Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton
June 11, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia’s track and field and cross country teams have both finished in the nation’s top 12 following the year-long pursuit of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Program of the Year honors.
The Lady Bulldogs, who were tied for 11th at last week’s NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., were seventh overall and third in the Southeastern Conference with a score of 51.5. Oregon was honored as the Women’s Terry Crawford Program of the Year with five points.
The Georgia men, who topped the past academic year by tying for 18th at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships, were 12th nationally in the Program of the Year race with 91 points. They had the second-highest score from the SEC as Arkansas won the Men’s John McDonnell Program of the Year honors with 14 points.
The Bulldogs had the country’s fifth-best combined finish, trailing only Oregon, Arkansas, Florida State and Texas.
“It is a great sense of accomplishment being able to produce strong performances in all event areas over a three-season year,” said Georgia assistant coach Don Babbitt. “I think we managed something like 317 Directors Cup points in all, which should contribute nicely to UGA's overall total.”
The men were ranked 17th following the 2011-12 seasons with a total score of 117.5 while the women were not ranked last year. Bulldog assistant Jon Stuart, who ran for Georgia and has been on the UGA staff since 1999, expects more productivity out of the teams in the future as 12 of the 18 who traveled to the NCAA outdoor meet were either freshmen or sophomores.
“Our staff has done a fabulous job of identifying and recruiting some extremely talented kids,” Stuart said. “We can only expect better results from them in the future. Of course, their continued development is crucial.”
The USTFCCCA Program of the Year is awarded annually to the most outstanding cross country/track and field programs in each of the NCAA’s three divisions and for each gender. The awards honors the institution that has achieved the most success in the academic year – spanning the cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field seasons – based on the institution’s finish at the NCAA Championships.
In order to be eligible for the award, teams much qualify for each of the NCAA Championships. Scoring is based on the team’s finish at each NCAA Championships in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field (ex. 1st=1 point, 2nd=2 points, 31st=31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient.
ALSO: The USTFCCCA also released the official lists of All-Americans following the outdoor season. First Team All-Americans are those competitors who finish between first and eighth, which means they score a point at the national meet. Second Team All-Americans are the ninth through 16th-place finishers while the 17th-24th-place finishers garner Honorable Mention All-America honors.
Freshman Maicel Uibo (fifth in the decathlon), freshman Freya Jones (women’s javelin champion), freshman Leontia Kallenou (fourth in the women’s high jump), freshman Shaunae Miller (second in the women’s 400-meter dash) and senior Lucie Ondraschkova (seventh in the heptathlon) were all included on the First Team All-America list.
Sophomore Garrett Scantling (ninth in the decathlon), sophomore Nick Vena (11th in the men’s shot put), senior Saniel Atkinson-Grier (16th in the women’s high jump), senior Leslie Boozer (16th in the women’s steeplechase), sophomore Tynia Gaither (12th in the women’s 200), sophomore Morgann Leleux (13th in the women’s pole vault), junior Megan Malasarte (13th in the women’s 800) and freshman Chanice Porter (14th in the women’s long jump) were all honored as Second Team All-Americans.
Finally, sophomore Drew Branch (23rd in the men’s 400 hurdles), sophomore Charles Grethen (19th in the men’s 800), junior Johnathan Smith (20th in the men’s 100), freshman Kisean Smith (24th in the men’s 800) and junior Caleb Whitener (17th in the men’s shot put) were named to the Honorable Mention All-America honors.