Georgia Track & Field Starts Action At VT Elite Meet
**Updated with late results from Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash,**
Feb. 8, 2013
BLACKSBURG, Va. --- Georgia’s track and field teams opened the VT Elite Meet with four victories in Blacksburg, Va., on Friday.
This is the fourth regular season meet for the Bulldogs with the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships scheduled to start on February 22.
“I thought we had a pretty good start to the meet, but not as well as I would have liked in all of the events,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton.
True freshman Chanice Porter posted the second-best mark of her career as she won her fourth consecutive meet. The Pratville, Jamaica, native worked up to a sixth jump of 20 feet, 9 ¼ inches to top the nearest competitor by nearly one foot.
“The true highlight for us on Friday was Chanice continuing her undefeated run,” Norton said. “Every time she goes out, she wins so we have been very pleased with her consistency.”
Similar to Porter, sophomore Charles Grethen has also done nothing but win since suiting up in red and black. Grethen, who transferred from Texas State, clocked a 1:51.42 to top 24 other competitors in the 800-meter run.
Not far behind Grethen was true freshman Kisean Smith. Smith trimmed three seconds off his previous 800 time for the Bulldogs to take third at the meet with a 1:52.43.
“This was a nice (personal best) for Kisean,” said Norton. “His time was more in the neighborhood of what we had been looking for and the best thing is that he looked strong doing it.”
Georgia also went 1-2 in the pole vault thanks to the work of its heptathletes. Freshman Maicel Uibo cleared 16-0.75 on his second try to win his first open event. Sophomore Garrett Scantling finished second in the event after going over the bar at 15-7.
In addition, freshman Devon Williams reached a new height in the pole vault after tying for seventh with a personal-best mark of 14-7.25.
The Bulldog freshmen tailback tandem of Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley made their debut with the track team and established a pair of new entries on Georgia’s all-time top-10 lists. Marshall and Gurley combined for more than 2,000 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns during the 2012 football season.
Marshall tied fellow football and track teammate Justin Scott-Wesley with the third-best 60 time in school history (6.75). Marshall’s time earned him runner-up honors in his first meet with the Bulldogs.
Junior Johnathan Smith, who already had a 6.77 on his resume, tied his previous mark to take fourth in the 60 finals.
Gurley made his debut in the 60 hurdles and took sixth in the finals with an 8.12. His time ties him with two other former Georgia hurdlers, including football/track standout Reggie Brown, at the No. 7 spot on the Bulldogs’ all-time top-10 list.
“It was a promising sign that Keith ran this kind of time in his first meet,” said Norton. “Todd was apprehensive but he looked better in the finals and will hopefully keep improving.”
In the men’s weight throw, junior Caleb Whitener watched his opening toss travel a personal-best distance of 60-11.25 to take seventh place in the competition. Whitener will compete in the shot put on Saturday.
In Seattle, a trio of Georgia distance runners finished with times that are now included in the school's all-time top-10 lists. On the women's side, Bret McDaniel finished 20th in the 5000 after running a 16:45.06, which is the eighth-best time in school history. Senior Nicole DiMercurio came across the finish line in 26th place with the 10th-best time in UGA history (16:49.01).
Luke Baker finished up 43rd in the men's 5000 at the Husky Classic. Baker registered the fastest time of his career at 14:31.75, which ranks ninth in the Bulldog record books.
Full results and a recap from the first day of the VT Elite Meet will be found at georgiadogs.com.
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