Florida Gators win men’s outdoor track & field national championship for second straight year

By OnlyGators.com Staff
June 9, 2023
Florida Gators win men’s outdoor track & field national championship for second straight year

Image Credit: NCAA

You may have heard this one before: Florida Gators track & field has won the national championship for the second straight season. In fact, under head coach Mike Holloway, hoisting the wood trophy almost seems like an inevitability.

Florida on Friday night won the 2023 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Championship, capturing back-to-back national outdoor titles for the third time in program history with Holloway now claiming six such crowns as the program’s leader. The Gators were the last team to go back-to-back in 2016-17 and previously did so in 2012-13, now having won six of the last 12 national titles in the event.

It’s also the 13th national crown for Holloway, who has won five men’s indoor championships (2010-12, 2018-19) before sweeping the indoor and outdoor titles with the women’s team in 2022.

“I get asked the question a lot, ‘What’s your favorite championship?'” Holloway remarked after celebrating with his team.

“The next one,” he answered himself with a wry grin.

Nicknamed “Mouse,” Holloway is far more akin to a G.O.A.T. Between team titles, individual titles and preparation of his athletes for international competition, he has no equal on campus or in the modern profession.

Holloway does not accomplish anything without his athletes, though, and they undoubtedly came through for Florida this week — just as Holloway planned as he chose to not overly tax the Gators during SEC competition in order to get them primed for the national stage.

Florida clinched its most recent national title with an event championship by the 4×400-meter relay team, which only needed to finish third but instead won the race and set a new collegiate record in doing so.

Earlier in the night, sophomore Emmanuel Bamidele became national champion in the 400 meters by running the fastest time in the nation and fourth-fastest time in the world this year (44.24 seconds). He bested teammate junior Ryan Wilie (44.25 s), who won silver in the event, by a mere hundredth of a second.

The Gators have now won 47 team national championship as an athletic program, including two this year and 26 since the 2008-09 season. Just 10 days ago, Florida claimed its first national championship in men’s golf since 2001. The 2022-23 campaign marks the ninth time in the last 13 athletic seasons (including the COVID-19 suspended 2019-20 campaign) that the Gators have won two or more national titles.

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