UGA Kicks Off Outdoor Season At Georgia Relays
March 15, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia's track and field teams recorded six top collegiate finishes during the first day of the Georgia Relays at the Spec Towns Track on Friday afternoon.
The meet starts again on Saturday at 11 a.m. with the women's 3000-meter steeplechase. The first field event is the women's javelin at 11:30 a.m.
"This is a meet that is an important one since it gets freshmen and walk-ons who did not have a shot to compete indoors a chance to get going," said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton. "It is a true ice-breaker meet. After the indoor season, you have to start over and I thought we did a nice job of starting that transition. We had some nice things happen in the women's hammer throw, the men's shot put and a couple other places, but this was really about getting a chance to run, jump and throw for the first time this year outdoors.
"The weather was great for us today and I think we dealt with the many different situations that exist from event to event in an effective way. All of the teams we have here are competing hard and I'm betting all of them were satisfied with their performances so far. This sport is all about building blocks, which is why our season is so long. There is plenty of time to reach greatness and I think today was the first step in getting there."
The Georgia women went 1-2-3 in the 5000 after working in a pack for the entire 12 laps to highlight the first day of the season opener. Junior Nicole DiMercurio finished first in the 40-woman field with a time of 17:07.32. Senior Leslie Boozer took second after completing her laps in 17:20.44 while fellow senior Morgan VanGorder managed third (17:25.84).
Competing in her first outdoor meet for the Lady Bulldogs, junior Elizabeth Tepe launched the fifth-longest hammer throw in school history to tally her first victory. Tepe, who was the junior college national record holder at Saddleback Junior College, watched her fourth throw of the competition travel a career-best distance of 191 feet, 5 inches. This was long enough to give Tepe a 19-foot victory.
Freshman Ashinia Miller grabbed the top collegiate finish in the men's shot put with the longest throw of his career. The Jamaica native built up to a top effort of 62-6 on his sixth and final throw and finished second overall behind former Bulldog All-American and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Reese Hoffa (68-1). Miller's throw put him at No. 5 on the school's all-time list.
A trio of freshmen - Briana Vaughn, Myasia Jacobs and Rashan Brown - teamed with sophomore Quintunya Chapman to win the Gainey Special in 1:42.52. The Gainey Special is a sprint medley relay featuring two legs of 100 meters in a row before a 200-meter leg and then a 400-meter leg to end the race.
In the sprint medley relay, the Bulldog men finished first and second. Adolphus Gray, Ethan Kasson, Julian Lavender and Charles Grethen won the event after clocking a 3:24.66 while Eric Mills, Pierce Vincent, Corey Ashbourne and Kisean Smith earned runner-up honors (3:25.00).
Also on the track, freshman Zack Sims was the top collegiate finisher (second overall) after completing his laps in the 5000 in 14:54.44.
Freshman Jamario Calhoun opened with the longest triple jump of his career to take second. Debuting outdoors, Calhoun traveled 47-10 for the top mark in his series.
Results and a recap from the first day of the Georgia Relays can be found at georgiadogs.com.
Georgia's Winners/Top Collegiate Finishes - Georgia Relays Day One
Name Event Mark/Time
Elizabeth Tepe W. Hammer Throw 191 ft., 5 in.
B. Vaughn, M. Jacobs W. Gainey Special 1:42.52
R. Brown, Q. Chapman
Ashinia Miller M. Shot Put 62-6
A. Gray, E. Kasson M. Sprint Medley Relay 3:24.66
J. Lavender, C. Grethen
Zack Sims M. 5000m 14:54.44
Nicole DiMercurio W. 5000m 17:07.32