Bulldog Track & Field Battles At SEC Vs. Big Ten Challenge
March 26, 2011
STARKVILLE, Miss. --- Georgia track and field battled members from a pair of the nation's top conferences during the SEC vs. Big Ten Challenge in Starkville, Miss., on Saturday.
In addition, Georgia's throwers competed for the second consecutive day at the Arizona State Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.
The Bulldogs joined Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Auburn from the Southeastern Conference while Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State and Purdue competed in the meet from the Big Ten. The Big Ten defeated the SEC 379-349 on the women's side and 399-337 on the men's side.
"This was one of those blue-collar meets where it was sunny, warm and windy and everyone was having to work hard out there," said head coach Wayne Norton. "Sometimes a meet where you have to work really hard out there to get the job done in these conditions is equal to an intense training session. I think a meet like this will definitely pay dividends for us later in the year."
Sophomore Leslie Boozer helped highlight the meet by finishing second in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a career-best time of 10:44.71. This puts Boozer at No. 2 on the national performance list and improves her No. 3 spot on the all-time top-10 list.
Fellow sophomore Ashley Shiver crossed the finish line in third place with a time of 11:02.83.
Senior Georgina Nembhard made her season debut in the 200 and shot across the finish line with a personal-best time of 23.58. Nembhard finished third in the race and bettered her No. 7 time in the Lady Bulldog record books. Her second heat win also have her one of the top-10 fastest times in the nation this year.
Sophomore Danny Neff also improved his career-best time in the 800 to 1:52.80 for second-place honors in Starkville.
In the 400, senior Odeika Bent was the runner-up with a mark of 54.89.
Off the track, sophomore Saniel Atkinson opened with a foul in the triple jump, but responded with a mark of 40 feet, 9 ½ inches to finish third. She also tied for third in the high jump with a mark of 5-7.75.
The Bulldogs also competed for the second day in a row at the Arizona State Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. Freshman Justin Welch, who launched the country's third-longest hammer throw to win on Friday, also finished first in the discus with a career-long throw of 182-8.
Junior Brian Moore had the second-best meet of his career as a Bulldog after reaching 239 feet in the javelin. The 2010 SEC champion was only four inches behind his personal best and is now fourth on the current national performance list.
"The crew who traveled to Arizona got things done like they wanted to," Norton said. "Almost all of their marks out there would have won easily in Starkville so I would say that the trip was a success for our throwers."
More action will be coming from Tempe later in the evening.
Georgia returns to action on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 for the Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla.
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