2008 Track and Field History
Indoor Season Recap
Outdoor Season Recap
Youthful Bulldogs Finish With Three All-Americans
During Wayne Norton's ninth indoor track and field season as Georgia's head coach, the Bulldog men and women managed to record three All-America certificates and one Southeastern Conference individual championship.
Norton and his coaching staff competed with a men's and women's lineup stocked with underclassmen and still scored at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the 11th straight indoor season. The Bulldog men left Fayetteville, Ark., with their top indoor finish since the 2001 season after Georgia scored eight points and tied for 30th.
Three Georgia men highlighted the NCAA meet by bringing All-America certificates back to Athens. After clocking a 1:48.57 in the 800-meter run at the Cyclone Qualifier just a week before the national meet, Ross Ridgewell sped to a third-place finish after coming into the meet with the country's 11th-fastest time. Ian Burrell, who was a 2007 All-American in the 5000, was Georgia's second 2008 All-American after he finished seventh in the 5000. The third All-American for the Bulldogs was Justin Gaymon, who was the eighth American finisher (11th overall) in the 400.
Gaymon jump-started his campaign for his third career All-American certificate after winning an SEC title in the 400 with a school-record time of 45.94. This marked the first indoor sprints title for the men since 1989 and the only indoor SEC title for Georgia at the 2008 meet.
In addition to Gaymon's school record, the Bulldog men's and women's teams combined to tally four school records during the 2008 indoor campaign. While Tommy Barrineau topped the all-time mark in the heptathlon and the men's distance medley relay put a new time atop the school record books, Natalie Picchetti was the only Lady Bulldog to grab a new No. 1 mark. Picchetti, who also was the only Georgia women to advance to the NCAA meet, finished the mile in 4:38.66 to break a 24-year-old record for second at SECs.
Joining Picchetti will All-SEC honors were Gaymon, the distance medley team and Daniel Averso (high jump).
Ten out of Georgia's 16 scorers in individual events at the SEC Indoor Championships were juniors or younger which bodes well for Georgia's teams in the future.
Below is a list of Georgia's individual accomplishments during the 2008 indoor season:
* Ross Ridgewell finished third in the 800-meter run (1:49.52) to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships
* Ian Burrell finished seventh in the 5000 (14:06.17) to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships
* Justin Gaymon finished 11th^ in the 400 (47.28) to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships (^ - Gaymon was the eighth American across the finish line)
* Gaymon also won an SEC title in the 400, which marked the first time since 1989 (Gary Duncan - 500-yard run) that a Bulldog had captured a indoor league championship in sprints, with a school-record time of 45.94
* Two Bulldogs - Levern Spencer and Kyle Helf - were awarded weekly awards from the SEC; Spencer was twice named SEC Female Field Athlete of the Week
* The Georgia foursome of Ridgewell, Ryley Miller, Kris Ward and Burrell also broke the school record in the distance medley relay (9:48.42)
* The Bulldogs' final school record on the men's side came from Tommy Barrineau in the heptathlon (5,024 points) at the SEC Championships
* For the women, Natalie Picchetti topped the former No. 1 mark in the mile (4:38.66) and Spencer passed her own former school record in the high jump (6 feet, 2 3/4 inches)