Georgia Track & Field Heads West To Alabama Relays
Jamaican-born shot putter Ashinia Miller was named the SEC Men's Field Athlete of the Week.

March 22, 2013

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ATHENS, Ga. --- The Bulldog track and field teams made the trip to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Thursday in preparation for the John Mitchell Alabama Relays, which will be run on Friday and Saturday.

The meet starts on Friday with the men’s hammer throw at 3 p.m. ET.  The first event on the track is the women’s 4x200-meter relay at 6 p.m.  On Saturday, the women’s hammer kicks off day two at noon while the women’s 4x100 relay opens the action on the track at 7 p.m.

Alabama’s first home meet of the season is named for former Tide and Bulldog legendary head coach John Mitchell.  Mitchell was Georgia’s head coach from 1990-1999.  Current Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton was one of Mitchell’s assistants.

Georgia opened its outdoor season at the Georgia Relays in Athens last weekend and the teams combined for 13 top collegiate finishes and 10 outright wins.  This weekend continues a stretch of seven straight weeks of competition before the Southeastern Conference Championships arrive in Columbia, Mo., on May 9-12.

“We have seven consecutive weekends of meets which means we will not be going full force in each one,” said Norton.  “The first three March meets in Athens, Tuscaloosa and Atlanta [Yellow Jacket Invitational] are all similar in that we are not sure what the weather will be and they are early in the season.  There is a phrase, ‘getting your feet wet’ that can describe what we will be doing  in these three meets.  

“In other words, the March meets are being used to get ready for the heart of the season coming in April.  In April, I expect the weather to be better, the competition to more prepared and our performances to be elevated.”

Four team members produced performances that earned them SEC weekly awards following the Georgia Relays.  Freshman Ashinia Miller launched the nation’s second-longest shot put toss this year (62 feet, 6 inches) and was named the conference’s Men’s Field Athlete of the Week.  Junior sprinter Johnathan Smith made his outdoor debut for the Bulldogs and clocked the country’s fastest time of 2013 in the 100-meter dash (10.20) to grab SEC Men’s Runner of the Week honors.

On the women’s side, freshman Briana Vaughn sped to the nation’s second-fastest time in the 100 (11.37) to be named SEC Women’s Freshman of the Week while sophomore Morgann Leleux shared SEC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week honors with Texas A&M’s Shelbi Vaughan after Leleux cleared 14-1.25 in the pole vault.  Leleux’s mark shares the national lead.

Norton and his staff are now working to slowly peak during the outdoor season with the postseason arriving in less than two months.

“We should see a progression but not necessarily from week to week,” Norton explained.  “I would expect it more to be month to month.  For right now, we will just work on some consistency in effort that will pay off much later when the weather, competition and our fitness will be at its best.”

Live results and recaps from the Alabama Relays will be found at



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