Bulldog Track & Field Headed To Atlanta For Yellow Jacket Invite
March 28, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia track and field teams will make the short trip to their third outdoor meet of the season for the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta this weekend.
While a trio of team members will run in the men and women’s 5000-meter run starting at 9 p.m. on Friday night, Georgia’s 34 other student-athletes traveling will compete on Saturday. The women’s shot put begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning to kick off day two while the women’s 4x100 relay at 12:30 p.m. will be the first event on the track.
This will be the Bulldogs’ first competition since last weekend’s John Mitchell Alabama Relays, which were shortened because inclement weather. In fact, only 16 Georgia individuals and one relay team competed in a combined 11 events in Tuscaloosa before the Georgia bus cranked up and headed back to Athens on Saturday evening.
This meet, hosted by Georgia Tech, stands as the third outdoor regular season meet of seven before the Southeastern Conference Championships arrive in Columbia, Mo., on May 9-12.
“The shortened meet for the most part only affected us from an assessment viewpoint,” said Bulldog assistant coach George Cleare. “The early meets give coaches a chance to evaluate the technical aspects of each athlete’s events giving coaches the vital information needed to make improvements later in the season.”
Unlike the trip to Tuscaloosa, Gainesville, Fla., or Des Moines, Iowa, the journey to Georgia Tech’s campus is a brief one and Cleare says this will only help Georgia later in the year.
“We can be in and out, not losing hours of travel time,” Cleare said. “We now get more time to prepare and can do a bit more preparation without sacrificing the athletes rest. From an academic standpoint, whenever athletes can compete and don't have to miss class, it's a win-win situation.”
The Bulldogs will be resting a number of their highest ranked competitors, but they are still traveling many team members who will have the potential of scoring at the SEC and NCAA level in May and June.
On the women’s side, freshman Briana Vaughn, who is ranked third in the nation in the 100, and sophomore Tynia Gaither, who completed her second indoor season at the No. 5 spot in both the 60 and 200 on Georgia’s all-time top-10 lists, will highlight the Lady Bulldogs on the track.
Freshman Leontia Kallenou is tied with the sixth-best high jump mark in the nation this year after clearing 5 feet, 10 ¾ inches and she will be competing alongside her senior teammate Saniel Atkinson-Grier. Atkinson-Grier was a First Team All-American in the event last season and won last year’s Yellow Jacket Invite after clearing 5-10.
Also, senior Lucie Ondraschkova finished fourth at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships in the pentathlon and will be competing in a couple events on Saturday as she prepares for her first heptathlon of the season, which begins on Georgia’s Spec Towns Track on April 12.
For the men, junior Johnathan Smith has the fastest 100 time in the nation this year (10.20) after recording the quickest finish for the Bulldogs since 1994.
Like Ondraschkova, a trio of Georgia men will also be tuning up this weekend for their first multi-event competition of the year. Sophomore Garrett Scantling, who set a school record to take third in the heptathlon at this year’s NCAA indoor meet, freshman Maicel Uibo, who was fourth at his first nationals in March, and freshman Devon Williams are all slated to run in the 110 hurdles and throw the javelin in Atlanta. This group will have its first decathlon in Athens starting on April 11.
Live results and a recap from the Yellow Jacket Invitational will be found at georgiadogs.com.
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