Maicel Uibo (left) and Garrett Scantling were two of the four Bulldog multi-event athletes to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships.
May 23, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- Eighteen individuals on the men’s side, 13 from the women’s team and two Bulldog relay teams have qualified for the coming NCAA East Preliminary in Jacksonville, Fla., on May 29-31.
Following last weekend’s Southeastern Conference Championships, the Georgia men are ranked sixth in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll while the Lady Bulldogs are seventh.
The Prelims begin on Thursday, May 29 at 4:30 p.m. with the 400-meter hurdles. Both 4x400 relays conclude the meet on Saturday night at North Florida’s Hodges Stadium.
The top 12 in each event from both the East and West (Fayetteville, Ark.) regions advance to the finals of the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 11-14. Forty-eight individuals will be competing in every event other than the relays where there will be 24 teams vying for an invitation to Nationals. Eighteen of the Bulldog individuals or relay teams are currently ranked in the top 12 in 19 events in the East Region.
Senior Johnathan Smith (100, 200), sophomore Maurice Freeman (200), freshman Reggie Glover (200), freshman Brandon Thompson (200), junior Charles Grethen (800), junior Brandon Lord (10,000, 5000), junior Luke Baker (10,000), junior Drew Branch (400 hurdles), junior Caleb Ebbets (pole vault), sophomore Jamario Calhoun (triple jump, long jump), senior Caleb Whitener (shot put), junior Nick Vena (junior), sophomore Ashinia Miller (shot put), freshman Alex Poursanidis (hammer throw), freshman Alex Larsson (hammer throw) and junior Braydon Anderson (javelin) will be competing for the Bulldog men.
In addition, Georgia’s 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams have also qualified for the meet. Smith, Freeman, Glover, Thompson, Branch, Calhoun, freshman Ayrian Evans and freshman Derrick White will be joining forces to either run the relays or serve as alternates.
On the women’s side, senior Megan Malasarte (800), junior Carly Hamilton (1500), junior Bret McDaniel (steeplechase), senior Nicole DiMercurio (10,000, 5000), sophomore Leontia Kallenou (high jump), freshman Tatiana Gusin (high jump), sophomore Chanice Porter (long jump), senior Hilenn James (discus), senior Elizabeth Tepe (hammer throw), freshman Asianna Covington (hammer throw) and sophomore Freya Jones (javelin) will be gunning for their chance at the NCAA Championships.
Four Georgia team members are already qualified for Nationals in the multi-events and have opportunity to skip the Prelims. Freshman Kendell Williams (6,018 points) is the nation’s top-ranked heptathlete while junior Quintunya Chapman (5,659) is No. 7 on the national performance list.
For the men, junior Garrett Scantling (8,169) and sophomore Maicel Uibo (8,123) sit 1-2 in the national decathlon rankings. The 22 other top-ranked heptathletes and decathletes also advanced automatically.
Williams (high jump), Chapman (long jump), Scantling (javelin) and Uibo (pole vault) also qualified for Prelims in individual events and will continue to train for their trip to Eugene by competing in Jacksonville.
Williams is the highest ranked of the quartet in an individual event with a 6-foot high jump clearance, which is seventh best in the East. On the flipside, Chapman was the 48th and final competitor accepted for the long jump field.
Georgia declared 26 team members and three relay teams for last year’s East Preliminary Round of the NCAA Championships in Greensboro, N.C., and had 15 advance from the Prelims.
Last year, eight Bulldog men, which included Scantling and Uibo who were allowed to bypass the Prelims, advanced to the NCAA Championships in Eugene. Georgia tied for 49th with four points last year.
On the women’s side, 10 Lady Bulldogs, including heptathlete Lucie Ondraschkova who was also allowed to bypass the first round, punched their ticket at the Prelims meet. The Georgia women scored 25 points and tied for 11th place in 2013 at Nationals.
Results and recaps from the NCAA East Preliminary will be located at georgiadogs.com. Updates about all Bulldog track and field news can be found on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.