Feb. 24, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. --- Led by senior Cory Holman's second place finish through four events, Georgia's track and field has three heptathletes in the top eight following the opening day of the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships in Lexington, Ky., on Friday.
Holman posted two career-best efforts to score 3,311 points in the heptathlon as Florida's Gray Horn (3,418) holds the lead. Freshman Garrett Scantling, who ended the first day with two personal-best marks of his own, is in sixth place with 3,102 points as senior Michael Ayers is in seventh (3,080).
"I thought we had a pretty strong first day with some highlights and a couple missed opportunities to go along with those," said Bulldog multi-events coach Petros Kyprianou. "We got off to a strong start with (Holman) winning the 60 and then picking up a (personal best) in the long jump. We were hoping for more in the high jump from him, but I feel confident he can bounce back during the second day. Probably the biggest surprise of the day was Garrett winning the high jump with the best jump of his life. He will do nothing but improve as he gets more experience. Ayers has the most experience out of all these guys so I know he will respond with some positive performances in the final three events."
The Huber Heights, Ohio, native took an early 18-point lead over Horn after winning the 60. Holman clocked a 6.91, which is a hundredth of a second slower than his season best.
Holman recorded a personal-best effort of 24 feet, 7 ¼ inches on his final attempt in the long jump to finish second in the event. His mark, which ranks seventh in school history, tied him with Horn in the event through two jumps before Horn traveled a winning 24-10 on his third jump. Holman held a 1-point lead over Horn going into the third event of the day.
In the shot put, Holman launched a personal-best effort (40-7.75), but was ninth in the competition. After setting the SEC Championships record in the heptathlon high jump in 2010 with a mark of 7-1.75, he wrapped up the first day with a clearance of 6-8 for fourth place in the event.
Holman topped the school record in the heptathlon earlier this season (5,809) and was only five points ahead of his current pace during that meet.
Winning the 2009 heptathlon title and finishing third last season, Ayers is in seventh place after the first four events. He finished fourth in the second heat of the 60 and fourth overall after crossing the finish line in 7.11, equaling his third-best time in the event while at Georgia.
Ayers returned in the long jump and registered a mark of 23-2.75 to take fifth. The Nashville, Tenn., native completed the competition by taking fifth in the shot put (41-11.50) and seventh in the high jump (6-4.25).
In only the second heptathlon of his life, Scantling surged into sixth place overall after winning the high jump with a personal-best effort. After clearing his first six attempts on the first try, Scantling went over the bar at 6-10.25 on his second attempt to out-jump the competition by at least 1 ¼ inches.
The Jacksonville, Fla., native opened with a sixth-place finish in the 60 (7.17) before answering two opening fouls in the long jump with an effort of 22-0.25 for eighth place. Scantling had the exact same first day score at the Razorback Invitational before scoring a final tally of 5,380 points, which is No. 4 on the UGA all-time top-10 list.
The Bulldogs kick off action on Saturday with the men's weight throw and the men's high jump at 11 a.m. The final three events of the heptathlon are scheduled to start at 2:50 p.m. with the 60 hurdles.
|Heptathlon - First four events|
|Cory Holman||6.91-1st||* 24-7.25 - 2nd||*40-7.75 - 9th||6-8 - 4th||3311 pts. - 2nd|
|Michael Ayers||7.11-4th||23-2.25 - 5th||41-11.50 - 5th||6-4.25 - 7th||3080 - 7th|
|Garrett Scantling||7.17-6th||22-0.25 - 8th||*41-6 - 7th||*6-10.25 - 1st||3102 - 6th|
* - personal-best effort