April 8, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- Junior Colleen Felix exploded for the nation's longest triple jump of the year to highlight the first day of the Spec Towns National Team Invitational in Athens on Friday afternoon.
Saturday's action begins with the women's Open 1500-meter run at 10 a.m. The first field event of the day is the women's javelin at 11 a.m. There is free admission to the meet throughout the weekend.
"This was an overall super performance to start this meet," said head coach Wayne Norton. "But I can't be surprised by our performances at this meet. We needed to have it this weekend and traditionally we have performed very well at home. Most of the marks today were career bests or near them. This is an important meet for us and in fact the whole month of April is big for us. I hope this brings more good things for us (on Saturday)."
Felix took off on her second attempt and grabbed the nation's lead with a personal-best mark of 44 feet, 6 ¾ inches. She won the meet after topping sophomore teammate Maria Augutis by two feet. Felix's mark ranks as the second-best jump in school history and is the longest for the Lady Bulldogs since 2006.
Felix, who is 10th on the 2011 world performance list, led a 1-2-3-4 finish in the triple jump. Augutis was the runner-up after reaching a season-best 42-4.75 on her third effort. Finishing third was sophomore Saniel Atkinson, who moved into the No. 10 spot in the record books after soaring a personal-best distance of 42-1.50.
"Good to have Colleen back in the triple jump after she was out of the event for about a month," said Norton. "She returned at a high level which is promising for the rest of the season."
Junior Latroya Darrell was Georgia's fourth scorer after following up four fouls with a mark of 42-1.25.
The Bulldogs managed a third-place and a fifth-place finish in the men's triple jump with a pair of career-best efforts. Junior Aaron LaGarde jumped from ninth to seventh on the UGA all-time top-10 list with the second-longest mark in the nation this year (52-7.50).
Senior Asaph Levy, who will be attending medical school after his career wraps up with the Bulldogs, traveled a personal-long distance of 50-7.50 on his sixth and final jump of the competition for fifth place.
Meet winner Ryan Grinnell also has a history with the Bulldogs. Grinnell was a six-time All-American while Georgia assistant coach Petros Kyprianou coached him at Boise State. Grinnell hit a personal-best mark of 54-4.75 on his sixth and final jump on Friday. He is now living in Athens and training with Kyprianou.
Junior Nikola Lomnicka was the second collegiate finisher (fourth overall) in the women's hammer after her opening throw traveled 208 feet. Former Lady Bulldog All-American Sultana Frizell represented Canada in the event and was the runner-up with a mark of 228-6.
In addition, freshman Hilenn James finished fifth in the hammer after her second attempt measured 48-3.25.
Also of note, national leader and Virginia Tech senior Marcel Lomnicky won the men's hammer with a throw 232-6. Lomnicky is the older brother of the Lady Bulldogs' Nikola Lomnicka, who captured the victory in the women's hammer.
Live results for the remainder of the Spec Towns meet and a recap from the action will be located at georgiadogs.com.