March 29, 2014
ATLANTA --- Georgia’s track and field teams recorded five wins to highlight the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta on a soggy Saturday.
Following a two-hour delay to the start the meet, Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton said his team improved during its second outdoor meet weekend of the year.
“Weather had an effect because we were hoping it would be a little warmer and dry,” Norton said. “The whole men sprints group did a good job today. The effort was good from everyone and that is the biggest thing we are pulling from this meet. If the weather continues to improve and our effort stays like this, good things will happen for us. We have to continue to make a little progress week by week and get better.”
Sophomore Jamario Calhoun, senior Johnathan Smith and freshmen Brandon Thompson and Reggie Glover combined to win the 4x100-meter relay in the first running event of the day. The quartet ran a 40.64 to edge the Auburn Elite squad (40.71).
Another pair of Bulldog sprinters, freshmen Derrick White and Ayrian Evans, went 1-2 in the 400. White cruised to a victory with a 47.37 and Evans finished behind him after recording a 47.89 in his first outdoor collegiate 400 race.
Junior Drew Branch won the 400 hurdles by more than three seconds after running his lap in 52.50.
Johnathan Smith tied the sixth-best time in school history (20.54) to win the 200 over Georgia Tech’s Broderick Snoddy with the nation’s fifth-best time this year. Smith was also second in the 100 after running a 10.29 to finish just .01 behind Snoddy.
Calhoun (20.97) and sophomore Maurice Freeman (20.98) also broke the 21-second mark for the first time in their careers to take fourth and fifth in the 200.
True freshman Tatiana Gusin jump-started her outdoor collegiate career by clearing 5 feet, 8 ¾ inches on her second try in the women’s high jump. Gusin took second in the event for the second runner-up finish of her Lady Bulldog career.
An 800 specialist, junior Charles Grethen finished second in the 1500 after clocking a 3:52.30.
Freshman Kendell Williams completed her six-throw series in the javelin with a mark of 125-11. This gave the heptathlete a third-place finish in the event.
In the men’s javelin, junior Garrett Scantling and sophomore Maicel Uibo, who are both decathletes, finished just under their personal best in the javelin to take second and fourth, respectively. Scantling had a mark of 211-2 in his first meet of 2014 after redshirting the indoor season while Uibo reached 196-5 on his sixth throw.
Also of note, former Lady Bulldog NCAA champion Nikola Lomnicka competed unattached and won the hammer throw by 36 feet. Lomnicka launched her second toss 223-7 after finishing her Georgia career at the No. 2 spot in the school record books at 219-6.
On Friday at Georgia Tech, 11 Georgia women ran in the 5000. Freshman Morgan Ainslie was the top Lady Bulldog finisher in sixth with a time of 18:01.29.
The Bulldogs also traveled four men to North Carolina for the Raleigh Relays on Friday. Junior Brandon Lord grabbed the top collegiate finish (second overall) in the 10,000 after clocking the nation’s best time (29:10.87) this year. This improves his No. 2 time in school history and is the best time for Georgia since Ian Burrell set the school record in 2007.
Nine spots behind Lord in the race was senior Luke Baker. Baker took 11th after running his 25 laps in 29:37.45, which is the sixth-best time in school history. In addition, senior Charlie Sparks finished with the ninth-best time (30:02.78) in the UGA record books and was 24th in the race.
Georgia returns to action at the Florida Relays on April 3-5.
Results and recaps from the Yellow Jacket Invitational and the Raleigh Relays will be located at georgiadogs.com. Updates about all Bulldog track and field news can be found on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.