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Gators track and field wins 3rd consecutive men’s national title

Add a three-peat to Florida track and field coach Mike Holloway’s glowing resumé along with another national title for his men’s team.

UF edged Auburn 41-40 late Friday night for a third straight national men’s title, a first since Texas A&M in 2010-12, and seventh overall under Holloway. The school’s longtime head coach now has 14 national titles to his credit, tied for 11th all time.

The Gators’ latest title might have been the most dramatic and democratic.

In second place and five points behind Auburn, the Gators finished third in the meet-ending 4×400-meter relay to secure six points for the win.

“We’re a team. We’re family,” Holloway said. “We talk about a standard and we fight to win every single day and that’s what you saw this week.”

Ten athletes posted scores for the Gators, led by 9.5 points from redshirt senior Jevaughn Powell in three different events and senior Robert Gregory in two events, including 8 points with a runner-up finish in the 200.

Powell ran a personal record time of 44.54, fifth all-time at UF, while Gregory’s 20.08 seconds was a season best.

Powell ran the second leg after senior Reheem Hayles and ahead of freshman Rios Prude Jr. and senior Jenoah McKiver in the 4×400. Powell also finished third individually during the 400 (6 points) and was part of the fourth-place 4 X 100 team (5).

Redshirt junior Malcolm Clemons earned 6 points with a long jump of 26 feet, 5 inches to finish in third place. Redshirt senior Kai Chang’s discus throw of 198 feet, 10 inches earned him fifth place and 4 points.

Sophomore Wanya McCoy picked up 3 points with a sixth-place finish in the 100 (10.03) while an eighth-place showing in the triple jump by redshirt junior Sean Dixon-Bodie was good for a point in the single-point victory against Auburn.

“It was a tough day, we had some things not go our way,” Holloway said. “Every time something went wrong, somebody stepped up and got it done.”

The Gators’ performance continues the school’s streak of at least one national championship annually since 2008-09, a span including 27 titles in 12 sports.

Edgar Thompson can be reached at egthompson@orlandosentinel.com