Bulldog Track & Field Completes Strong Outdoor Opener
Jamario Calhoun

Jamario Calhoun
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March 22, 2014

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --- Georgia's track and field teams concluded action at the John Mitchell Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., with personal bests and several victories on Saturday.

"Considering who we had competing at this meet, I would say it was one of the best second days of an outdoor opener that we've ever had," said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton.  "It was a day of personal bests.  After I said (Friday) was one of the best first meets of the outdoor season that we've had, today's performance confirmed that.  There are a lot of people who are looking forward to having strong outdoor seasons.  I think we have more talent this year and an increased amount of enthusiasm and confidence."

Georgia's 4x100-meter relay team sped to a win to set the tone for the Bulldogs' second day.  Sophomore Jamario Calhoun, senior Johnathan Smith, freshman Brandon Thompson and freshman Reggie Glover ran their lap in 40.44 to have the fastest finish out of 19 teams.

Following a win in the 100 on Friday, sophomore Chanice Porter finished first in the women's long jump with a series that featured five jumps better than 20 feet.  Porter won the competition by a foot after traveling a national-leading distance of 21-5.25 on her fifth try

This is the best mark for a Lady Bulldog since 2006 and No. 5 in school history.  Porter's last action saw her earn runner-up honors in the long jump at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships.

Sophomore Rashan Brown tallied another win for Georgia after speeding to a personal best in the 400.  Brown ran a 53.67, which ranks seventh in the Lady Bulldog record books.

Calhoun completed the men's long jump in second after also finishing one spot behind the winner in the triple jump a day before.  Also similar to his triple, Calhoun posted a personal-best mark of 24 feet, 6 ½ inches in a series that had four fouls in it.

"Jamario probably had his best meet since high school this weekend so we are encouraged by his start," Norton said.

Another relay member, Johnathan Smith, also registered a victory in the 100.  Smith ran the third fastest 100 time (10.25) of his two-year Bulldog career.

On the women's side, sophomore Myasia Jacobs was the second collegiate finisher (third overall) after clocking an 11.60 in the 100.

The Bulldogs finished second in the 4x400 relay to wrap up the meet.  Junior Drew Branch, Calhoun, freshman Ayrian Evans and sophomore Maurice Freeman passed the baton on the way to a 3:09.55 finish.

At the Castillo Invitational, the Bulldogs went 1-2 in the men's shot put to highlight the team's day in Arizona.  Junior Nick Vena, who was competing for the first time since taking ninth at the NCAA indoor meet, responded to a pair of fouls with a fifth throw of 60-7.25 to win.

Senior Caleb Whitener earned runner-up honors with a top throw of 58-8.75.

After moving to sixth on Georgia's all-time list in the hammer throw on Friday, freshman Asianna Covington took over the No. 8 spot on the discus list on Saturday.  Covington's second throw measured 154-5 and finished sixth in the competition.

Georgia travels to Atlanta on March 28-29 for the Yellow Jacket Invitational.

"We will have more people compete next weekend and then we will really jumpstart the season at the Florida Relays with great competition and good weather so we are encouraged for what is to come this season," Norton said.

Results and recaps from the Alabama Relays and the Castillo Invitational will be located at georgiadogs.com. Updates about all Bulldog track and field news can be found on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.

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