Mike Holloway has been at the helm of Florida Gators track and field since 2003, and since arriving in Gainesville, the Gators had racked up 10 national titles on the men’s side and two on the women’s side.
Add one more to the trophy case as Florida came from behind at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships last night to claim national title number 13 for Holloway.
Mike Holloway: Chess, not checkers
Here is a fun stat, under Mike Holloway the Gator’s men’s track and field team has only won the SEC Outdoor Championships three times while winning the national title six times.
How does that happen?
Because Florida values quality of quantity.
See at conference meets, teams need far more depth than what is required at the national meet. What might come in fifth at the SEC meet to score points won’t score any at the national meet. So rather than fool with hitting lots of singles, Holloway swings for the fences every time.
For example, heading into 4 X 4, the final event, Florida trailed Arkansas and had to come in first place in the event while hoping Arkansas came in 5th or worse. The Razorbacks came in last, which made Florida’s collegiate record of 2:57.74 to deliver the meet win that much better.
It ties into Florida’s entire mantra of don’t come to Gainesville unless you are ready to score at Nationals.
Emmanuel Bamidele and Ryan Willie came in first and second in the 400-meter dash running 44.24 and 44.25 seconds, respectively.
The 4 X 1 squad ran 38.26 seconds to come in second place, Sean Dixon-Bodie went 54-6 in the triple jump to come in fourth, PJ Austin ran 9.97 seconds to come in fifth, and Robert Gregory ran 19.89 seconds in the 200-meter dash to come in fifth.
And that’s all it took for Mike Holloway and the Florida Gators to clinch another national title.
Because while everyone else is playing chekcers, he’s playing chess.