Freshman Morgann Leleux was named the meet's Outstanding Women's Performer after her record-breaking pole vault jump.
Feb. 4, 2012
BLACKSBURG, Va. --- Lady Bulldog freshman Morgann Leleux soared over a career-best height in the pole vault to automatically qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships to highlight the second day of the Virginia Tech Elite meet in Blacksburg, Va., on Saturday.
After missing 14 feet, 2 ½ inches twice before her third attempt clearance, the New Iberia, La., native cleared 14-4.50 on her first try to win the meet and be named the meet's Outstanding Women's Performer. Leleux surged into the No. 2 spot in the school record books with the best mark for the Lady Bulldogs since 2011 and in this year's national rankings with her meet record mark.
Georgia finished with 19 marks that were either season-best or personal-best marks to go along with four wins on Saturday. Following the meet, Bulldog assistant coach Jon Stuart said both UGA teams are "forming an identity" as the Southeastern Conference Championships (Feb. 24-26) near.
"We showed a lot of improvements this weekend and I think this meet will act as a springboard as we approach the latter part of the indoor season," said Stuart, adding that each winner in Blacksburg received a blanket from Virginia Tech. "Morgan had a big mark for a meet record that got everyone going. Torrin (Lawrence), who still owns meet records in the 200, 300 and 400 here, continued his success in this facility and is pushing himself closer to the top of the nation's list.
"I think we got some marks today that should propel some people to Nationals and that's what we strive for. Our teams are forming an identity. We are showing that we are a bunch of winners and we will do some damage when the postseason gets here."
Senior Torrin Lawrence tallied another victory for the Bulldogs in the 200-meter dash. Lawrence finished with his fastest time since 2010 after recording a mark of 21.12, which is the eighth-best time in the country in 2012.
Also in the 200, sophomore Waymon Storey had a season-best finish of 21.26 to earn runner-up honors for Georgia.
Lawrence returned in the 4x400 relay with freshmen Chris Foster and Drew Branch along with Storey to win with the 15th-fastest time in the nation this year. The Bulldog foursome clocked a 3:09.88 to leave Florida behind by three seconds with the ninth-best time in school history.
The Lady Bulldog team of freshman Quintunya Chapman, who had a personal best in the 400, freshman Tynia Gaither, who had the best time of her career in the 200, junior Keisha Spates and freshman Taylor Hollingsworth also had a season-best time in the 4x400 relay (3:50.19) for third place.
"Waymon really came through at the meet by running a key leg on the relay and having the best time of the season in the 200," Stuart said.
Senior Latroya Darrell, who graduated in December 2011, jumpstarted her final indoor campaign by winning the triple jump with a season-best mark of 41-7.25 on her fifth attempt.
Also in the jumps, junior Saniel Atkinson shot to seventh on the national performance list after matching her personal best in the high jump. Atkinson went over the bar at 5-11.50 to take second in the competition.
Another runner-up performance in the Rector Field House was sophomore Caleb Whitener in the shot put. Whitener answered his personal-best effort in the weight throw on Friday with the best shot put mark of his collegiate career, launching a throw of 59-2.25 on his second try.
Junior Petr Novotny was third in the shot put after his third throw traveled a season-best distance of 57-0.25.
Sophomore Hilenn James was fifth in the women's shot put with her best throw of the season (50-7.50).
After Leleux set the bar in the women's pole vault, freshman Cameron Meyer had a personal-best mark of his own on the men's side. Meyer picked up a clearance of 16-8.75 to tie for third and improve his No. 9 spot in the school record books.
Also of note, sophomore Graylin Ward cruised over the high jump bar on his first try at a career-best height of 6-9.75 to take sixth.
Georgia splits squads on Feb. 10-11 and travels to three different meets. The Bulldogs will visit Clemson, S.C., for the Tiger Paw Invitational, Seattle, Wash., for the Husky Invitational and Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational.