Sophomore Carly Hamilton
April 27, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa --- Georgia sophomore Carly Hamilton topped a 29-year-old school record with the fastest time in the nation this year during the final day of the 104th running of the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday.
"This was a very good meet for us and probably one of the best we have ever had at the Drake Relays," said Georgia head coach Wayne Norton. "We won eight events, which is far more than we usually pick up at this meet since we usually average three or so here. I am proud of the athletes and coaches. We did well in every event area possible. That is something that we have not always been able to do in this program. Sometimes weather doesn't cooperate here but it got better and better as the meet went on this time around and we used that to have a good showing."
Hamilton shaved five seconds off her personal best in the 1500-meter run to register a Drake Relays record with a 4:12.15. This is the nation's fastest time this season by a second and a half and improves Linda Detlefsen's mark of 4:15.25 set at the 1984 SEC Championships by more than three seconds.
Hamilton now has one of the world's top-20 fastest times in 2013 and Norton is excited that the team's middle-distance standout has reached this point.
"Carly ran a time we knew she was capable of," Norton said. "Sometimes in our sport, it's really good to finally just go out and do it. That word that we talk about called `potential' has been there for her but it was great to see it come true. All of a sudden, Carly is in a whole new level.
"If we look at some of the greats from the recent past in Kristie Krueger and Natalie Picchetti, we know that a time like Carly finished in not only gets you to nationals, but also is a threat to score at nationals. Carly is very representative of people we have on this team right now. We have a lot of strong competitors like Megan Malasarte and Charles Grethen and when you have this trait, you are able to finish strong and not just get off to a quick start."
Despite having four new faces on the relay, the Bulldogs won their second consecutive sprint medley relay at the Drake meet to be the other Georgia win on Saturday. Freshman Pierce Vincent, senior Daniel Grass, sophomore Drew Branch and sophomore Charles Grethen clocked a 3:17.72 to finish first by half a second.
Grass returned in the 800 to take seventh with a time of 1:50.81, which is the second-fastest finish of his career.
In the 4x100 relay, freshman Briana Vaughn, Brown, Miller and Chapman had a third-place finish in the finals after registering a time of 44.64.
"Shaunae was spectacular every time she stepped on the track," Norton said about the 2013 NCAA indoor 400 champion. "She is going in the right direction and I am anxious to see what she can accomplish with the postseason now here."
Junior Elizabeth Tepe also launched her sixth attempt in the hammer throw 196 feet, 6 inches, which is the second-best meet of her career. She was the top SEC finisher and sixth overall.
Also of note, Scott-Wesley finished eighth in the finals of the 100 after speeding to a 10.61 finish.
Georgia returns to action at the SEC Championships in Columbia, Mo., on May 9-12.
Results and recaps from the Drake Relays will be found at georgiadogs.com.