Gators Christian Taylor, Will Claye take home gold and silver for United States in Triple Jump

Former Florida Gators Christian Taylor and Will Claye dominated the finals of the Men’s Triple Jump at the 2012 London Olympics on Thursday, finishing first and second in the event, respectively, to take home gold and silver for the United States.

Taylor, 22, the reigning world champion and gold medal favorite going into the event, became the youngest jumper in 100 years to win Olympic gold in the Triple Jump.

He almost did not have the opportunity to be the first American since 1996 to capture gold in the event, however, after committing fouls on his first two introductory jumps.

Taylor hit a mark of 17.15m on his third attempt to cement his place in the top eight and qualify for three more jumps. He wasted little time showcasing his dominance, hitting a seasonal best of 17.81m on his fourth attempt, a mark that would win him the gold medal.

Claye, the world indoor champion in the event who already took home bronze on Saturday in the Men’s Long Jump, won silver with a mark of 17.62m on his fourth jump. He led through the first three jumps with a second attempt of 17.54m, a mark which only he and Taylor eclipsed over the duration of the event.

The medals won by Taylor and Claye mark the 11th and 12th by former Gators in these Olympics. Representatives of Florida now have three golds, four silvers and five bronzes over the course of the games with a handful of events remaining.

Taylor’s medal is also the first individual track & field gold in program history. Taylor and Claye’s medals are just the second and third field medals in school history.

For recaps of their performances, a full schedule (including updated events), live stream links and a Gator Nation vs. The World medal count, be sure to check out OGGOA’s Live Coverage of the 2012 London Olympics.

Photo Credit: Gregory Bull/Associated Press

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TWO BITS: Demps will run, Haden fails test

1 » Former Florida Gators running back Jeff Demps, who gave up football after his senior season and is now a professional sprinter, did not qualify run for the United States at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June. However, he did wind up being added to the team as an injury replacement just days before the 2012 London Olympics got underway and learned this week that he will be running the first leg of the Men’s 4×100 Meter Relay on Friday. “I was very excited,” Demps said in a statement issued by agent Nohemy Baltodano to the Orlando Sentinel. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime.” As a member of the relay pool, Demps was not assured a spot in the event but has still been practicing with the team in London, England. By competing in the preliminaries, he will be eligible for a medal should Team USA win one in the finals of the event even if he is not a member of the four-man team to run that race.

2 » According to ESPN Cleveland, a website that is the online home for radio stations WKNR 850 AM and KNRZ 1540 AM, Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden is facing a possible four-game suspension after failing a NFL drug test that is currently being reviewed by the league. “One source said that Haden tested positive for the prescription drug Adderall during a routine, off-season test,” Will Burge and Tony Grossi wrote. “Adderall, which is commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy, is also used for excessive tiredness. It is on the NFL’s list of banned substances and is classified by the league as a stimulant.” Haden will have the opportunity to appeal his suspension, if one is handed down, though it would be unlikely for the NFL to change its mind barring something unforeseen.

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FOUR BITS: Taylor, Hill, Tebow, volleyball

1 » ESPN’s Michael Wilbon, in a piece published on July 31 and apparently missed by OGGOA, said that Florida Gators field star Christian Taylor (United States) is someone whose name should be remembered by the public heading into the 2012 London Olympics. Needing just one jump on Tuesday to qualify for the finals of the Men’s Triple Jump (set to be held on Thursday at 2:20 p.m.), Taylor explained to Wilbon how he learned the event that he has been so successful in up to this point in his career. “I went to YouTube … and how to DVDs. That was my film session,” he said.

2 » Former Gators safety Will Hill continues to turn heads at New York Giants training camp, so much so that the undrafted free agent who spent a year away from football is said to be “vying for significant time at safety” this season, according to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. Hill was also praised by head coach Tom Coughlin last week for being a standout in the secondary (as well as during special teams drills) and has been taking snaps as a first-team nickel back this week, according to the Associated Press. “I have the mentality, because I wasn’t drafted, [that] I have to prove myself to not only the coaches but also the players that I belong here,” Hill said. “So that’s how I just go out every day and attack it, full-on.” He also admitted that he only had himself to blame. “Me. Me,” Hill said. “Just thinking too highly of myself and thinking, ‘Oh, I am at the top again, nothing can happen to me and I can do whatever I want.’ And I paid for it.”

3 » Speaking on his own WFAN radio show on Monday, former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason suggested that the New York Jets should cut QB Tim Tebow.

“You want to know, if I were the Jets, what I would do? Want to know what I would do? I would cut Tim Tebow, I really would. I would. I’m just telling you right now: I would. And I’ll tell you why I would. It’s just not in any way, shape or form, I think, benefitting this team. I don’t see how it benefits…unless one thing that I would say is because you got a bunch of lunatics in that locker room. […] The fact is, the reason you may want Tim Tebow on this team – specifically for one reason and one reason only – and that’s the character issue.”

Esiason has been critical of Tebow in the past and similarly suggested that the Denver Broncos cut him following a poor performance in a regular season game in 2011. And what did Tebow say when he was asked to respond to Esiason’s comments? “I’ve heard nothing but great things about Mr. Esiason. I know he was a great player here and I wish him nothing but the best in his announcing. God bless him.”

4 » Though most Florida fans may be focused on the upcoming football season, Gators volleyball is set to host the Campus USA Credit Union Invite from Aug. 24-25 in Gainesville, FL against three other teams from the state of Florida. The Southeastern Conference this week polled its volleyball coaches to come up with preseason predictions. The SEC coaches chose Tennessee to win the conference championship with 12-of-13 first-place votes; Florida received the other but was picked to finish sixth in the league standings. The Gators also had just one team member – junior middle back Chloe Mann – selected for the Preseason All-SEC Team. Being an underdog is new ground for Florida under head coach Mary Wise. The Gators won the SEC consecutively from 1991-2008 and also took home a conference title in 2010. Florida finished third in 2009 and second last season. The 2012 team features just five upper classmen along with four sophomores and seven freshman (one redshirt).

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Beisel, Claye add bronze medals to Florida’s haul

Junior swimmer Elizabeth Beisel ended her journey at the 2012 London Olympics with a bang, and former Florida Gators jumper Will Claye started his in the same fashion as the duo each reeled in a bronze medal for the United States over the weekend.

Beisel, who previously captured a silver medal in the Women’s 400 Meter Individual Medley on July 28, became the second-winningest Gators athlete of these Olympics so far (Ryan Lochte) with a bronze in the Women’s 200 Meter Backstroke on Friday.

One of the favorites in the event, Beisel was treading water in fourth place most of the race but fought hard over the final 50 meters to sneak into third and capture the bronze with a time of 2:06.55 (+2.49).

On the second day of athletics action, Claye found himself in a battle for a medal in the Men’s Long Jump. In second after his second jump (8.07m), Claye quickly got bumped down to fifth but was given three more jumps as he was still in the top eight.

He used the first of his new set of jumps to register a mark of 8.12m, which put him back in line for a silver medal. However, Australia’s Mitchell Watt was dynamic on his final two jumps and first took then increased his lead on Claye, hitting 8.13m on his fifth try and 8.16m on his sixth to claim the silver for himself.

Claye, who captured the first field medal in Gators history and the first Men’s Long Jump medal for the Americans since 2004, will be one of three former Florida student-athletes competing in the Men’s Triple Jump, which begins on Tuesday at 5:45 a.m.

For recaps of their performances, a full schedule (including updated events for Monday), live stream links and a Gator Nation vs. The World medal count, be sure to check out OGGOA’s Live Coverage of the 2012 London Olympics.

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7/2: Gators wrap up 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Seventeen current and former Florida Gators track & field athletes and 35 current and former Florida swimmers participated in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, OR and Omaha, NE over the last two weeks.

In all seven Gators – four track & field athletes, three swimmers – qualified for the 2012 London Olympics after competing in the two events. Joining these current and former student-athletes are Mike Holloway, an assistant coach on Team USA for sprinters and hurdlers, and Gregg Troy, the Americans’ head swimming coach for these Olympic games.

OGGOA will offer comprehensive coverage of the 2012 London Olympics including a dedicated page, numerous widgets and daily updates. Below is the final update for the track & field and swimming team trials, which concluded on Monday.

EVENT RESULTS – JULY 2

Swimming
WOMEN’S 50 METER FREESTYLE
Dara Torres4th – 24.82Did not qualify
» Torres’s Olympic career ends with 12 medals (four golds) over five games.

QUALIFIED ATHLETES

Track & Field
Junior Tony McQuay – Men’s 400 Meter Dash
Will Claye – Men’s Long Jump, Men’s Triple Jump
Christian Taylor – Men’s Triple Jump
Kerron Clement – Men’s 400 Meter Hurdles

Swimming
Ryan Lochte – Men’s 400 Meter Individual Medley, Men’s 200 Meter Freestyle, Men’s 200 Meter Backstroke, Men’s 200 Meter Individual Medley
Conor Dwyer – Men’s 400 Meter Freestyle, Men’s 800 Meter Freestyle Relay
Sophomore Elizabeth Beisel – Women’s 400 Meter Individual Medley, Women’s 200 Meter Backstroke

(Additional relays that McQuay, Clement, Lochte, Dwyer and Beisel may compete in have yet to be determined or announced.)

ELIMINATED ATHLETES

Track & Field
Senior Gray Horn – Men’s Decathalon – finished third, did not qualify
Junior Dwight Barbiasz – Men’s High Jump – advanced to finals
Wes Stockbarger – Men’s Discus Throw – advanced to finals
Senior Jeff Demps – Men’s 100 Meter Dash – advanced to finals
Freshman Marquis Dendy – Men’s Long Jump – advanced to finals
Mason Cathey – Women’s 3,000 Meter Steeplechase – advanced to finals
Calvin Smith – Men’s 400 Meter Dash – advanced to semifinals
Sophomore Ebony Eutsey – Women’s 400 Meter Dash – advanced to semifinals
Freshman Dedric Dukes – Men’s 200 Meter Dash – advanced to semifinals
Sophomore Eddie Lovett – Men’s 110 Meter Hurdles – advanced to semifinals
Junior Jeremy Postin – Men’s Hammer Throw
Sophomore Cory McGee – Women’s 1,500 Meter Run

Swimming
Men: Rex Tullius (finals), Matthew Norton, Mike Joyce, Alex Martin, junior Cameron Martin, junior Jason Taylor, sophomore Connor Signorin, sophomore Bradley deBorde, freshman Matt Elliott (finals), freshman Austin Ringquist, freshman Matthew Curby, freshman Carlos Omana, freshman James Turner, freshman Austin Manganiello, freshman Ricky Munch, freshman Nicholas Caldwell, freshman Colin Hamilton, freshman Billy Silva
Women: Dara Torres (finals), senior Teresa Crippen (finals – 2), junior Jamie Bohunicky, junior Sharla Milne, sophomore Kaitlin Frehling, sophomore Trish Regan, sophomore Alicia Mathieu, sophomore Julia Treible, sophomore Alana Pazevic, freshman Rebecca Rainer, freshman Molly Dubrasky, freshman Jordan Smith, freshman Savannah Napier, freshman Lauren Neidigh,

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7/1: Gators at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Seventeen current and former Florida Gators track & field athletes are currently in Eugene, OR participating in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for the opportunity to represent their country in the 2012 London Olympics. Simultaneously, 35 current and former Gators swimmers are in Omaha, NE working toward the exact same goal.

Below is an update on how each has performed through the 10th (track & field) and seventh (swimming) days of the events as well as a schedule for the remainder of the trials.

EVENT RESULTS – JULY 1

Track & Field
MEN’S 400 METER HURDLES
Kerron Clement3rd – 48.89Qualified for Olympics
» Clement was a silver medalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Swimming
WOMEN’S 200 METER BACKSTROKE
Sophomore Elizabeth Beisel2nd – 2:07.58Qualified for Olympics
» Beisel also qualified in the 400 Meter Individual Medley.
Senior Teresa Crippen6th – 2:11.79Did not qualify

MEN’S 100 METER BUTTERFLY
Ryan Lochte3rd – 51.65Did not qualify

WOMEN’S 50 METER FREESTYLE (Semifinals)
Dara Torres3rd – 24.80Advanced to finals
» Next competing: Monday, July 2 from 8-9 p.m. live on NBC
» Did not advance to semifinals: sophomore Kaitlin Frehling (Heat 8 – 26.36)

QUALIFIED ATHLETES

Track & Field
Junior Tony McQuay – Men’s 400 Meter Dash
Will Claye – Men’s Long Jump, Men’s Triple Jump
Christian Taylor – Men’s Triple Jump
Kerron Clement – Men’s 400 Meter Hurdles

Swimming
Ryan Lochte – Men’s 400 Meter Individual Medley, Men’s 200 Meter Freestyle, Men’s 200 Meter Backstroke, Men’s 200 Meter Individual Medley
Conor Dwyer – Men’s 400 Meter Freestyle, Men’s 800 Meter Freestyle Relay
Sophomore Elizabeth Beisel – Women’s 400 Meter Individual Medley, Women’s 200 Meter Backstroke

UPCOMING EVENTS

Swimming
JULY 2 FINALS (8-9 p.m. live on NBC)
Women’s 50 Meter Freestyle, Men’s 1,500 Meter Freestyle

ELIMINATED ATHLETES

Track & Field
Senior Gray Horn – Men’s Decathalon – finished third, did not qualify
Junior Dwight Barbiasz – Men’s High Jump – advanced to finals
Christian Taylor – Men’s Long Jump – advanced to finals
Wes Stockbarger – Men’s Discus Throw – advanced to finals
Senior Jeff Demps – Men’s 100 Meter Dash – advanced to finals
Freshman Marquis Dendy – Men’s Long Jump – advanced to finals
Mason Cathey – Women’s 3,000 Meter Steeplechase – advanced to finals
Calvin Smith – Men’s 400 Meter Dash – advanced to semifinals
Sophomore Ebony Eutsey – Women’s 400 Meter Dash – advanced to semifinals
Freshman Dedric Dukes – Men’s 200 Meter Dash – advanced to semifinals
Sophomore Eddie Lovett – Men’s 110 Meter Hurdles – advanced to semifinals
Junior Jeremy Postin – Men’s Hammer Throw
Sophomore Cory McGee – Women’s 1,500 Meter Run

Swimming
With so many athletes competing in multiple events, this will be updated after the trials.

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6/30: Gators at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Seventeen current and former Florida Gators track & field athletes are currently in Eugene, OR participating in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for the opportunity to represent their country in the 2012 London Olympics. Simultaneously, 35 current and former Gators swimmers are in Omaha, NE working toward the exact same goal.

Below is an update on how each has performed through the ninth (track & field) and sixth (swimming) days of the events as well as a schedule for the remainder of the trials.

EVENT RESULTS – JUNE 30

Track & Field
MEN’S TRIPLE JUMP
Christian Taylor1st – 17.63m/57-10.25Qualified for Olympics
Will Claye2nd – 17.55m/57-7Qualified for Olympics
Junior Omar Craddock4th – 16.55m/54-3.75Did not qualify
» Taylor and Claye were the only two Americans to hit the Olympic ‘A’ Qualifying mark for the triple jump.

MEN’S 200 METER DASH (Semifinals)
Freshman Dedric Dukes9th – 20.70Eliminated

MEN’S 110 METER HURDLES (Semifinals)
Sophomore Eddie Lovett17th – 13.60Eliminated

Swimming
MEN’S 200 METER BACKSTROKE
Ryan Lochte1st – 1:54.54Qualified for Olympics
Rex Tullius6th – 1:59.16Did not qualify

MEN’S 200 METER INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY
Ryan Lochte2nd – 1:54.93Qualified for Olympics
Conor Dwyer3rd – 1:58.92Did not qualify

MEN’S 50 METER FREESTYLE (Semifinals)
» Did not advance to semifinals: sophomore Bradley deBorde (Heat 10 – 22.76), Matthew Norton (Heat 3 – 23.30)

WOMEN’S 200 METER BACKSTROKE (Semifinals)
Sophomore Elizabeth Beisel2nd – 2:08.41Advanced to finals
Senior Teresa Crippen7th – 2:12.21Advanced to finals
» Next competing: Sunday, July 1 from 8-9 p.m. live on NBC
» Did not advance to semifinals: sophomore Trish Regan (Heat 18 – 2:19.73)

MEN’S 100 METER BUTTERFLY (Semifinals)
Ryan Lochte6th – 52.47Advanced to finals
» Next competing: Sunday, July 1 from 8-9 p.m. live on NBC
» Did not advance to semifinals: junior Cameron Martin (Heat 7 – 54.50)

WOMEN’S 800 METER FREESTYLE (Preliminaries)
» Did not advance to finals: junior Jamie Bohunicky (Heat 3 – 8:48.42), sophomore Alicia Mathieu (Heat 7 – 8:50.14)

QUALIFIED ATHLETES

Track & Field
Junior Tony McQuay – Men’s 400 Meter Dash
Will Claye – Men’s Long Jump, Men’s Triple Jump
Christian Taylor – Men’s Triple Jump

Swimming
Ryan Lochte – Men’s 400 Meter Individual Medley, Men’s 200 Meter Freestyle, Men’s 200 Meter Backstroke, Men’s 200 Meter Individual Medley
Conor Dwyer – Men’s 400 Meter Freestyle, Men’s 800 Meter Freestyle Relay
Sophomore Elizabeth Beisel – Women’s 400 Meter Individual Medley

Read about the Upcoming Events and Eliminated Athletes…after the break!
Continue Reading » 6/30: Gators at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

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6/29: Gators at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Seventeen current and former Florida Gators track & field athletes are currently in Eugene, OR participating in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for the opportunity to represent their country in the 2012 London Olympics. Simultaneously, 35 current and former Gators swimmers are in Omaha, NE working toward the exact same goal.

Below is an update on how each has performed through the eighth (track & field) and fifth (swimming) days of the events as well as a schedule for the remainder of the trials.

EVENT RESULTS – JUNE 29

Track & Field
WOMEN’S 3,000 METER STEEPLECHASE
Mason Cathey11th – 9:54.07Did not qualify

MEN’S 400 METER HURDLES (Semifinals)
Kerron Clement3rd – 49.04Advanced to finals
» Next competing: Sunday, July 1 at 7:12 p.m. live on NBC

MEN’S 200 METER DASH
Freshman Dedric Dukes10th – 20.54Advanced to semifinals
» Next competing: Saturday, June 30 at 9:00 p.m. live on NBC

MEN’S 110 METER HURDLES
Sophomore Eddie Lovett11th – 13.49Advanced to semifinals
» Lovett’s 13.49 is a personal record.
» Next competing: Saturday, June 30 at 7:20 p.m.

Swimming
WOMEN’S 200 METER BUTTERFLY
Senior Teresa Crippen4th – 2:09.45Did not qualify

MEN’S 200 METER BREASTSTROKE
Freshman Matt Elliott8th – 2:12.71Did not qualify

MEN’S 200 METER BACKSTROKE (Semifinals)
Ryan Lochte1st – 1:55.73Advanced to finals
Rex Tullius5th – 1:58.79Advanced to finals
» Next competing: Saturday, June 30 from 8-9 p.m. live on NBC
» Did not qualify for semifinals: sophomore Connor Signorin (Heat 3 – 2:05.32), freshmanAustin Ringquist (Heat 1 – 2:07.03)

MEN’S 200 METER INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY (Semifinals)
Ryan Lochte1st – 1:55.51Advanced to finals
Conor Dwyer3rd – 1:58.32Advanced to finals
» Next competing: Saturday, June 30 from 8-9 p.m. live on NBC
» Did not qualify for semifinals: freshman Matthew Curby (Heat 10 – 2:04.10), Mike Joyce (Heat 9 – 2:04.36), Alex Martin (Heat 4 – 2:05.08), freshman Carlos Omana (Heat 9 – 2:05.49), sophomore Connor Signorin (Heat 13 – 2:06.40), freshman Austin Ringquist (Heat 2 – 2:11.09)

WOMEN’S 100 METER FREESTYLE (Semifinals)
» Did not qualify for semifinals: junior Jamie Bohunicky (Heat 10 – 56.48), sophomore Kaitlin Frehling (Heat 2 – 57.21)

WOMEN’S 200 METER BREASTSTROKE (Semifinals)
» Did not qualify for semifinals: freshman Rebecca Rainer (Heat 9 – 2:34.12), sophomore Julia Treible (Heat 4 – 2:41.01)

QUALIFIED ATHLETES

Track & Field
Junior Tony McQuay – Men’s 400 Meter Dash
Will Claye – Men’s Long Jump

Swimming
Ryan Lochte – Men’s 400 Meter Individual Medley, Men’s 200 Meter Freestyle
Conor Dwyer – Men’s 400 Meter Freestyle, Men’s 800 Meter Freestyle Relay
Sophomore Elizabeth Beisel – Women’s 400 Meter Individual Medley

Read about the Upcoming Events and Eliminated Athletes…after the break!

Continue Reading » 6/29: Gators at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

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