June 14, 2010
Atkinson, who attends Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Md., has cleared 5 feet, 10 inches in the high jump and has a top mark of 40-4.25 in the triple jump. In addition, Atkinson, who will compete in multi-events for Georgia, has clocked a 8.64 in the 55-meter dash, 9.48 in the 60 hurdles, soared 18-2.25 in the long jump and scored 3,220 points in the pentathlon.
As a junior in 2008, Atkinson earned All-America honors at the Nike Indoor Nationals after finishing second in the high jump (5-7.25) and eighth in the pentathlon. She also won the high jump at the Penn Relays after reaching the same height and was sixth at the USATF Junior Nationals. Atkinson won the high jump and triple jump, was second in the long jump and third in the 300 hurdles at the WCAC meet.
"Saniel made a verbal commitment to us really early," said Norton. "We liked her early on and she liked us and the best thing about her is that she has already improved since she told us she wanted to come to Georgia. Saniel is someone who would help us right now. Although she is a heptathlete, she is also talented enough in the high jump to be a scorer in the (Southeastern Conference) this year and also does a great job in the triple jump."
A member of the Marlboro Boys & Girls Club Track Team in Upper Marlboro, Md., Atkinson was named a Nike All-American in the high jump for the first time as a freshman. In addition to being the school record holder in the high jump and pentathlon, Atkinson has been the field events MVP all three years at Bishop McNamara. She has also competed in the AAU and USATF Regional and Junior Olympics over the last six years.