Georgia's Sparks Ignites Bulldogs At Crimson Classic
Charlie Sparks

Charlie Sparks
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Oct. 15, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --- Georgia sophomore Charlie Sparks finished ninth out of 158 runners to lead the Bulldogs at the Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday.

Sparks clocked a season-best 25:24.58 to lead five Bulldogs to a sixth-place finish (156) out of 21 teams in the 8k. Senior Hadley Ferguson was 20th overall (18:13.27) in the women's 5k race as the Georgia women finished fourth (181) out of 25 teams.

Meet host Alabama (88) edged Mississippi (91) for the women's team title with Tennessee (127) taking third. In the men's half, Georgia Tech (83) won as Auburn (122), Mississippi (131), Stephen F. Austin (132) and Alabama (133) all finished ahead of the Bulldogs in the 21-team field.

With seven of Georgia's top runners from both the men and women's teams returning from Madison, Wisc., after competing on Friday, the Bulldog men traveled five competitors to Tuscaloosa and the Georgia women brought seven to run in the Crimson Classic.

With Sparks leading the way, all five of Georgia's men finished in the top 50. Freshman Brendan Hoban finished 35th after clocking a 26:01.03 as junior Trevor Sprague took 37th (26:06.43).

Another pair of freshmen - Austin Ulich and Zack Sims - rounded out the scoring for the Bulldogs. Ulich was 41st with a time of 26:11.71 and Sims was close on his heels after taking 42nd (26:13.12).

Ferguson recorded her first top finish for the Lady Bulldogs this season after taking 20th overall out of 202 racers. Fellow senior Abbie Robinson also broke into the top 25 by crossing the finish line in 24th place (18:18.38).

Wake Forest transfer Bret McDaniel was next across the line for Georgia as she took 36th with a time of 18:43.59. Another first-year runner for the Lady Bulldogs, freshman Brooke Koblitz, finished 46th (18:51.58) as sophomore Shelby Robison also broke into the top five with a 67th-place finish (19:14.77).

Georgia's next action comes at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Maryville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 29.

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