Florida, Oregon win NCAA indoor titles

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Florida coach Mike Holloway went for a morning walk with one of his assistant coaches before the final day of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field championships.

The defending champion Gators were in 12th place after the first day, 16 points behind Florida State and BYU. But with their strongest events yet to come, Holloway wasn't worried. He knew his team only needed to perform to their capabilities to rally.

The Gators did just that, and took home another title.

Jeff Demps won his second consecutive 60-meter dash title with a school-record time, and Will Claye set an NCAA meet record in winning the triple jump, helping Florida amass 52 points.

"Last year, we were projected to finish second or third, and guys just stepped to the forefront," Holloway said. "This year, we were the big favorites. We had a lot of fight in us, and we showed that today.

"We never worry about anybody else," he said. "We didn't need to do anything special. We just needed to come out and be Florida. And that's what we did."

Texas A&M won the last event of the meet -- the 1,600-meter relay -- to finish second with 40 points. BYU was third with 34.

Oregon won its second consecutive women's title, with much less suspense than the men's competition had. Jordan Hasay won the mile and 3,000 less than two hours apart on Saturday to score 20 of the Ducks' 67 points.

Texas was second with 38 and LSU finished third with 37.

"It was a great team effort," Oregon coach Vin Lananna said. "The athletes did a fantastic job."

The Gators' men's team became the fourth men's program to repeat as indoor national champions. Arkansas has done it three times, the last in 2005 and '06.

Demps won the Southeastern Conference 60 two weeks ago and finished in 6.53 seconds on Saturday, 0.04 seconds faster than his winning time at last year's NCAA meet.

"Feels good," Demps said. "A lot of great sprinters have come through Florida. It's really exciting."

Christian Taylor was going for his third consecutive triple-jump championship, but Claye beat him with a leap of 56 feet, 10 inches. Taylor, who won the SEC title two weeks ago, settled for second with a final leap of 55-9.

Dumisani Hlaselo picked up five more points for Florida with a fourth-place finish in the mile.

Demps emptied a sports drink on Holloway's bald head before the Gators were presented their trophy.

"I told our guys before today, 'We just need to be who we are,'" Holloway said. "They all did that, and we're national champions."

The Ducks, meanwhile, virtually clinched the women's title on the first running event, the mile. Hasay passed teammate Zoe Buckman with a half-lap to go and finished in 4:33.01.

Duke's Kate Van Buskirk edged Buckman in the final strides for second. Oregon's Anne Kesselring rallied late to finish fourth, and the Ducks earned 21 total points to open a virtually insurmountable 24-point gap ahead of Texas.

"Whenever you go in with teammates, it's such a confidence booster," said Kesselring, who also ran a leg in the medley relay on Friday night. "You feel really good having those girls on your side. It gives you such a good feeling, to be in it with your teammates, and feel like you're about to contribute to something big."

BYU's Miles Batty won the men's mile (3:59.49), one of three victories for the Cougars this weekend.

Texas A&M runners swept the men's and women's 400, both setting Gilliam Stadium records. Demetrius Pinder won the men's race in 45.33 seconds, after Alabama's Kirani James, the top qualifier, stumbled and fell on the second-to-last lap. Jessica Beard won the women's race in 50.79 seconds.

Illinois' Andrew Riley won the men's 60 hurdles (7.58 seconds) and Clemson's Brianna Rollins won the women's event (7.96 seconds).

South Carolina's Lakya Brookins matched the collegiate record in winning the women's 60 (7.09).

Alabama's Fred Samoei won the men's 800 for the second straight year (1:48.33) and BYU's Lacey Bleazard took the women's 800 title (2:04.09). Stanford's Elliott Heath won the men's 3,000 (8:03.71).

Arizona's Julie Labonte won the women's shot put (57-6 1/4) and Florida State's Kimberly Williams won the triple jump for the second straight year, with a final leap of 45-9 3/4. Arkansas' Tina Sutej won the women's pole vault, clearing the bar at 14-7 1/4, another stadium record.

Indiana's Derek Drouin won the men's high jump (7-7 3/4) and LSU's Walter Henning won the men's weight throw (72-8½).

Clemson's Miller Moss won the heptathlon with 5,986 points. Missouri's Lars Rise was second with a personal-best 5,902 points, a Norwegian record.

Rise requested a drug test after the event -- he wasn't randomly chosen -- so that the record could be verified.

"I didn't think it was possible," Rise said. "I really surprised myself. It's really exciting for me."