AUSTIN, Texas - For the sixth time in program history, the Florida Gators men's track and field team has won the NCAA Outdoor Championship. This is the 11th National Championship for the men's team and the 14th overall for the Florida Gators track and field programs. All 11 of the men's titles have come under Head Coach Mike Holloway.
The 4x100 relay team of Ryan Willie, Jacory Patterson, Pjai Austin, and Robert Gregory led off the day winning silver, crossing the line with a time of 38.26. The Gators earned their second consecutive silver medal in the 4x100, after finishing second last year at the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championship. The second place finished scored eight points for the Gators in the team competition.
Next up for the Gators was the 100m, where Pjai Austin's fifth place finish earned the Gators four more points towards the team title. Shortly after the 100m, the trio of Emmanuel Bamidele, Ryan Willie, and Jevaughn Powell collected 20 more points in the 400m. Bamidele won the 400m title with a time of 44.24, the fastest time in the country this year, second fastest in school history, and fourth fastest in the world this year. Ryan Willie secured silver (44.25) with the second fastest time in the country this year and fifth fastest in the world this year. Jevaughn Powell finished seventh in the event (45.32).
In the 200m, Robert Gregory earned fourth (19.89), running a new personal best and earning 5 more points for the Gators. The final individual event was the triple jump where Sean Dixon-Bodie in his first NCAA Outdoor Championship as a Gator, placed fourth (16.61m/54'6"), also earning 5 points.
Entering the final event, the 4x400, the Gators were down 5 points to Arkansas. The team of Jevaughn Powell, Emmanuel Bamidele, Jacory Patterson, and Ryan Willie proceeded to win gold, running a new collegiate record time to win the relay title and secure the National Championship for the Gators.
Day four of the competition is comprised of the remaining women's finals and the women's heptathlon. The Gators begin the fourth day of competition at 5:00 p.m. ET when Sterling Lester begins the final day of heptathlon competition with the long jump. The first final of the day is the women's high jump at 8:30 p.m. ET followed by women's discus at 8:35 p.m. ET. The first running event of the day begins at 9:02 p.m. ET with the 4x100 final and the day ends with the 4x400.
NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS MEET
Friday's Finals Recap
Women- Sterling Lester competed in the heptathlon, comprised of the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin, and 800m. On day one of the competition, Lester took part in the first four events. She led off the competition with the 100m hurdles, placing sixth with a time of 13.36. Lester's time was a season best. In the second heptathlon event, Lester cleared 1.66m/5'5.25" in the high jump, finishing twentieth. In the shot put, Lester threw 11.83m/38'9.75", placing eighteenth in her third event. Fourth up for Lester was the 200m, where she finished first (23.52). At the end of day one of the heptathlon competition, Lester is seventh overall in the competition with 3554 points.
Men- In his first NCAA Outdoor Championship as a Gator, Sean Dixon-Bodie finished fourth with a mark of 16.61m/54'6". He scored five points for the Gators. 100m Men- Pjai Austin finished fifth in the 100m (9.97), earning four points for the men's team competition.
Men- Robert Gregory (19.89) finishes fourth in the men's 200m competition. His time is a new personal best and improves his third fastest time in the event in school history. He earned 5 points for the team.
Men- The 400m trio of Emmanuel Bamidele, Ryan Willie, and Jevaughn Powell finished first, second, and seventh respectively. Bamidele wins the individual National Title in the 400m, with a time of 44.24. This is the fastest time in the country this year, the second fastest in school history, and the fourth fastest in the world this year. Willie finished 0.01 seconds behind Bamidele, earning silver (44.25). Willie's time is the second fastest in the country this year, the third fastest in school history and the fifth fastest in the world this year. Powell earned seventh with a time of 45.32. The Gators earned 20 points for their performances in the 400m.
Men- Ryan Willie, Jacory Patterson, Pjai Austin, Robert Gregory (38.26) start off the day for the Gators with a podium finish, winning silver in men's 4x100. The Gators repeat as silver medalists in the relay after earning second last year at the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championship. The 4x100 team scored eight points towards the team competition.
Men- In the final race of the day, the 4x400 team of Jevaughn Powell, Emmanuel Bamidele, Jacory Patterson, Ryan Willie ran a new collegiate record time (2:54.74), breaking the previous record they set at the 2023 SEC Outdoor Championships. The victory secured the team national title for the Gators program.
On winning the National Championship... "It is an incredible feeling. I get asked all the time what my favorite championship is and I jokingly but not jokingly say the next one. There are different people, different experiences, different emotions involved. We had new athletes who had never done it before. For Coach Palmer, we always joke that when we get a new coach we get a National Championship. If we did not win this one I would let him down so. I am so happy for him and his wife Sam [Palmer] and Liam [Palmer]. It is just an awesome feeling. We do not think about last year or think about defending anything. Our job was to come in here and win this one and that is what we did."