Florida Gators Men’s Track And Field Win National Championship

EUGENE, OREGON - The Florida Gators men's track and field team won the outdoor national championship for the first time since 2017
EUGENE, OREGON - The Florida Gators men's track and field team won the outdoor national championship for the first time since 2017 /

Coming into the Outdoor National Championship meet in Eugene, Oregon, the Florida Gators men’s track and field squad had a shot at winning the meet, but the margin for error was going to be very small.

Led by the performance of Joseph Fahnbulleh, the Gators delivered in every event they needed to win their first national title at the outdoor championships since 2017.

Joseph Fahnbulleh Leads The Way

For the Gators to have a chance, Fahnbulleh was going to have to have a massive meet for Florida. The 200 meter NCAA champion from 2021 was also a representative of Liberia at the Tokyo Olympics this past summer.

So even though Fahnbulleh didn’t come into the meet ranked first in any individual events, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise he left Eugene a double champion.

Fahnbulleh got the day started for the Gators as the anchor of the 4 X 100. Much like in prelims, he didn’t get the baton close to the leaders Southern California.

But, to quote the commentary crew:

"“He can close like a house on fire”"

Florida wound up in 2nd, missing out on 1st by just .03, but it gave Florida eight points and they were on their way.

Fahnbulleh would then give Florida 10 more points in the 100 meter dash. Just like prelims, he was in dead last 50 meters in.

It didn’t matter.

10 seconds flat gave him the win with room to spare and Florida was in business.

After winning the 100, it was almost a foregone conclusion Fahnbulleh would win the 200. A slow start didn’t matter in that event either as he would run the 4th best time by a collegiate athlete ever with a 19.83

Other Gators Step Up

Fahbulleh couldn’t do it all by himself. Dedrick Vanover joined him in the 100 meter dash and came through with big points by coming in 5th place.

In the 400 meter dash, Champion Allison entered as the number one seed after qualifying. Even though he didn’t win, his 2nd place performance with a time of 44.41 combined with Ryan Willie running a 45.00 to come in 5th gave Florida 12 more points.

Gators Men’s Track Clinch Before 4 X 400

Florida sat at 44 points after the 200. The last real threat for Florida was the team from 90 miles away in Tallahassee. Florida State had two athletes entered in the 5000 meter run. When neither Seminole came through with points, Florida could already begin their celebration prior to the 4 X 400.

For the Florida Gators Men’s Track and Field program, this is their 5th outdoor national title all time and 11th overall. Florida once again continues their trend of winning outdoor national titles despite not winning the SEC title (they were 4th at that meet).

Florida won the event anyway. With Allison on the anchor Florida would run 2:58.88 for a facility and a meet record.

Gators would finish with 54 points. Texas was runner up with 38, Tennessee was third with 34 and Florida State rounded out the podium with 33.

Florida entered the meet ranked 6th in the USTFCCCA computer rankings. Perhaps the Twitter feed for Gators Track and Field said it best

All results from the meet can be found here

The women will attempt to match the men on Saturday and are in a great position to do so

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