April 25, 2014
DES MOINES, Iowa --- Georgia's track and field teams had four champions to highlight Friday's action at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Bulldogs also qualified one individual and two relays for finals on Saturday.
Saturday's first event on the track for Georgia is the men's sprint medley relay scheduled for 11:20 a.m. In 2013, Pierce Vincent, Daniel Grass, Drew Branch and Charles Grethen earned top honors in the event after running a 3:17.72.
"We have had a good first two days out here," said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton. "The 4x1600 team on Thursday was successful because three of the guys went under 4:10, running about the best they ever had. It shows that Coach (Patrick) Cunniff has them improving their speed in preparation for the Southeastern Conference Championships.
"We got a lot done today in the sprints even though all of our sprinters did not make it to the finals. We are benefitting from the extra speed work we have done in some warm weather. These races are investments for the month of May. Our men and women sprinters are improving.
"Our winners today are some of those who continue to lead this team by performance. Freya (Jones), as the 2013 national champion, did what she is supposed to do: win the university division in her event. Megan (Malasarte) was superb and continues to impress and Chanice Porter did just enough to win, and win against a good field that included the reigning NCAA indoor champion. After two days, I can say it's another good meet for Georgia."
Posting her fifth straight meet with a mark of at least 20 feet, 4 inches, sophomore Chanice Porter took off for a winning jump of 20-8 on her opening attempt in the long jump. Porter passed on two of her six jumps and had three others that measured at least 20-3.50.
Georgia had its second Drake champion after senior Megan Malasarte ran the 800-meter run. The Fayetteville, Ga., native clocked a 2:03.61 after running a season-best 2:03.30 last week at the Mt. SAC Relays. Her time was nearly a second faster than the second-place finisher, Air Force's Annette Eichenberger (2:04.52).
The Lady Bulldogs' third champion of the day came from sophomore Freya Jones in the javelin. The defending NCAA champion built her series up to a sixth attempt that measured 171-4, which is the fourth-best throw of her career and second best this season.
During Georgia's final event of the day, sophomore Jamario Calhoun, senior Johnathan Smith, freshman Reggie Glover and sophomore Maurice Freeman won the 4x200 relay by more than a half a second. The four Bulldogs completed their race in 1:22.50 to top 15 other teams.
Smith recorded his seventh consecutive time between 10.20-10.38 in the 100 this season to win his heat and qualify for the finals earlier in the day. Smith finished first in his heat and third overall with a 10.38. He will run in Saturday's finals at 3:20 p.m.
Also of note, true freshman Reggie Davis, who had 11 catches for 257 yards and a record-breaking 98-yard touchdown catch for the Bulldog football team in the fall, took 18th in the 100 prelims with a 10.75. Davis ran a 10.4 while attending Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Fla. Fellow freshman Brandon Thompson was 17th thanks to his 10.74.
A trio of underclassmen and Smith clocked the team's third-fastest time of the year in the 4x100 relay to qualify for the finals. Calhoun, Glover, Thompson and Smith ran a 40.08 to finish sixth out of 29 teams racing.
The Bulldog quartet races in the finals on Saturday at 4:20 p.m.
A junior and a sophomore teamed with a pair of freshmen in the 4x400 relay prelims to also qualify for the finals. Freeman, freshman Derrick White, Branch and freshman Ayrian Evans ran Georgia's second-fastest relay of the year at 3:07.08 to take eighth.
This group of Bulldogs runs again at 4:52 p.m. on Saturday.
Sophomore Rashan Brown ran in her first 100 for the Lady Bulldogs and was 10th in the prelims at 11.84, missing the finals by two spots and .08 seconds.
Results and recaps from the Drake Relays will be located at georgiadogs.com. Updates about all Bulldog track and field news can be found on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.