Nikola Lomnicka made her season debut in the hammer throw and had the top collegiate finish.
April 13, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Bulldog track and field teams had five team members win or finish first versus the collegiate competition at the Spec Towns National Team Invitational and Bulldog Decathlon in Athens, Ga., on Friday.
In the decathlon, freshman Garrett Scantling managed a third-place overall finish after scoring 7,410 points, which is No. 5 on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list, to be the top collegiate finisher.
The final three events of the heptathlon are scheduled to begin with the long jump at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The women’s javelin, as part of the Spec Towns meet, will also go at 10 a.m. while the running events will crank up with the women’s 5000 at 1:10 p.m.
“I think the emergence of Garrett in the decathlon was our highlight today,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton. “This is a person who probably didn’t even know what the decathlon was 13 months or so ago. He had (personal bests) across the board and you really like to see that in the sport of track and field. Garrett is a unique situation since he has only run the 110 hurdles twice, only thrown the javelin a time or two and so on.
“I am encouraged by his performance and I would like to see the whole team exceed expectations the rest of the weekend like he did today. I believe we are getting better and better. This is only a sign of things to come for this team as we progress through April and get to the postseason.”
Scantling made the best out of his first collegiate decathlon by taking third out of nine competitors. Scantling scored 7,410 points, which shoots him to fifth on the school’s all-time top-10 list and moves him to No. 9 on the national performance list.
His senior teammate Michael Ayers finished fourth in the competition with 7,365 points as senior Cory Holman scored 7,298 points to take fifth in just his fourth collegiate decathlon. Former Bulldog Tommy Barrineau pulled out the victory in the competition during the final event to score 7,508.
As events also started in the Spec Towns meet, sophomore Hilenn James won her second meet of the season in the shot put. James’ third toss measured 51 feet, 3 ¾ inches to top 10 other competitors.
Closing with two fouls, senior Colleen Felix won her second meet in the triple jump after reaching 41-10 on her third effort. Felix is the SEC leader in the event after hitting 43-1 in the season opener.
Junior Saniel Atkinson, who shares the SEC lead in the high jump at 6 feet, was the runner-up in the triple jump after her second jump measured 40-8.75.
On the men’s side, senior Aaron LaGarde had the top collegiate finish in the triple jump for his second victory of the year. LaGarde’s sixth and final attempt measured 50-2.50 as he finished second overall behind the unattached Ryan Grinnell (54-4).
Sophomore Justin Welch also had a top collegiate finish with a season-best throw in the hammer. Welch quickly reached 206-10 to finish second overall behind former Bulldog Andras Haklits (232-11).
Haklits was a two-time NCAA hammer throw champion at Georgia and has competed for Croatia at the last three Olympics, taking 10th at the 2008 Games.
During the decathlon, Holman sped to the second-fastest finish of his career in the 110 hurdles to win the event. Holman crossed the finish line in 14.05 as Scantling tied for third with a personal-best 14.93.
Ayers topped his teammates in the discus after his third throw traveled 130-4, which was second in the competition. After opening with two fouls, Scantling reached 121 feet in the discus to add 602 points and take fifth in the event.
Holman slipped to second in the overall standings after he had a mark of 103-6 in the discus.
Barrineau and Ayers tied for the win in the pole vault with matching heights of 15-11. Scantling surged into fourth place overall after clearing 14-11 in the pole vault for 775 points and third place. Also, Holman used a third attempt clearance at 14-7.25 to retake the overall lead and finish fourth in the event.
Scantling shot to second place in the overall standings thanks to his winning throw of 191 feet. Scantling sandwiched the top throw of his career between his first and second attempts and scored 711 points to put him in position to finish in the top three.
Ayers was third in the javelin (177-7) while Holman finished seventh (144-5).
In the final event of the competition, the Bulldogs finished fifth, sixth and eighth in the 1500. Ayers came out ahead of his teammates after wrapping up his laps in 4:49.89 for fifth. Scantling managed to hold off Finland’s Sami Itani, who was second overall (7,455), for seventh place after registering a mark of 4:55.08. Holman ended up being the final Bulldog across the finish line with a personal-best time of 5:10.31.
Two-time defending SEC hammer throw champion Nikola Lomnicka opened her outdoor season on Friday. Lomnicka lifted her final throw 201-4 and finished fourth overall in the competition. She was the top collegiate finisher.
Junior Lucie Ondraschkova is in third place with 3,096 points in the heptathlon with four of seven events completed. She started her day with a second-place finish in the 100 hurdles. Ondraschkova clocked a season-best mark of 14.55 to finish behind Alabama’s Kaylon Eppinger (14.01).
Ondraschkova approached her personal best in the shot put to take fourth. She reached 36-10.25 on her second attempt and added another 610 to her total.
The Czech Republic native then came within sixth hundredths of a second from her career-best time in the 200. Ondraschkova finished third with a time of 25.68.
In the high jump, Ondraschkova cleared 5-3.75 on her opening attempt to be part of a three-way tie and score 759 more points.
Live results and recaps of each day’s action will be located at georgiadogs.com.