Senior Michael Ayers will be competing in his first heptathlon for the Bulldogs since finishing third at the 2011 SEC Indoor Championships.
Jan. 26, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- Ten Georgia track and field team members will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Razorback Invitational starting on Friday while a majority of the teams will make the trip to Lincoln, Neb., for the Mark Colligan Memorial on Saturday.
Four triple jumpers, three heptathletes and three pole vaulters are scheduled to compete at the Razorback Invitational starting with the heptathlon's 60-meter dash at 12:15 p.m. ET on Friday. The men's pole vault will get rolling at 8 p.m. for the Bulldogs as the rest of Georgia's events begin on Saturday.
Arizona, Baylor, Florida State, the Iowa men, LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, the SMU women, Stanford, TCU and the Texas men will be joining Georgia and Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Thirty-three team members will be battling at the one-day Mark Colligan Memorial, starting with the men's weight throw for the Bulldogs, which is scheduled to begin after the women's weight at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The first event on the track is the 60 hurdle prelims at 2 p.m.
Georgia will be taking on the Huskers, Illinois, the Michigan women and Akron at the Nebraska meet.
Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton has already seen his teams compete at the Kentucky Invitational on January 13-14 and then the Auburn Invitational last weekend. He is hoping their development continues into the third week of the season.
"It is still January so we are still in a building up stage and trying to improve our conditioning and technique," said Norton. "And a part of the conditioning involves regaining our health. Currently we have some minor injuries that we need to get over for the stretch run in February."
The Georgia women checked in at No. 13 on the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll while the Bulldog men are ranked 23rd.
While a majority of Georgia's competitors will be competing at the Bob Devaney Track in Nebraska, the Bulldogs will be sending a specific group to Arkansas, which has hosted 10 of the last 12 NCAA Indoor Championships and will be the home for the 2013 national meet.
"Most of the Arkansas group is going to contest the heptathlon," Norton explained, adding that the heptathletes have to go to the particular meets that host the multi-events. "Some of our vaulters and jumpers are also going to Arkansas to be able to compete on the specific kind of runways at that site. The runways are rubber-covered wood which are the best for vaulting and jumping."
Senior Michael Ayers, who was third in the heptathlon at last year's SEC Indoor Championships, and senior Cory Holman, who was third in the multi-events at the 2010 SEC indoor meet, are planning on completing their first full heptathlon of the season. 2010 SEC heptathlon champion Tommy Barrineau completed his Bulldog career last season.
2011 SEC indoor triple jump champion Colleen Felix will be making her season debut in Fayetteville along with last year's SEC outdoor champion in the event, junior Maria Augutis. In addition, senior Latroya Darrell opens her final season after earning Second Team All-American honors in the triple jump in 2011.
A number of Bulldogs are holding down top spots in the conference ranks early in the year. Freshman Morgann Leleux is leading the way in the women's pole vault with the second-best mark in the SEC this season at 13 feet, 8 ¼ inches (No. 6 in the nation). Senior Torrin Lawrence is third on the league list after clocking a 21.18 in the 200 while sophomore Megan Malasarte is No. 3 in the 800 (2:09.09).
Sophomore Brian Lord (8:23.06) and junior Brian Detweiler (8:27.10) are holding down the third and fourth spots, respectively, in the 3000. The men's 4x400 team - Lawrence, senior Phillip Adams and freshmen Drew Branch and Chris Foster - also has the third-fastest time (3:11.99) in the SEC this season.
In addition, sophomore Justin Welch has recorded the third-best weight throw (65-7.50) in the conference through two meets.
Live results and recaps from each meet will be posted at georgiadogs.com.