Bulldog Track & Field Overcomes Weather, Travel During Weekend Meets
Morgann Leleux

Feb. 15, 2014

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -  Georgia's track and field teams posted more impressive performances, including another school record, during the Texas A&M Invitational and the second day of the Husky Classic on Saturday.

This marked the Bulldogs' fourth weekend of indoor meets.  They will travel a group to the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind., next weekend, but Georgia's next meet for the full team will be the Southeastern Conference Championships in College Station on February 27 through March 1.

"Traveling commercially all the way out to College Station is a physically demanding journey without having an mechanical problems," said head coach Wayne Norton, whose team was stranded on a street in Houston for approximately five hours after its bus broke down.  "It was a major chore just to get through this competition.  Kendell (Williams), Chanice (Porter) and Morgann (Leleux) led the way for the women.  Drew (Branch) and Maurice (Freeman) showed improvement for the men. 

"We have a lot of work ahead of us.  Hopefully the weather in Athens will obey me in the coming weeks when I call it to be mild and behave."

Junior Morgann Leleux won her third meet of the year in the pole vault at the Texas A&M meet and improved her mark for the third consecutive meet.  The New Iberia, La., native cleared her only two heights on the first attempt as she reached 14 feet, 2 inches to win by nearly a foot.

Freshman heptathlete Kendell Williams continued to drop her time in the 60-meter hurdles to move to No. 2 on the school's all-time list.  Williams won the prelims with an 8.33 before speeding to an 8.24 to finish first in the finals with the best time for the Lady Bulldogs since 2004.

Junior Drew Branch also tallied a personal best, his in the 400, to take second place.  Branch ran a 47.22 and climbed within a tenth of a second from the school's all-time top-10 list.

Branch was also the anchor on Georgia's second place 4x400 relay team.  Sophomore Maurice Freeman, sophomore Jamario Calhoun and freshman Derrick White combined with Branch to finish in 3:10.89.

After opening with a mark of 19-11.75, sophomore Chanice Porter soared 20-5.75 on her second attempt in the long jump to win her second consecutive meet.  Currently, Porter is ranked second nationally with a season-best jump of 21-2.75.

Maurice Freeman posted the top mark of his career at 6-11.50 on his third and final attempt to also take third in the high jump.  On the women's side, freshman Tatiana Gusin reached a collegiate personal best of 5-8.75 to earn runner-up honors in the high jump. 

Another true freshman, Alex Poursanidis, was second in the men's weight throw after reaching 64-1.75, which is the second-best performance of his young career.

Sophomore decathlete Maicel Uibo also took sixth in the open pole vault after clearing a season-best height of 16-3.25 on his first attempt.

The multi-event crew shined in the open shot put as well.  In addition to her performance in the hurdles, Williams added four and a half feet to her personal best after launching her last attempt 41-3.25 to take eight.  Junior Quintunya Chapman improved her top mark by two feet to finish 10th with a long throw of 38-9. 

In addition, senior Lucie Ondraschkova also reached 38 feet in the shot.

Back on the track in College Station, freshman Jenn Cora was the runner-up in the 5000 (18:01.32) as Marrion Kalafut was third (18:44.67).

At the Husky Classic in Seattle, Megan Malasarte set her second school record in as many weeks.  After running a 2:06.16 at the VT Elite Meet, Malasarte topped her own mark with a school record 2:05.87 for eight place on Saturday.  Her time shoots her near the top in the SEC and on the edge of the top 10 nationally this year.

Senior Bret McDaniel jumpstarted the day by winning the 3000 with a personal-best time of 9:47.75.  McDaniel cruised to nearly a five-second win in her heat and won the overall race by almost two seconds.

Junior Charles Grethen was fourth in the 800 Invite after bettering his No. 5 spot in the school record books. Grethen ran a 1:49.01 and moved into the top 20 nationally during the 2014 season.

In another 800, sophomore Kisean Smith was the top collegiate finisher (third overall) in his heat after crossing the finish line in 1:51.17.  Smith ended up sixth overall behind two other collegiate competitors as he improved his No. 10 spot in the school record books.

Results and a recap from the Husky Classic and the Texas A&M Invitational will be found at georgiadogs.com.  News and updates from Georgia track and field teams are located on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.



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