June 14, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia head track and field coach Wayne Norton announced the nine team captains for the 2008 indoor and outdoor seasons on Friday.
The list features seven seniors, one junior and one freshman. Wes Fuller (Cleveland, Ga. - Pole vault), Nate Rolfe (Kenmore, Wash. - Throws), Ian Burrell (Colorado Springs, Co. - Distance), Ross Ridgewell (Mullumbimby, Australia - Mid-distance), Sarah Madebach (Augusta, Ga. - Distance), Natalie Picchetti (Rancho Cucamonga, Ca. - Distance) and Kiah Vernon (Atlanta, Ga. - Distance) are the senior representatives for the Bulldogs.
During the 2007 seasons, the seven seniors combined for four All-American certificates and three Southeastern Conference titles. Madebach also won the SEC individual cross country championship.
The sole junior is Justin Gaymon (Phillipsburg, N.J. - Sprints/Hurdles) and the teams' only freshman captain is Odeika Bent (Montego Bay, Jamaica - Sprints). While Gaymon was a two-time outdoor All-American last season, captured an SEC crown in the 400-meter hurdles and is ranked No. 3 in the nation this season in the 400 (46.38), Bent has clocked the fastest 55 (7.02) and 60 (7.53) times for the Lady Bulldogs during her first season.
Georgia returns to the track on February 29 through March 2 for the SEC Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
Here is what some of Georgia's 2008 captains had to say about their recent honor:
Wes Fuller - "As a team captain, I want others to look at me as a leader who speaks through actions rather than words. I want people to know that they can overcome adversity and down times in their sports career as well as their lives. My junior year was an example of my anxiety and poor performances. As a captain, I wish to lead the men's track team to a conference championship, as I believe the other captains have the same goal. Moreover, being nominated captain was a complete surprise. I am greatly honored to have earned the respect of my teammates and hope that my actions and encouragement will help us become a better team."
Nate Rolfe - "Being elected team captain is a great honor. It's like being a meet champion or an All-American - it is something you will always have that can never be taken away from you. It's an honor you will never forget."
Ian Burrell - "My goals for this year's team are to place highly at the SEC and NCAA championships. I think we have the most talented all-around team I have seen at UGA, so it will be up to us to perform well in championship events. Being elected captain is a great honor for me because it reflects the team's opinion of me as a leader. I feel it is my responsibility as captain to help my teammates in their efforts to better themselves and the team."
Ross Ridgewell - "Becoming a team captain of an SEC sports team is a great honor. Very few people are blessed with this type of honor in their lifetimes. To come from Australia and be able to fit in so well and gain the respect of people from another culture is very rewarding. It is tremendous to have my leadership abilities, both on and off the track, acknowledged by my athletic peers and be elected as a team captain for a great track and field school like UGA. Coach Norton has instilled in me a desire to be successful on the track, in the classroom and in life beyond UGA. As a captain, I hope to follow Coach Norton's advice and lead the squad to great success athletically, academically and off the track in the real world."
Sarah Madebach - "I am very honored to have been chosen team captain. It is important to me to be a good example for our young team both on and off the track. My main objective as captain is to encourage each of our individual athletes to perform to the best of his or her abilities and also work together to achieve our team objectives. I hope that I can show these girls that it does not matter where are from or how fast you were in high school, with hard work, dedication and time, you can achieve success. This is my final track season running for Georgia and I plan to live this year to the fullest. I hope the girls will realize how precious their time is here as a UGA track athlete and that they will enjoy every minute of it!"
Justin Gaymon - "Being chosen as a team captain is a big honor for me. I feel like my ability to lead the team is shown through my strong work ethic and commitment to the team's success. As team captain, my main goal this year is to help promote and increase home meet attendance. The men's and women's teams both have outstanding athletes who are worth watching compete and deserve more recognition."
Odeika Bent - "It is an honor for me to be named captain, especially because I am a freshman. I realize that this is a big responsibility and I am ready to take this opportunity to help encourage my teammates. My goal as a captain is to help my team get to the next level. I think we have some good girls and the fact that we are young will help us grow together to be a championship team. Before I graduate, I want us to have won at least three major championships. In order to do this, I will have to keep my teammates encouraged and working hard. All we need are the three `Ds': dedication, determination and domination. If we have these, we could become the team to beat."