Inside the meet: Pink Out and more

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By Aimee Russo, Sports Communications Graduate Assistant

As we gear up for today's annual Pink Out meet, you may not know that the Georgia Gym Dogs' talents extend off the floor.

Junior Christa Tanella had a hand in the new and heart-pumping pre-meet video. In fact, she wrote the script to the beginning of the video, highlighting the strength that the Bulldog nation gives to the team. Be sure to check out the uniquely intense video at the meet as the Gym Dogs take on Kentucky at 4:00 p.m in Stegeman Coliseum.

Another creative Gym Dog, senior Kat Ding, who added a Fashion Merchandising minor to her Advertising major, has designed many of the team's leotards over the last three years, including this week's Pink Out meet uniform. See more about Ding's design skills here.

And did you know that NCAA Gymnastics designated Pink Out meets for all participating institutions after former Gym Dog Talya Vexler was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 23? Survivors like Talya will be honored as they line the vault during introductions tomorrow. Read more about how important the Pink Out meet is to the GymDogs here.

Hope to see all of you out at the meet today supporting the Gym Dogs, but if you can't be there, you can follow along with live video coverage on, including commentary with Kevin Copp and Cassidy McComb with a subscription to GTV, as well as the Gym Dogs Live Chat starting right before the first rotation gets underway.

Oldest swimming record falls

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How about this for a cool nugget? During the SEC Championships on Thursday in Knoxville, Michael Arnold's lead-off split in the men's 200 freestyle relay was 19.49. That eclipsed the school record of 19.57 set in 1993 by Allan Murray. That was Georgia's longest-standing record and the only one not set during the 2000s (the second-oldest is from 2001). After Thursday's session, Coach Jack Bauerle joked that perhaps he and Arnold should deliver the news in person to Murray. Oh yeah, did we mention that Murray lives in the Bahamas?

Not too shabby. Congratulations to Michael and good luck to the Dawgs the rest of the way!

Georgia Bulldogs Facebook Covers!

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For all of you Facebook users out there, the good folks at have created four brand new images that you can download and set as the cover photo on your new Facebook timeline! The images available right now are gymnastics, baseball, football, and men's tennis.

Just follow the instructions here to show your Georgia Bulldogs pride on your Facebook page! ENJOY!


Starting a new streak

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As the men's tennis team prepares to take on in-state foe Georgia Tech today at 4:00 p.m. in Lindsey Hopkins, the Athens Banner-Herald ran an article on the rivalry and how the fourth-ranked Bulldogs are aiming to get back on track vs. Tech after last year's heartbreaking 4-3 loss in Atlanta snapped Georgia's 24-match winning streak over GT dating back to Dan Magill's last season (1988).

To that end, head coach Manny Diaz said, "A lot of our guys are still thinking about last year's match that got away. Georgia Tech was just a fine, fine team. ... Last year, we had the lead in the deciding match, and we served for that match, so it's a painful memory for some of our players and a match we'd love to have back."

Read sports editor Chris White's full story here

In other news, the official UGA Athletics Twitter ran an interesting promotion today to get fans excited for the match, as the latest in their #tweetup series went like this:

@UGAAthletics:  is back! In tennis what do you call a score of 0? Find me at the UGA bookstore entrance & win $20 for a date night in Athens!

...that solicited the following responses:

 it's called love...hello from Asheville, NC

The first 200 fans in attendance today get "Wreck Tech" t-shirts. You can never have too many of those. Good luck to the tennis Dawgs today as they try to start another streak over the Yellow Jackets.

Big win for the Big Dawg.

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On a day when the United States Davis Cup team was playing Switzerland IN SWITZERLAND on indoor clay, former Georgia men's tennis star John Isner took down world No. 3 Roger Federer and ultimately helped the United States to the sweep in first-round action. Isner - currently ranked No. 17 - needed only four sets to take down the 16-time Grand Slam champion. Isner called it the biggest win of his career thus far, and the news resonated quickly around the world, as the Georgia men's team was busy taking on William & Mary back in Athens when it happened. An announcement between doubles and singles delighted the home crowd, a gesture that was insisted upon by the legendary Dan Magill, who still keeps in frequent contact with both John and his mother, Karen.


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Meanwhile, the weekend was a good one for a few others, including football players Jarvis Jones and Bacarri Rambo, who were honored by the Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio) at 

its 57th annual Awards Banquet as two of the nation's "Players To Watch" in 2012. Jones, who led the SEC with 13.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss and was second on the Bulldogs with 70 tackles, joined Rambo, who was second in the nation with eight interceptions and who shot to third in Georgia's record books with 157 interception return yards in 2011, and other collegiate standouts at the event. 

And in Georgia golf news, former Bulldog Brian Harman teamed with businessman Gregg Ontiveros to tie for first place in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday. Harman, who played for Georgia from 2006-09, finished 20th in the professional portion of the event, finishing at 7-under 279 including a first-round 8-under 64. He and Ontiveros overcame a three-shot deficit heading into the final round to tie. Notable participants in the event included Bill Belichick, Bob Stoops, and Nick Saban.

That's all for Between The Hedges on this Monday. Check back tomorrow for more UGAAA news!

Grady Students Gain Experience With UGA Athletics

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By Eliot Beckham, Sports Communications/Social Media intern, for "Between The Hedges."

"I strongly believe that the best way to teach journalism is to go out and do it," says Dr. Welch Suggs, as he surveys his students each interviewing a member of the Georgia women's golf team Wednesday at the UGA golf course. "I am a very big promoter of experiential learning, so I wanted to find an environment where students could get a wide variety of covering different events, and also being able to write different feature stories."

Dr. Suggs teaches a class new to the Grady School of Journalism this semester entitled Sports Reporting and Writing. The class gives an opportunity to students who are interested in the field of sports journalism to get hands-on experience interacting with student-athletes and covering events. Last semester, several of Suggs' students attended UGA soccer and volleyball games, conducted interviews, and wrote game recaps on deadline.

"What we're doing with sports in general, we're teaching the reporting skills that any journalist in sports is going to learn: reporting, researching, storytelling across a variety of platforms, and being an honest broker of information - not trying to sell someone a story, but really trying to present the news as we see it," Suggs said.

Events like Wednesday's media session with the golfers, where students played the part of the press in a brief press conference with head coach Kelley Hester before pairing off with the student-athletes for one-on-one interviews, accurately reflect the real process journalists go through on a regular basis. And despite the informal setting of the golf course on a pleasant afternoon, the atmosphere feels professional.

"As a student, I don't really get to do stuff like this very often," says senior journalism major Michael Terry, who is taking the course this semester while also working as an assistant in the UGA Sports Communications office. "There are people on one side of the fence who give the information, the side I've worked on most, and there are people on the other side who want it, so it's definitely different to be on the journalist's side. I think this class is helping me better learn what I can help a reporter with."

Women's golf coach Kelley Hester speaks to Welch Suggs' class.

Students conducted interviews with the golf team and will turn in a feature for class.

For more information, or to read the finished products, visit the course Web site,

Hump Day Wrap-up

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The Georgia track & field teams are set to split up and go three different directions as they make their final preparations for the SEC Indoor Championships Feb. 24-26 in Lexington, Ky. This weekend the Bulldogs will compete at the Husky Classic in Seattle, the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., and the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, S.C. 

Bulldog senior sprinter Torrin Lawrence, who has the second fastest 200-meter dash time (21.12) and the fourth fastest 400 time (46.89) in the SEC this season, is returning to a track in Fayetteville, Ark., this weekend where he has had immense success. He not only won a national 400 crown in 2010, but he also clocked the fourth (45.03), fifth (45.10) and seventh (45.23) fastest collegiate indoor 400 times in history in the facility. Lawrence is the three-time defending 400 champion at the Tyson Invitational and will be going for four straight this weekend.

Click here for a video preview of the meets courtesy of GTV.

In other UGAAA news, the Athletic Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting yesterday, and approved funding for three exciting facility upgrades as improvements continue to abound across campus. Read the full recap of the meeting here.

Last night the men's basketball team poured in 81 points in its win over Arkansas, good for the team's highest SEC output of the season and most points scored in a non-overtime game in 2011-12. The game inspired a lot of chatter on the @UGAAthletics and @UGABasketball Twitter accounts, including the following:

@MouthoftheLyon: @UGABasketball brought home the bacon #beatarkansas

@BulldogBrock: #Dawgs win 81-59! What a huge victory! Way to go @UGABasketball

@UGA_Problems: Proud to be a DAWG! Great job tonight guys! @UGABasketball

A very happy @CoachMarkFox met with the media after the game, saying he thought last night was the first time all season his players got to enjoy the "fruits of their labor."

And finally, something pretty cool was going on yesterday out at the UGA Golf Course. More on that tomorrow here at "Between The Hedges," but for now, here's a sneak preview of what went on on a beautiful February day!


Until next time, GO DAWGS!

The Bauerle and Stafford Connection

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First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Georgia head swimming coach Jack Bauerle AND former Bulldogs quarterback Matthew Stafford.



But aside from their birthday, the two share another connection. Matthew's father, John, was a graduate assistant coach for the Georgia swimming team in the 1970s when Bauerle was a student-athlete. Bauerle is getting his teams ready for next week's SEC Championships in Knoxville, while Stafford, the Detroit Lions' quarterback, recently was chosen as the Comeback Player of the Year by The Associated Press and the Quarterback of the Year by the NFL Alumni Foundation. Limited to just three games due to injuries in 2010, Stafford started all 16 games in 2011 and led the Lions to a playoff berth. He was 421-of-663 for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns in the regular season, then went 28-of-43 for 380 yards and three touchdowns in the playoffs. Stafford became just the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 5,000 yards and just the seventh to throw more than 40 touchdowns in a season. He beat out Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and New England's Tom Brady for the NFL Alumni Foundation Quarterback of the Year honor.


Georgia Football in the Super Bowl (again)

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Congratulations to former Bulldog Danny (D.J.) Ware, who helped the New York Giants to their Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots last night! Ware had one reception for eight yards and one carry for six yards in the Giants' 21-17 win.

In each of the last nine seasons, 23 former Georgia football players have helped their teams to the Super Bowl, and the Bulldogs have been represented by at least one former player in each of the last 11 years. A total of 47 former players have played in the Super Bowl capturing 40 wins.

Ware is now a two-time Super Bowl champ (2008, NYG).

Congratulations to Danny and thank you for representing Georgia on the biggest stage!

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Former Bulldog Danny Ware is a two-time Super Bowl champion.

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Weekend Preview

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Good afternoon, Bulldog Nation! This coming weekend, the Georgia men's and women's basketball teams as well as gymnastics are out of town, but men's and women's tennis and equestrian are set to compete in Athens - so if you've never made it out to one of those events, now is your chance! 

Here's a quick glimpse at what's going on this weekend and how you can stay connected:

-The Gym Dogs are at top-ranked Utah TONIGHT, Feb. 3 at 9:00 p.m. ET. The meet will air on television on a tape-delay basis on CSS on Feb. 12, but you can tune in tonight for live audio coverage on if you've got a subscription to GTV. Kevin Copp will be on the call.

-The Lady Bulldogs are coming off a win over Mississippi State last night, and will turn around to head to Alabama for a 3 p.m. meeting this Sunday. You can catch that one live on SportsSouth. The men's basketball team is at Tennessee tomorrow night (Saturday) for an 8:00 tip on Fox Sports South. As always, both of those games can be heard live on the Bulldog Radio Network and right here on

-Also out of town this weekend is the track & field team, which is in action at Virginia Tech today and tomorrow. And speaking of track & field, here are a few more cool notes courtesy of T&F Sports Information Director Leland Barrow:

*There are five members from the Bulldog track and field teams who are currently ranked in the top 10 nationally in their respective events, including senior Torrin Lawrence who is sixth in the 400m (46.89) and ninth in the 200m (21.18).  However, it is senior Aaron LaGarde who not only has the lowest national ranking of the crew at 10th nationally in the triple jump (51 feet, 7 3/4 inches), but who also is the only Bulldog to lead the SEC in his or her event.  Also of note, freshman pole vaulter Morgann Leleux is the top-ranked freshman in the country with a 13 feet, 8 1/2 inch clearance to her name.

*Senior Cory Holman set a new school record in the heptathlon last weekend at the Razorback Invitational after piling up 5,809 points.  He is No. 4 nationally and in the SEC (10th in the world) with his latest score, which bodes well for a remarkable heptathlon competition at the SEC Indoor Championships in Lexington, Ky., on Feb. 24-26.

Now for the weekend's action happening here in Athens...

-Equestrian resumes its season tomorrow, Saturday, vs. South Carolina out in Bishop. You can follow along with live scoring here, but if you've never made the trip out to the park, it's worth it to see some great competition.

-Both the men's and women's tennis teams are at home for matches as they continue to tune up before their respective trips to the ITA National Indoor Tournament later this month. The men take on East Tennessee State on Saturday at 1PM and the women meet Florida International for the second team in a week Sunday at 11 a.m. The Georgia Tennis Live Chat is ready to go for the match. Or you can come out to the lovely Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts!


In other women's tennis news, Jeff Wallace will be online to chat with fans next Tuesday before his team heads to the Indoor Tournament. More information to follow on that.

Hope you all have a great weekend and get to check out some of your favorite teams in action!
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