe Wester, Jess Edwards, MJ Holloway, and India Alix achieving new heights in their performances.

The University of Florida’s Track & Field program continues to set the standard for excellence, with athletes pushing boundaries and rewriting records at every opportunity.

About The Author

Arik Morton

Communications Assistant (Cross Country, Track & Field) University of Florida Athletic Association C: (973) 507-6189 | O: (352) 375-4683 Ext: 6120 ArikM@gators.ufl.edu | @ajmorton_19 FloridaGators.com

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