Georgia Track Has Another Champion, Men & Women Are 1-2
Georgia Bulldogs highlights from day 3 of the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
May 17, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. --- Georgia's track and field teams highlighted their third day by winning the program's sixth individual title of the meet at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday.
Sophomore Leontia Kallenou set a meet record after clearing a personal best 6 feet, 3 ½ inches to win the high jump and add 10 more points to the Lady Bulldogs' total.
The Bulldog men hold a 52-51 lead on Arkansas as Alabama (29) is in a distant third. The Georgia women are in second place with 54.50 points behind Arkansas (77) while Missouri is third with 51 points.
Georgia now has six champions in the meet. After senior Elizabeth Tepe won the Bulldogs' fifth consecutive SEC women's hammer throw on Thursday, men's freshman Alex Poursanidis battled rainy, windy conditions on Friday to give UGA a SEC sweep in the event for the first time since Andras Haklits and Katie McCoy accomplished the feat in 2001 (Haklits and McCoy also both won in 2000).
Later on the second day, freshman Kendell Williams locked down the Lady Bulldogs' first heptathlon crown since 2005 while sophomore Maicel Uibo won his second straight decathlon championship. Tepe, Williams and Uibo all set facility records with their performances.
Finally on Friday, junior Brandon Lord showcased a wire-to-wire victory in the 10,000 meters to give the Georgia men their first league crown in the event.
The Bulldogs have also had a total of six qualifiers for finals over the last two days. Junior Carly Hamilton made another step toward defending her title in the 1500 meters on Saturday and senior Johnathan Smith qualified for the finals in a second event, this time in the 100.
On Sunday, junior Braydon Anderson starts in the men's javelin at 11 a.m. The running events start with the 4x100 relay finals at 2 p.m. on the meet's final and deciding day.
"Friday was an A-plus-plus day for us, we did everything right and everything went perfect," said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton. "Today, things haven't gone perfectly, but I will say it's still an A day. We thought we could win three events today and we won one of them in the women's high jump. Leontia made every bar and is where she needs to be. We didn't get the 10s we wanted in the javelin and long jump, but you can't be to down with getting six points from each. Another day went by and we won another championship so we can't be too upset. We also got some qualifiers through, not as many as we wanted. But overall, we are still in great shape and still have a shot to be in the top three. We're not completely satisfied but we are happy where we are right now."
Kallenou extended her streak to five consecutive victories bridging the indoor season as she cruised to her first SEC outdoor high jump title. Kallenou cleared all five of her heights, including a national-leading height of 6-3.50 to top Makeba Alcide's 6-2 meet record set last year. The five wins in a row for the Nicosia, Cyprus, native include the 2014 SEC indoor title and this year's NCAA indoor crown.
This is the Lady Bulldogs' second straight SEC outdoor title in the event after Saniel Atkinson-Grier won in 2013. UGA has now won 11 outdoor championships in the event's history.
Georgia also had true freshman Tatiana Gusin clear 5-7.75 to tie for eighth place and add .50 points.
Sophomore Freya Jones opened with a throw of 169-8 in the javelin and finished the competition in third place with that toss. The top three on Saturday were the same from last year as Florida's Fawn Miller (an NCAA-leading mark of 187-4), who was second in 2013, won her first SEC title. Jones also finished third at the 2013 SEC meet before winning the NCAA title.
Not long after Jones' finish, sophomore Chanice Porter matched her with a third-place finish in the long jump. The Jamaican native worked up to a third attempt of 20-9.25 to finish slightly behind Florida's Robin Reynolds (20-10.50) for runner-up honors. This is a one-spot improvement for Porter from her 2013 finish.
Senior Charlie Sparks scored for the first time in the steeplechase after completing his laps with a personal best. The Columbus native ran a 9:01.95 to move from ninth to seventh on the school's all-time list and assure himself a spot in the field at the coming NCAA East Regionals.
Brendan Hoban was ninth in the event after clocking a career-best time of 9:11.55, which bettered his No. 10 spot on Georgia's all-time top-10 list.
Georgia also added two more qualifiers on the track. Hamilton was the first to punch her ticket to Sunday's competition by running the second-fastest 1500 time in the prelims. The defending champion ran a 4:21.17 after taking control of the third heat.
Hamilton races in the 1500 finals at 2:20 p.m. on Sunday.
After earning his place in the field for the 200 finals, Smith also locked down his spot in the 100 finals. The Apple Valley, Ca., native ran a 10.28 to be second in his heat and sixth overall. Smith races in the 100 finals at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday before his 200 finals at 4:30 p.m.
Also of note, sophomore Ashinia Miller finished two spots out of scoring in the discus with a season-best effort. Miller lifted his third attempt 170-11 to take 10th and narrowly miss the finals. His junior teammate Nick Vena also had a season-best effort (168-11) for 13th place.
On the track, junior Bret McDaniel was one spot out of scoring after finishing the steeplechase in 10:38.16 for ninth.
Results and recaps from the SEC Championships will be located at georgiadogs.com. Updates about all Bulldog track and field news can be found on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.
$SEC Championships meet record; *personal-best mark; ^back-to-back SEC champion; %facility record
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