Bulldog Track Has Two Top-Five Scorers To Start NCAA Championships
March 15, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- Both Georgia sophomore Chanice Porter and junior Morgann Leleux scored to highlight the opening day of the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday.
Porter was second in the long jump finals and Leleux tied for fifth in the pole vault to give the Lady Bulldogs 11.5 points and put them in fifth place with day two to come. Stanford is in the team lead with 22 points while Florida (19) and Texas A&M (16) are in second and third, respectively.
In the heptathlon, sophomore Maicel Uibo jumped into the lead on the fourth and final event of the day as he was the only member of the Bulldog men to compete. Uibo scored a personal-best day one total of 3,358 points to lead Arkansas' Kevin Lazas (3,315) going into the last three events on Saturday.
Oregon (24) holds the edge on the men's side with Arizona (16) and Stanford (14) making up the top three.
"We did what we wanted to do in certain events after talking to the team a lot about the importance of scoring when you have the opportunity in Championships," Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton said. "It's not just about good effort, you've got to score points. We have done that with Morgann in the pole vault and Chanice in the long jump so we've got some points on the board and are in pretty good shape. We also have Carly Hamilton running in the mile finals tomorrow, which is another opportunity for points.
"We lost one today with Megan in the 800 and since she was ranked in the top three coming in, that hurts and it's disappointing. But we have plenty of talent on this team who will have to make up and compensate for those points. We are not where we wanted to be, but still in pretty good shape for the second day."
Norton is encouraged about the direction the Bulldog men are headed in following the first day.
"We are in pretty good shape with the heptathlon," said Norton. "When you're leading after day one, you have to take that as a big plus. Maicel is doing a nice job and is having a solid performance. I know his goal is to win the thing and I want him to win it. I think he has as good a chance as anyone to win it. He will really need to have a great hurdles race and have an outstanding pole vault because those guys will be coming for him in the 1000. Maicel has done well all year and he is right where he needs to be."
Uibo, a native of Polva, Estonia, starts day two in the heptathlon's fifth event, the 60-meter hurdles, at 1 p.m. ET. Georgia's three pentathletes - senior Lucie Ondraschkova, junior Quintunya Chapman and freshman Kendell Williams - begin their first of five events with the 60 hurdles at 1:45 p.m.
Georgia starts its opening events on Saturday with junior Nick Vena in the men's shot put and redshirt freshman Leontia Kallenou in the women's high jump at 5:30 p.m. Vena was the 16th and final competitor to get invited to Nationals after battling an illness the second half of the season while Kallenou shares the national lead in her event with a mark of 6 feet, 2 ¾ inches.
ESPN3.com will stream the NCAA Indoor Championships live on Saturday starting at 7:50 p.m. A tape delay of the NCAA Championships will air on ESPNU on March 22 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Porter lifted herself 20-9.75 on her final attempt to make the move from fourth place to third place. However, an early foul from Florida State's Der'Renae Freeman, who originally finished in second place, was not noted by the judges until after the competition and Porter was then bumped into the runner-up spot.
During the long jump, the Pratville, Jamaica, native repeated jumps of 20-7.25 on her fourth and fifth jumps before passing Mississippi State's Rochelle Farquharson (20-9.25) to pick up the points for the Lady Bulldogs and earn what will be her first First Team All-America honor.
Porter registered what would end up being the third-longest mark in the nation this year (21-2.75) during an early-season trip to the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet. The 2013 SEC indoor champion missed scoring by one spot at last year's NCAA Championships after taking ninth.
This gives the Lady Bulldogs a second-place or better individual finish for the third year in a row. Shaunae Miller won the 400 in 2013 and Leleux was the runner-up in 2012.
Leleux matched the performance of Miami's Alysha Newman to tie for fifth place in the pole vault and add 3.5 points to Georgia's total. Leleux posted three second-try clearances to work up to a mark of 14-3.25 as all but one of the eight scorers surpassed the 14-foot mark. Texas sophomore Kaitlin Petrillose set the collegiate record to win the event after clearing 15-1 on her second attempt.
Arriving in Athens from New Iberia, La., to start the 2011 school year, Leleux had the country's fifth-best mark (14-4.50) coming into Friday's competition. She started her career by earning runner-up honors at both the 2012 NCAA indoor and outdoor meets as a true freshman. However, she sustained a detached retina during the 2013 indoor season and despite advancing to Nationals with a mark secured before her injury, she did not reach a height at the NCAA meet.
Uibo got the meet for the men rolling in the right direction to start the day. After drawing a warning for a false start, Uibo clocked a personal-best time of 7.16 to take fourth in the first 60 heat and 11th overall to start. This trimmed .03 off his time at last year's Nationals and gave him 826 points to start the day.
Uibo returned 30 minutes later to establish his second personal best, this time in the long jump. He traveled 24-2.25 on his second attempt to take third overall for 903 points, before also having a 24-foot jump on his third try.
In the shot put, Uibo went just over 43 feet on his first throw before taking a foul on his second attempt. He responded by recording the second-best performance of his career with a third throw that measured 45-2.25. Uibo vaulted to fourth in the overall standings after adding 714 more points to his total.
Uibo posted the second No. 2 outing of his career in the high jump and managed to temporarily set a meet record in the process. He reached a season-best mark of 6-11.50 on his second try as he and three other competitors passed current Bulldog Garrett Scantling and two other former meet record holders in the event by. Uibo scored his final 915 points of the day with his mark to move into the lead.
Michigan State's Kurt Schneider and Arizona's Pau Tonneson ended up clearing 7-0.50 minutes later to create a new top mark in the NCAA record books as Schneider took top honors.
Uibo was ranked fourth on the national performance list coming into the meet with 5,859 points after winning an SEC title in the event. Last year, Uibo was fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships thanks to seven personal bests at the meet, including his final score of 5,975.
During the mile semifinals, Hamilton moved to the front of the pack during the first lap and stayed in that spot until the final loop. She slipped to sixth in her heat on the final straightaway, but managed to snag the 10th qualifying spot for Saturday's finals. Hamilton had a time of 4:42.87 in the semifinal round.
Malasarte came up short in her bid for the 800 finals. Like Hamilton, the Fayetteville, Ga., native shot to the front of the pack for the first two laps. But she completed the race sixth in her heat and 11th overall with a tmie of 2:08.89 and missed qualifying by three spots.
Results and recaps from the NCAA Indoor Championships will be found at georgiadogs.com. Updates about all Bulldog track and field news can be found on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.
*personal-best mark; ^season-best mark
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