Junior Morgann Leleux
Feb. 8, 2014
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Georgia track and field continued its stellar showing at the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet as the competition wrapped up in Blacksburg, Va., on Saturday.
The Bulldogs posted another series of wins and personal bests as the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships at the end of the month quickly approach.
“No question that this was the best meet we have had this year,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton. “We had a lot of people in a lot of events and we came out with a flurry of personal bests and seasons bests. It already sounds like a broken record, but we did just what we needed to this weekend. I think we are on track to be exactly the type of team we can be. Since everyone competed in a variety of events, this was really a meet and a training session in one. We got a lot accomplished, this is a great stepping stone for this indoor season.”
After opening with a foul in the shot put, junior Nick Vena launched a career-long toss of 62 feet, 11 ½ inches to win by nearly a foot and a half. Vena’s previous best came at the 2013 VT Elite Meet when he won with an effort of 62-10. He bested Kentucky’s Brad Szypka, who leads the SEC and is No. 9 nationally, for the win on Saturday.
Two unattached competitors (including former Lady Bulldog Shaunae Miller, 52.34) finished ahead of her, but senior Megan Malasarte followed up her school record in the 800-meter run on Friday night with an impressive 400 on Saturday. Malasarte registered a time that ties for the 10th best in school history at 54.89.
Freshman Derrick White had the fastest finish of his young Bulldog career at 48.48 to be the second collegiate finisher (third overall) in the men’s 400.
Junior Morgann Leleux reached a season-high pole vault mark of 14-1.75 to be the second collegiate finisher (third overall). She had a second-attempt clearance that boosted her to tops in the SEC and No. 6 on the current NCAA performance list.
On the track, senior Leslie Boozer clocked the fastest time of her career in the 3000 (9:39.58) to take second. Junior Luke Baker was also the second collegiate finisher (third overall) in the men’s 3000 with a personal best 8:23.51.
Redshirt freshman Rashan Brown battled for a fifth-place finish in the 200 Invitational with her second straight personal best in the event. Brown took off for a 24.01, which improves her No. 7 time in school history
At the conclusion of the meet, the Bulldog men blazed to a victory in the 4x400 relay Invitational. Maurice Freeman, Jamario Calhoun, Glover and Drew Branch combined to finish in 3:10.44 for their fastest mark of the year. For the women, Brown, Quintunya Chapman, Taylor Hollingsworth and Myasia Jacobs clocked a season-best time of 3:43.75 to earn runner-up honors.
Also of note, Calhoun posted a personal-best mark of 47-10.50 to finish sixth in the triple jump. This is a nine-inch improvement from his top mark last year after Calhoun sped to a career-best time of 21.39 to take second in the 200 on Friday.
Georgia splits squads next weekend as the Bulldogs head to College Station, Texas, for the Texas A&M Invitational and to Seattle, Wash., for the Husky Classic.
Full results and a recap from the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet will be found at georgiadogs.com. News and updates from Georgia track and field teams are located on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.