Daily Dawg Thread: June 08, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: June 08, 2024

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T/F: Christopher Morales Williams completed the indoor-outdoor 400-meter sweep at the NCAA Outdoor Championships

Photo: Rob Davis/UGAAA

Georgia sophomore Christopher Morales Williams completed the indoor-outdoor sweep in the 400-meter dash on the third day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships Friday.

Fast Facts





  • Morales Williams, a native of Vaughn, Ontario, became the first Bulldog to sweep the same event indoors and outdoors in the same year.  His 400m crown is the 20th NCAA outdoor individual title for the Georgia men after graduate transfer Marc Minichello captured the javelin championship earlier this week.
  • True freshman Riyon Rankin left Hayward Field with an expected First Team All-America certificate as well in the high jump.  The Brunswick, Ga., native posted three straight first attempt clearances to be the second-best Southeastern Conference finisher in the event, taking seventh place.
  • In the multi-events, sophomore Ella Rush tallied 3,271 points after the first four events of the heptathlon to hold in 22nd place.  Her performance included a personal record of 24.93 in the 200m.
  • The Georgia men finished ninth with 25 points, marking the seventh straight top-10 performance for the Bulldogs at the meet.  Florida (41) edged Auburn (40) for the men’s team title while USC (33), Alabama (32) and Texas A&M (31) rounded out the top five.  With only six of 21 events scored on the women’s side, Florida (26) leads Nebraska (22), Oregon (15), Washington (14.5) and Rice (14) in the top five. 

Key Quotes
Christopher Morales Williams





“It means a lot for me to win this title for the Bulldogs.  Yesterday was a hard day for our women’s team and I thought about it and wanted to do this for the team.  I train with Mekhi (Gammons), Hossam (Hatib) and Jordan (McKenzie) and I wanted to win this title for those guys.  I am hoping my run will make the women keep going because it ain’t over until it’s over.  The women’s team still has six events left so hopefully this will help them bring back the fire on Friday.  I love everyone I train with and go to school with it so glad I was able to accomplish this.”

Up Next
Rush and the hep field will wrap up the competition on Saturday with the long jump, javelin and 800m starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.  Junior Elena Kulichenko, who is ranked second nationally in the high jump, competes at 5 p.m. on the final day to start the open events.  Sophomore Kaila Jackson will run in the 100m final at 5:22 p.m. to begin track events before she returns at 7:07 p.m. in the 200m final.

WTEN: Three Dawgs named All-Americans

Dasha Vidmanova

After successful campaigns with Georgia women’s tennis, three Bulldogs were named to the 2024 ITA Division I women’s tennis All-Americans list, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced on Thursday.

Junior Dasha Vidmanova (singles and doubles), sophomore Anastasiia Lopata (singles) and freshman Aysegul Mert (doubles) all earned All-American honors after excellent seasons followed by deep runs at the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships. Each contributed significantly to Georgia’s success, where the program earned its 12th Southeastern Conference Regular Season title followed by its 10th SEC Tournament title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament Final.

Vidmanova led the way for the Bulldogs in 2024, dominating on court one in both singles and doubles with 57 combined wins (26 in singles, 31 in doubles). Finishing the season at No. 4 in both the ITA End-Year singles and doubles player rankings, Vidmanova’s junior season was highlighted by winning the NCAA Doubles National Championship alongside Mert for the first in program history, as well as earning All-SEC First Team, SEC Tournament MVP, and SEC Player of the Week honors. She also advanced as far as the NCAA Singles quarterfinals as a No. 9-16 seed.

Anastasiia Lopata

Lopata made significant strides as a sophomore, shining on court four singles all season before continuing her impact at court three doubles alongside partner Mell Reasco. Tallying 53 wins this season (32 in singles, 21 in doubles), Lopata won 20 of her last 23 finished singles matches including an epic run from ninth alternate to advancing to the NCAA Singles Final, becoming the lowest ranked player to ever reach the title match. The run also boosted her up 40 spots from No. 70 to No. 30 in the ITA End-Year singles rankings.

Aysegul Mert

Mert made an instant impact as a freshman at court one doubles alongside Vidmanova, supplying the Bulldogs’ strongest tandem before eventually mixing herself into the backend of the singles rotation come the SEC regular season slate. Finishing the season ranked No. 4 in doubles, Mert posted 54 combined victories (19 in singles, 35 in doubles) where she and Vidmanova won 16 of their last 18 doubles matches including three top-10 ranked wins in five matches en route to the NCAA Doubles title. Mert also earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors as well as five SEC Freshman of the Week awards.

With three Bulldogs selected, this year marks Georgia’s first season since 2001 where the program has had three or more players selected to the ITA All-American list.

MBB: Assistants Erik Pastrana and Anthony Goins were selected to participate in the 2024 TopConnect Basketball Symposium

Georgia Basketball assistant coaches Erik Pastrana and Anthony Goins have been selected to participate in the 2024 TopConnect Basketball Symposium next Monday in Las Vegas.

Pastrana is entering his third season with the Bulldogs and has played an integral role in the Bulldogs’ consistent improvement under head coach Mike White, which included Georgia’s first postseason bid since 2017 and its first 20-win campaign since 2016 last season. A year ago, Pastrana helped Georgia become one of just three programs nationally to sign top-20 high school and transfer recruiting classes. This year, the Bulldogs are the only team in the nation with both its high school and transfer recruiting groups ranked in the top-10 nationally by On3.com.

Goins just joined the Georgia staff following three seasons on the staff at Boston College. He sports 11 seasons of Division I coaching experience with additional stints at Clemson (2019-21), Quinnipiac (2017-19) Yale (2014-17) and Dartmouth (2013-14). Goins’ teams earned postseason bids at each of his previous four schools, and he helped Dartmouth earn its highest win total in 15 seasons during his season with the Big Green.

TopConnect, which is presented by Teamworks and VanWagner, identifies the top assistant basketball coaches in the country and connects them with mid-major Athletic Directors, providing networking and leadership development opportunities for both parties.

The 2024 edition of TopConnect will be held at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV. In its seventh year, TopConnect features panel discussions on topics such as first- and second-year coaches, the new realities of college athletics and search firms. In addition, breakout sessions will cover areas such as managing up, creating and maintaining culture and roster/staff management.

TopConnect was developed by ETSU Athletic Director Dr. Richard Sander and operates under the three-word mantra of “Connect. Prepare. Lead.”

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.

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