Freshman Devon Williams
April 25, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa --- A pair of Bulldog true freshmen posted finishes in the top three to highlight the second day of the 104th running of the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday.
Georgia has three relay teams scheduled to start the action back in Des Moines on Friday around noon ET and events will continue into the night. The Drake Relays, which have more than 2,000 collegiate competitors scheduled to compete, continue through Saturday.
Freshman Kisean Smith recorded his first collegiate victory with the second-fastest finish of his career in the 800-meter run. Smith finished in 1:51.90 to be the only competitor in the 12-man field to break 1:52. The Snellville native took control of the 800 early in the race and help off the field in the final 100 meters.
Freshman Devon Williams scored 6,916 points in the decathlon to be the No. 2 collegiate finisher and third overall. Williams, who had three collegiate personal bests to end the competition, had a trio of second-place finishes on Wednesday to score 3,657 points on the opening day, which also had him in third place.
“This was a solid first two days at the Drake Relays for the Bulldogs,” said Georgia distance coach Patrick Cunniff. “I am excited about the signs for the future for this program. Kisean did a great job of winning his race and I think he could have gone faster had he had someone pushing him. Devon battled tough conditions and finished strong with some personal bests. Both of these guys are great examples of the potential we have to keep getting better in the future.”
“Devon did well today after battling extreme weather conditions for him,” said Bulldog multi-events coach Petros Kyprianou. “This was his first collegiate decathlon and he improved his high school personal best by 600 points. Devon tried hard to move forward in each event and did not quit when an event went badly for him. The fact that he finished both days with strong 400 and 1500 performances shows that he is in great shape going into the SEC Championships.
“Today was a great experience for him in learning how to handle emotional rollercoasters and never quit. He is a very talented young man who is learning fast how to compete in this great event.”
On his second toss in the javelin, Williams registered a personal-best mark of 153 feet, 8 inches. His mark scored 542 points and gave him a seventh-place finish in the event.
The only event of the decathlon that Williams had not tried at Georgia was the 1500. The Marietta native completed his laps during the 10th and final event in 4:43.62 to finish seventh (658 points).
Williams got off to a quick start in the 110 hurdles by winning the day’s first event. He crossed the finish line before all of the competition in 14.38. Williams stumbled in this event at the Bulldog Decathlon and eventually dropped out of the competition after not finishing the race.
Williams tied for eighth in the pole vault with a first attempt clearance of 13-1.50. This first height cleared during his outdoor season scored him 617 points.
In the discus, Williams started off with two fouls before having a third throw that measured 107-1. This added 516 points to his total and gave him a 10th-place finish in the event, and still holding on to second place overall.
Georgia also had a pair of competitors run in the longer distances on Thursday. Senior Abbie Robinson took 28th in the 10,000 with a time of 37:33.35 while senior Kyle James was 22nd in the 5000 after crossing the finish line in 14:57.23.
“Both of them ran really hard and are in great shape to peak at the SEC Championships,” Cunniff said.
Live results and recaps from each day’s action at the Drake Relays will be found at georgiadogs.com.
Devon Williams’ Decathlon Results
100m LJ SP HJ 400m Day One
11.16/825 pts. 22-3.75/767 39-5.25/608 5-11.25/636 49.86/821 3,657 pts.
110mH Discus PV Javelin 1500m TOTAL
14.38/926 107-1/516 *13-1.50/617 *153-8/542 *4:43.62/658 *6,916