Senior Aaron LaGarde hit 51 feet in his first triple jump competition of the season.
Jan. 28, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. --- Georgia senior Cory Holman shattered the school heptathlon record en route to earning a trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday.
Holman, a native of Huber Heights, Ohio, piled up 5,809 points to top the former school record mark of 5,700 points set by Tommy Barrineau at the 2010 SEC Indoor Championships. Holman finished third following the seventh event as Arkansas freshman Gunnar Nixon recorded a new World Junior record (6,022) points to win.
Also on Saturday, a majority of the Bulldogs competed at the one-day Mark Colligan Memorial in Lincoln, Neb. Georgia tallied six wins and registered scores of season-best and personal-best marks.
"A lot of our people had the best performances of the year and a few had personal-best efforts," said head coach Wayne Norton. "So I think we are making progress."
Starting with 3,316 points after the first four events on Friday, Holman had three career-best efforts during the heptathlon, including a 14 foot, 1 ¼ inch clearance in the pole vault. He wrapped up his competition by taking seventh in the 1000-meter run with a time of 2:45.39, which is the second-best time of his career.
Holman shot out of the starting blocks in the second day of action and won the 60 hurdles with the second-fastest time of his career. He clocked an 8.02, which was .18 hundredths faster than any of the other competitors and the fastest for him since he won the same event at the 2010 Razorback Invitational (7.93).
Holman reached the 5,750 NCAA automatic qualifying mark for his event, making him the first Bulldog in 2012 to accomplish the feat in any event.
"(Cory) is getting better and improving each meet," said Norton. "With our history of training, he's going to get even better as the season progresses. I think he will put himself in position to close the gap with the people who are ahead of him in the standings."
Freshman Garrett Scantling also finished ninth in the heptathlon (5,380) and moved to No. 4 on Georgia's all-time top-10 list. In the first full heptathlon of his life, Scantling had six collegiate personal-best efforts, including taking fourth overall in the high jump with a 6-9 clearance.
"Garrett is just a freshman getting introduced to the event so we know he will improve," Norton said. "He pole vaulted and did a little high jump in high school and our coaches looked at him and knew he could be a successful guy in the multi-events."
The Bulldogs had additional success at the Mark Colligan Memorial. Senior Torrin Lawrence clocked the second-fastest 400 time in the nation this year to win the event by more than a second with a 46.89. This was the fastest time for Lawrence since the 2010 NCAA champion recorded a 45.96 to take second at last year's nationals.
"Torrin said `this isn't where I want to be but it's a lot better than where I was' so his progress is not going unnoticed by us or him," said Norton, who also saw freshman Chris Foster take third in the 400 with a 48.60. "If he keeps progressing like this, he could be at the top of this event again when the postseason gets here."
Junior Saniel Atkinson picked up her first win of the year in the high jump after clearing 5-9.75. Atkinson also had a third-place finish in the triple jump (39-9.35).
"One of our goals was for Saniel to win the high jump this weekend so we are pleased she got there," said Norton. "She had some six-foot jumps today and although she skipped a height and probably through off her rhythm a little, I think she is making progress in getting to the level she wants to be."
Another victor for the Bulldogs was sophomore Justin Welch in the weight throw. Welch launched a season-best effort of 67-2.75, the second-longest throw of his career, on his final throw to move to No. 8 on this year's national performance list.
"Welch did not throw what he wanted to throw, but this puts him up there on the national performance list," said Norton.
Sophomore Hilenn James also had a season-best performance to tally a win in a shot put. James opened with a mark of 50-6.25 to edge her nearest competition by four inches.
On the track, sophomore Waymon Storey notched his first collegiate victory after having a time of 21.29 in the 200. His junior teammate Eric Harris was second in the race after finishing one hundredth of a second slower at 21.30 and moving to the sixth spot in the Bulldog record books.
The Lady Bulldogs had four competitors in the 800 and all had success. Sophomore Megan Malasarte finished second with a 2:09.68 after having the same finish in her season opener with a 2:09.09. Freshman Carly Hamilton took over the 10th spot on Georgia's all-time top-10 list with a fourth-place finish (2:11.12) for fifth place.
"This is Megan's second time under 2:10 which is making her consistent at the sub-2:10 level and that is encouraging this early in the year and in her career," Norton said. "All of the 800 runners are starting off at a high level this year, including the two freshmen."
Freshman sprinter Justin Scott-Wesley, who redshirted for the Bulldogs on the football field in 2011, also made his way onto Georgia's all-time top-10 list. Scott-Wesley sped to a 6.80 mark to finish second in the 60 prelims and tie for ninth in school history. Scott-Wesley was fourth (6.85) in the finals while Harris finished third (6.84).
Also of note, sophomore Graylin Ward had his first fair mark in the high jump, taking third with an effort of 6-8.25.
In addition to the heptathletes' performances in Fayetteville, Georgia had a pair of triple jumpers also finish in the top five. Senior Aaron LaGarde worked up to a mark of 51-7.75 on his sixth and final attempt to take third.
On the women's side, senior Colleen Felix, who is the defending SEC indoor champion, took fourth as her sixth try measured 41-3.25.
Full results and recaps from the Razorback Invitational and the Mark Colligan Memorial will be located at georgiadogs.com.