March 16, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia's track and field teams recorded a half dozen outright victories to highlight the second day of the Georgia Relays at the Spec Towns Track on Saturday.
"In general, we were very pleased with today and with the weekend as a whole," said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton. "This meet will really help us build a foundation for our outdoor season. The great weather mixed with the positive flow we were having in each competition was perfect for the results we got today. In a track meet setting, unlike a basketball game, everyone gets into their individual competition and works to reach their individual goals and I think a lot of that was going on today.
"As I have said all year long, our newcomers and freshmen are going to play big into our success and they did just that today. I think this meet was significant for the development of our future. The newcomers are finding their place and contributing. If we are patient, I think all we will do is keep getting better and better."
Sophomore Morgann Leleux opened up her outdoor season by clearing a national-leading height of 14 feet, 1 ¼ inches in the pole vault. Leleux, who suffered a detached retina during the indoor season, passed on the first six heights before registering clearances on her second attempt at the next two heights.
In 2012, Leleux started her Bulldog career outdoors by tying the school record of 14-3.50 at the Georgia Relays. The New Iberia, La., native eventually set a new No. 1 mark in UGA history after clearing 14-6.75 to win the Southeastern Conference title.
Also in the pole vault, sophomore Ashley Rosenberg left her 2012 personal best far behind to tie for third place. Rosenberg cleared 11-7.75 on her third attempt to be one of four competitors to make the height.
Junior transfer Johnathan Smith picked up a personal-best time in the 100-meter dash to top 34 other competitors. Smith clocked a 10.20 to take over the No. 4 spot on Georgia's all-time top-10 list with the fastest finish for the Bulldogs since 1994.
"Johnathan is one of our newcomers who came out in his first meet with us and set a new personal best," said Norton. "Yes he had some wind behind him, but his time is something to build on."
Freshman Briana Vaughn matched the fourth-best 100 time in school history with the fastest time for the Lady Bulldogs since 2010. Vaughn won the first heat with a mark of 11.37, which equaled Georgina Nembhard's finish at the 2010 Spec Towns Invitational.
"Briana is a freshman who we gave a chance to and all she is doing is running faster than she ever has in her life," Norton said. "Her development started indoors and it's continuing now."
Finishing not far behind Vaughn was fellow freshman Myasia Jacobs, who took fourth with a mark of 11.59.
Freshman Rashan Brown teamed with Quintunya Chapman, Torrenzia Lyles and Taylor Hollingsworth to win the 4x400 relay in one of the day's closing events. The Lady Bulldog foursome finished their laps in 3:46.55 to pick up a one-second victory.
Another freshman, Leontia Kallenou, opened her Lady Bulldog career by grabbing the top collegiate finish in the high jump. After redshirting the indoor season, Kallenou took over the No. 10 spot in the record books with a clearance of 5-10.75 on her first attempt. The only competitor to top Kallenou was former Lady Bulldog All-American and two-time Olympian Levern Spencer, who reached 6-4 on her second try.
"This was definitely a strong start to Leontia's Bulldog career," Norton said. "Not only did she have a good mark, but she got that mark in a way that you know she has plenty more in the tank, which is encouraging."
Senior Saniel Atkinson-Grier was third in the high jump with a mark 5-8.75.
During the men's competition, freshman Maurice Freeman cleared a career-high height of 6-10.75 on his first try to earn runner-up honors.
"Like Leontia, Maurice is another newcomer who has come in and has now established a base foundation to grow on," said Norton. "I know he had a lot of family cheering him on today and he responded by setting a personal best. He is having his best outings in meets, rather than practice, and I think he is still far from reaching his potential."
Competing for the first time at the Spec Towns Track was sophomore transfer Charles Grethen. The 800 specialist won the 1500 with a time of 3:55.75 after crossing the finish line first in the opening heat. Teammate Wade Voyles managed a third-place finish after surging in the final straightaway of the same heat for a 3:57.82.
Junior Burke McCarty saved his top effort for his sixth and final throw in the discus and won with a mark of 180-10. After opening with a foul, McCarty improved 24 feet on his best throw during his first five attempts.
Opening his Bulldog outdoor career with the top collegiate finish in the shot put on Friday, freshman Ashinia Miller took second in the discus after his second throw measured 178-4 on Saturday.
Calhoun, who also competed in the triple jump on Friday, added a third-place finish in the long jump with a second attempt that measured 23-2.
In the 4x200 relay, Vincent, Calhoun, Evans and Smith had the top collegiate finish after registering a time of 1:24.21 for second place overall.
On the women's side, Vaughn, Chapman, Brown and Myasia Jacobs earned runner-up honors after registering a 1:38.20 in the 4x200 relay.
Freshman Victoria Coppage led the charge in the women's 3000 as the Lady Bulldogs took second through fourth. Coppage completed her laps in 10:45.25 to lead Abbie Robinson (10:51.78) and Allyson McGinty (10:59.85) to top-five finishes.
The Bulldogs travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Alabama Relays on March 22-23.
Results and a recap from the Georgia Relays can be found at georgiadogs.com.
|Georgia's Winners/Top Collegiate Finishes - Georgia Relays|
|Elizabeth Tepe||W. Hammer Throw||191 ft., 5 in.|
|B. Vaughn, M. Jacobs, R. Brown, Q. Chapman||W. Gainey Special||1:42.52|
|Ashinia Miller||M. Shot Put||62-6|
|A. Gray, E. Kasson, J. Lavender, C. Grethen||M. Sprint Medley Relay||3:24.66|
|Zack Sims||M. 5000m||14:54.44|
|Nicole DiMercurio||W. 5000m||17:07.32|
|Morgann Leleux||W. Pole Vault||14-1.25|
|Leontia Kallenou||W. High Jump||5-10.75|
|Charles Grethen||M. 1500m||3:55.75|
|Briana Vaughn||W. 100m||11.37|
|Johnathan Smith||M. 100m||10.20|
|Burke McCarty||M. Discus||180-10|
|R. Brown, Q. Chapman, T. Lyles, T. Hollingsworth||W. 4x400m Relay||3:46.55|