March 12, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas --- Georgia junior Torrin Lawrence finished second in the 400-meter dash on the final day of the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, TX., on Saturday.
The Bulldogs scored eight points to put themselves in a seven-way tie for 26th place to score for the fourth straight year at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Oregon (67) ran away with the women's team title with Texas (38) and LSU (37) finishing a distant second and third. On the men's side, Florida (52) captured the championship as Texas A&M (40) took second and BYU (34) finished third.
"With Torrin being the defending champion but not having a spectacular season this year kind of put him in a different situation with a little less pressure," said head coach Wayne Norton. "But he still had some weight on his shoulders since he won it last year and I'm just happy he make it through the qualifying round and finals against some really fast guys. This was a big challenge for him and I thought he handled it well for the most part."
The outdoor season now is just a week away and Norton is ready to get it going. The Bulldogs host the Southeastern Conference Championships in Athens on May 12-15.
"It's good that we made it through this indoor season and now we can focus on getting ready for the end of the outdoor season," Norton said.
Lawrence, who was the defending NCAA champion in the 400, raced out of the first heat and finished second with a time of 45.96 to eventual national champion Demetrius Pinder (45.33), a Texas A&M senior who was competing on his home track for the final time.
Alabama's Kirani James, who was the national leader coming into the race, took the lead in the second flight heading into the second lap. But the sophomore crashed down onto the track after trying to cut in front of Texas A&M's Tabarie Henry before James had cleared him.
Lawrence is expected to earn his second straight All-America certificate in the event.
The Georgia women also had a pair of competitors battling in the triple jump field. Junior Colleen Felix, No. 3 on the national performance list with a top effort of 44 feet, 3 ½ inches set during her victory at the SEC Championships, had a first attempt measuring 42 feet in the first flight.
However, Felix fouled on her second jump and then only traveled 41-10.75 on her third try. She ended up being the first competitor left out of the group who advanced to the finals after the second flight was complete, taking 10th overall.
Junior Latroya Darrell also competed at her first national meet for the Lady Bulldogs and finished 15th in the triple jump. After opening with a foul, Darrell reached a long mark of 41-2.25 on her second attempt. She recorded a third jump of 41-1, despite taking off well before the board.
Along with Felix and Darrell, junior Aaron Evans (14th in the 800), sophomore Lucie Ondraschkova (14th in the heptathlon) and sophomore Saniel Atkinson (16th in the high jump) are also all expected to be announced as Second Team All-American honors when the USTFCCCA makes its official announcement at the beginning of next week.
Full results and a recap from the NCAA Championships are located at georgiadogs.com.