April 30, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia’s track and field teams have added another trio of signees to their 2014 classes as the postseason nears for the 2013 Bulldogs.
Athens Academy product Henry Dwyer joins Brian Sullivan (Marietta native) and Payton Wilson (Snellville native) as three new distance runners for UGA’s squads.
"This group with Henry, Brian and Payton represent our continued commitment to sign state of Georgia distance runners who can develop and allow us to remain competitive in SEC and NCAA cross country,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton. “We have relied on these types of prospects who do not mind working hard to be able to wear the UGA uniform and represent the state's flagship university. Our coaching staff and I look for this group to improve every year and make more and more contributions as time goes by.”
Georgia distance coach Patrick Cunniff led both of the Bulldog cross country teams to the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships and intends to return to this meet with the help of his newest signees.
“Brian and Henry give us so much more depth in the middle distance and I look forward to seeing them both develop into SEC and NCAA level 1500/mile guys,” Cunniff said. “With yearly trips to meets like the Drake Relays, it is also exciting to think about what kind of relays we could put together with these guys, and people like Charles Grethen, Kisean Smith and Zane Coburn. I like Brian and Henry’s versatility, too, as they are both currently ranked in top 10 in both the 800 and 1600 in Georgia and run the 4x400 for their high schools. They are also both great students and immediately bought into what we are trying to accomplish as a track and cross country program.”
On the women’s side, Cunniff believes UGA has found “a diamond in the rough” in Wilson and that she will be someone the Lady Bulldogs can count on for seasons to come.
“We hope Payton Wilson is a diamond in the rough,” said Cunniff. “She had a strong cross country season and is in the process of rewriting her personal bests in nearly every meet in track. But what we liked most was that she had her biggest day at the most important meet with her outstanding performance at the GHSA State Championship meet for Brookwood. Payton is team oriented and performs when the team needs her. To continue our success, that is the mentality we need. We think she will develop into an important part of our cross country team and should have success in the longer events on the track.”
Here is a breakdown of Georgia’s most recent three signees:
Henry Dwyer – Athens Academy; Athens, Ga.
Won the 800-meter run at the GHSA A Private Sectionals with a 1:54.99…Clocked a personal best to win the 800 at the 2013 Area Qualifier while also winning the 1600…Had the fastest time of his career to take fifth at the Taco Bell Classic in the mile…Won the Athens Area Championship with a time of 1:54.52 in the 800…Took fourth in the 5000 (16:34.84) at both the 2011 and 2012 GHSA A Cross Country Championships…Earned Athens-Banner Herald’s 2011 and 2012 All-Northeast Georgia Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year honors…Named Ga.MileSplit.com Runner of the Week during his 2013 track season and twice during his 2012 cross country season…Personal-best times of 4:19.16 (1600), 10:29.00 (3000), 9:51.00 (3200), 13:56.58 (4000), 16:03.28 (5000), 1:54.48 (800), 4:17.42 (mile) and 54.44 (400).
Brian Sullivan – Walton HS; Marietta, Ga.
Won the 1600-meter run (4:23.15) at the 2013 GHSA 6A Sectional-A meet after finishing first in both the 800 and 1600 at the region meet…Managed a fourth-place finish in the 5000 at the 2011 GHSA AAAAAA Cross Country Championships…Left the 2012 GHSA Track & Field Championships with a second-place finish in the 1600…Took seventh at the University of Georgia Invitational in the three-mile race…Finished with runner-up honors in the 800 at the 2012 Taco Bell Classic…Personal-best times of 4:15.96 (1600), 9:31.33 (3200), 15:42.01 (three-mile run), 15:51.98 (5000), 1:54.29 (800) and 50.51 (400).
Payton Wilson – Brookwood HS; Snellville, Ga.
Finished second at the 2013 Mobile Challenge of Champions in the 1600-meter run…Won the 2013 GHSA Region 8-AAAAAA title in the 3200 by nearly 20 seconds (11:37.53)…Took second in the 5000 to help lead the Broncos to the team title at the 2012 GHSA AAAAAA Cross Country Championships (the program’s first since 1991)…Personal-best times of 5:24.57 (1600), 11:22.44 (3200), 19:23.00 (5000), 2:36.54 (800) and 5:35.99 (mile).
Below are links to take a look at Georgia’s first eight signees from February and Kendell Williams’ signing last week: