Head coach Wayne Norton will be leading Georgia at his 29th consecutive NCAA Championships starting on Friday.
March 13, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- Ten members of Georgia's track and field teams made the trip to Albuquerque, N.M., on Wednesday in preparation for the coming NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 14-15.
Seniors Lucie Ondraschkova (pentathlon) and Megan Malasarte (800-meter run), juniors Carly Hamilton (mile), Morgann Leleux (pole vault) and Quintunya Chapman (pentathlon), sophomore Chanice Porter (long jump) and freshmen Leontia Kallenou (high jump) and Kendell Williams (pentathlon) will be competing in the Albuquerque Convention Center during a meet hosted by the University of New Mexico.
Williams was recently named the Southeastern Conference Women's Freshman Field Athlete of the Year following her runner-up finish at the SEC Championships in College Station, Texas, on February 27 - March 1.
"We have been emphasizing team goals all season so this week will be more of the same," said Georgia head coach Wayne Norton, whose teams have had nine top-20 team finishes since 2000. "Last year, we finished 10th and tied for 18th at the NCAA indoor meet so we, first of all, want to move up in the final standings. With eight women qualified, we have more opportunities to score high so the goal is get high up in the top 10. The goal for the men is to crack the top 20 this year."
Uibo, a native of Polva, Estonia, kicks the action off in the heptathlon's 60 meters at noon ET on Friday. The open events begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and Leleux and Porter are the first UGA competitors in the women's pole vault and long jump, respectively, at 8 p.m. Georgia's first runner on the track is Hamilton at 8:15 p.m. in the mile semifinals.
On Saturday, Uibo starts in the 60 hurdles (the heptathlon's fifth event) at 1 p.m. and the three pentathletes start their competition at 1:45 p.m. Vena will throw in the shot put at 5:30 p.m. to start the open events and Hamilton has plans to run in the mile finals at 8:10 p.m.
ESPN3.com will stream the NCAA Indoor Championships live on Friday starting at 7:55 p.m. and on Saturday starting at 7:50 p.m. A tape delay of the NCAA Championships will air on ESPNU on March 22 starting at 6:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs took 15 to last year's NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., including the women's distance medley relay team. The Georgia women finished in the top 10 for the ninth time in history after scoring 22 points for 10th place. The Bulldog men had a top-20 finish for the eighth time thanks to 11 points, which put them in a tie for 18th place.
Shaunae Miller, who recently won a bronze medal at the 2014 IAAF World Championships competing professionally and is still training and taking classes at Georgia, highlighted the meet for UGA. She won the 12th NCAA indoor crown for the Georgia women as a true freshmen.
A pair of 2014 meet entrants - Hamilton and Ondraschkova - combined to score another 10 points with fourth-place finishes in the mile and pentathlon, in that order. Hilenn James set a school record in the shot put (55 feet, 10 1/2 inches) to finish seventh for the Lady Bulldogs' last two points.
A duo in the heptathlon provided the Georgia men their 11 points last year. Uibo and Garrett Scantling both exploded for career-best performances to take fourth and third place, respectively. Uibo is ranked fourth on the national performance list and is coming off an SEC title in the event while Scantling continues his return from an injury.
Results and recaps from the NCAA Indoor Championships will be found at georgiadogs.com. Updates about all Bulldog track and field news can be found on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.
Here is a glimpse at the 10 Bulldogs competing at the NCAA Championships:
- Lucie Ondraschkova (Sr., Opava, Czech Republic): Scored the nation's fourth-best score in the pentathlon of 4,225 to take third at the SEC Indoor Championships for All-SEC Second Team honors. This was the second-best performance of her career after Ondraschkova tallied 4,228 points to take fourth at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships.
- Megan Malasarte (Sr., Fayetteville, Ga.): Ran the country's second fastest 800 time (2:03.08) during the SEC prelims, which topped her own school record in the event. Malasarte did not advance to the NCAA indoor meet in the 800 last year. However, she was a First Team All-American after taking seventh at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
- Morgann Leleux (Jr., New Iberia, La.): Soared over the pole vault bar at 14 feet, 4 ½ inches to win her third SEC title and move to No. 5 on the national list. Leleux has two second-place finishes at the NCAA Championships and also competed at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships while she continued her recovery from an eye injury.
- Carly Hamilton (Jr., Springboro, Ohio): Finished fourth in the mile finals at the SEC Championships with a school record and the 11th-fastest time in the nation this year (4:35.79). Hamilton was a First Team All-American last indoor season after taking fourth and also ran on the distance medley relay team at Nationals.
- Quintunya Chapman (Jr., Hinesville, Ga.): Bettered her score in the pentathlon by nearly 400 points at the SEC Championships to grab the 16th and final spot for Nationals. Chapman scored 4,043 points to take eighth at the league meet and move to No. 5 on the school's all-time list.
- Chanice Porter (So., Pratville, Jamaica): Recorded the nation's third-best mark in the long jump of 21-2.75 at the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet in early February. Porter missed scoring at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships by just one spot (ninth place) after winning an SEC title in the event as a true freshman.
- Leontia Kallenou (RFr., Nicosia, Cyprus): Answered the challenge by her competition and cleared an SEC Championships meet and school record height of 6-2.75 to win the SEC high jump title and move into a tie for the national lead. After redshirting last indoor season, Kallenou was fourth at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships after going over an outdoor personal best of 6-1.25 in Eugene, Ore.
- Kendell Williams (Fr., Marietta, Ga.): Set an American Junior record and is currently second on the national list in the pentathlon after winning the Cherry & Silver Invitational with 4,302 points on the same track where Nationals will be held. Followed that performance up with a 4,283-point performance to take second at the SEC Championships, which would be third on the current national list.
- Maicel Uibo (So., Polva, Estonia): Scored a season best 5,859 points to win his first SEC heptathlon title and take over the No. 4 spot in the national rankings. Uibo was fourth at last year's Nationals, finishing one spot behind teammate Garrett Scantling (who is redshirting this season), and was fifth in the decathlon at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
- Nick Vena (Jr., Whippany, N.J.): Grabbed the 16th and final spot in the shot put thanks to his top mark of 62-11.50 at the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet. This will be his fourth trip to the NCAA Championships after advancing to both the indoor and outdoor meets last year and to the 2012 NCAA indoor meet while competing for Virginia.