Charles Grethen is looking for his second consecutive win in the 800m at the VT Elite Meet.
April 3, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia’s track and field teams take to the road on Thursday for the third weekend of outdoor meets at the Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla.
Collegiate competition will begin at noon on Friday and continue through Saturday night. The sixth-ranked Lady Bulldogs are expected to travel 18 team members while the seventh-ranked Georgia men have 21 student-athletes slated to make the trip to compete at the Percy Beard Track.
“It’s April, so we must start to resemble the team we want to be next month,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton. “We don’t have to be that team yet, just resemble it. All the factors are in place for us to produce a lot of high-quality results. We need to and should be good in all areas – sprints, throws, jumps and distance.”
A trio of freshmen – Ayrian Evans, Reggie Glover, Derrick White - are scheduled to be the first Bulldogs in the men’s 400-meter dash at 1:50 p.m. on Friday. White is the reigning Southeastern Conference Men’s Freshman of the Week following his performance at the Yellow Jacket Invitational. The first day ends with sophomore Zack Sims running in the 5000 at 9:30 p.m.
The Good In Gainesville Last Year: Junior Carly Hamilton opened in the 1500 last year and won by three seconds with a time of 4:21.33. She is back this year to run the 5000.
Fellow middle-distance runner Charles Grethen started his journey to the NCAA Championships in the 800 at last year’s Florida Relays. The Luxembourg native ran a 1:47.95 for second place and is expected to run in the race again in 2014. Grethen returned to the track with Eric Mills, Daniel Grass and Kisean Smith to win the distance medley relay as well in 2013. Smith will also run in the 800 this weekend.
In the throws, former Bulldog and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Reese Hoffa won the shot put (69 feet, 11 ¾ inches) while both Nick Vena and Caleb Whitener, who will be back to compete again, also had throws of 61-6.25 and 60-1, respectively.
Their teammate Ashinia Miller, who will only be throwing the shot put in Gainesville, won the discus last year with a mark of 178-3.
What’s Up Next: This is the final meet before Georgia hosts the Bulldog Decathlon (April 10-11), Spec Towns National Team Invitational (April 11-12) and Bulldog Heptathlon (April 11-12) in Athens next week. The Bulldogs also host the Georgia Invitational on May 10 before the SEC Championships arrive on May 15-18.
Unlike the indoor season, the Bulldogs will qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships (June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.) by advancing to the NCAA East Regional (May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Fla.), which serves as preliminary-round competition for Nationals.
In For The Long Haul: The top 48 individuals (top 24 relays) nationally will punch their ticket to the two Regionals. Individuals must finish in the top 12 in their respective events at either the East Regional or West Regional (Fayetteville, Ark.) to advance to Oregon.
The top 24 athletes in the decathlon and heptathlon automatically qualify for the finals of the NCAA Championships and do not have to travel to Regionals.
Results and recaps from the Florida Relays will be located at georgiadogs.com. Updates about all Bulldog track and field news can be found on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.