Five Things To Keep An Eye On . . .
March 7, 2013
Georgia's track and field teams have made the trip to Fayetteville, Ark., to compete versus the nation’s top talent at the NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday. The Lady Bulldogs are headed into the meet ranked eighth in the nation as both teams combine to have four individuals ranked in the top five in their individual events.
Below are five intriguing things related to the Bulldogs to keep an eye on this weekend . . .
1. A Glimpse At The Future Is Now. Eight of the 15 Bulldog student-athletes traveling to the NCAA Championships are either freshmen or sophomores, and only two of the 15 are seniors. The future would appear bright for a program that had a freshman earn runner-up honors in the pole vault at BOTH national meets last year (Morgann Leleux) and to one that featured a sophomore (Garrett Scantling, heptathlon) and a true freshman (Chanice Porter, long jump) as two of its three 2013 SEC indoor champions.
2. A Tricky Return. Sophomore Morgann Leleux did finish second at both the 2012 NCAA Indoor & Outdoor Championships last year and upset the collegiate record holder to capture last outdoor season’s SEC crown. But she is now dealing with an obstacle that she has never encountered before. After clearing a personal best 14 feet, 9 inches to take over the national lead earlier this season, Leleux suffered a detached retina in her right eye the following week and had an immediate procedure to repair it. This injury has held her out six weeks, including the SEC Championships two weeks ago. The New Iberia, La., native jumps on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
3. Simple Task: Be Great For 19. Three of Georgia’s 15 team members who traveled to Fayetteville are competing in the multi-events. Sophomore Garrett Scantling and freshman Maicel Uibo will each be battling in seven events apiece during the heptathlon competition and senior Lucie Ondraschkova will have five events to prove her national worth in the pentathlon. Scantling and Ondraschkova posted personal-best scores in their competitions at SECs (also in Arkansas) and Uibo scored the highest total of his career at the Razorback Invitational (yep, also in Fayetteville). All three of Georgia’s representatives are ranked in the top seven going into competition.
4. New Artillery. In the recent past, the Lady Bulldogs have counted on their jumpers and throwers to score points at the NCAA Championships. True freshman Shaunae Miller is expected to provide Georgia with a scoring weapon on the track. The 6-foot-1 sprinter from Nassau, Bahamas, comes into nationals with the fifth-fastest 400-meter dash time (52.21) after topping her own school record for third place at SECs. Miller, who was named the SEC Women’s Freshman Runner of the Year, is also expected to run a leg on the Lady Bulldogs’ distance medley relay team.
5. Undefeated Streak On The Line. Miller’s roommate, fellow true freshman Chanice Porter, has yet to taste defeat at the collegiate level. The long jumper from Prattville, Jamaica, is 5-0 since starting her career at Georgia, including her come-from-behind victory at SECs. Porter has traveled 21 feet, ½ inches twice this season, which ranks No. 6 nationally. Porter jumps at 6:30 p.m. on Friday as she attempts to creep closer to her 21-7.25 PR set during high school.