Daily Dawg Thread: June 10, 2023

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Daily Dawg Thread: June 10, 2023

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T&F: Will Sumner obliterated his own school record in the 800 meters to win the school’s first title in the event

Will Sumner >>> 📸: Kirk Meche

Georgia true freshman Will Sumner obliterated his own school record in the 800 meters to win the school’s first title in the event as the men’s competition concluded at the NCAA Outdoor Championships Friday.

Sumner, a native of Canton, Ga., followed up his school record 1:46.00 in the semifinal round Wednesday with a 1:44.26 to collect Georgia’s first NCAA outdoor 800m title.  His time shattered not only the facility record but also shot him to No. 5 on the all-time collegiate performer list.  The 2023 Southeastern Conference indoor and outdoor champion becomes the first freshman to win the NCAA outdoor 800m title since 2017.





Other than the decathlon running Wednesday-Thursday and the heptathlon going Friday-Saturday, the meet is set up to be a men’s competition on Wednesday and Friday and a women’s competition on Thursday and Saturday.





Thanks in part to Sumner’s win, the Bulldog men finished seventh with 28 points, while Florida (57), Arkansas (53), and Stanford (44) made up the top three.

Nebraska (25) leads the women’s side, with Oregon (17) and Florida (15) making up the rest of the top three.

These Bulldogs also scored as the men’s portion of the meet wrapped up: Caleb Cavanaugh (400m hurdles), 4x400m relay (Christopher Morales Williams, Matthew Boling, Cavanaugh, Sumner).

On Thursday, fifth-year senior Kyle Garland, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., piled up 8,630 points (No. 3 all-time collegiate score) in the decathlon to earn a silver medal.  Garland jumpstarted his second and final day of the dec by rocketing to a collegiate all-time best in the 110-meter hurdles with a personal best of 13.54.  He now owns three out of the top four all-time collegiate scores.

Graduate transfer Marc Minichello scored for the second consecutive year in the javelin, taking fourth and giving the Bulldogs their first five points of the meet on Wednesday.

The Lady Bulldog relays established a pair of school records to qualify for Saturday finals, and Kaila Jackson punched her ticket in the 100m on Thursday.  The first event on the track as the women began their competition Thursday was the 4x100m relay, and the Georgia quartet did not disappoint with a school record, topping the unit’s time from this season’s LSU Invitational (42.94) by .01 with a 42.93 to qualify for Saturday’s final.

The last event of the night on Thursday was the 4x400m relay and the Lady Bulldogs finished just as they had started.  The same foursome who had set a school record (3:30.20) at the SEC Championships ran a faster time to help snatch the final qualifying spot for their final with a 3:29.90.

The Lowdown: Sumner rocketed from the finish line and then slid into the No. 1 spot at the break in his victorious 800m race.  The SEC indoor and outdoor Freshman Runner of the Year extended his lead in the final 100m to finish a second and a half in front of the previous collegiate leader, Texas junior Yusuf Bizimana.  Sumner becomes the first First Team All-American for the Bulldogs since Aaron Evans in 2012 thanks in part to his 51.15 split in the final 400m.

Cavanaugh, who was racing in his home state of Texas, lined up in lane nine in the 400m hurdles and was the sixth finalist to cross the line in 49.20.  Taking 14th at the 2021 meet and 11th last year, Cavanaugh recovered from clipping an early hurdle and stayed in the race mix through the final straightaway for points.  The 2009 season marked the last time a Georgia 400m hurdler had graced the podium (Justin Gaymon). 

Morales Williams started the 4x400m relay and handed to Boling after the first lap.  Following Boling’s handoff to Cavanaugh, Sumner, who was fresh off his 800m win, brought the Bulldogs home in their final race with a 3:03.22 for seventh.  This marks Georgia’s best finish in the outdoor 4x400m since a fifth-place showing in 2007.

To start the night, Keshaun Black, Boling, Morales Williams, and Elija Godwin took the track in the 4x100m relay.  As soon as Godwin took the baton from Morales Williams, the Covington, Ga., native went down.  While he crossed the finish line, the unit was given a did not finish in the race results.

Godwin then did not start in the 400m final.

When Do The Bulldogs Start Day 4

Sophomore Elena Kulichenko will start the meet’s final day in the high jump at 8:30 p.m. ET.  The first event on the track Saturday is the women’s 4x100m relay at 9:02 p.m.

Where To Catch The NCAAs

ESPN has exclusive rights to broadcast the meet and will feature the Nationals on ESPN2 this week:

Saturday: 5 p.m., ESPN+; 9 p.m., ESPN2

Live Results: To check out live results throughout the four-day season finale, please check: http://gado.gs/ank

Baseball: Charlie Condon has been named a finalist for the Bobby Bragan National Collegiate Slugger Award

Along with Condon, the other finalists for the award are Dylan Crews (LSU), Nolan Schanuel (FAU), and JJ Wetherholt (West Virginia). The award, created by the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation in Texas, is based on performance at the plate, academics, and personal integrity. Fifty-one Division I players were nominated for the award and eight players were added to the midseason watch list. The winner of the BBNCSA will be announced later this month and honored at a gala in the fall.

Condon, a 6-6, 215-pound native of Marietta, Ga., recently was named the Freshman Hitter of the Year by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, along with being a second-team All-American. Additionally, Condon’s national accolades this season include being a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy.  He is an Honor Roll student majoring in finance.

He started all 56 games this season for the Bulldogs, leading the team in batting average (.386), home runs (25), runs (61), and RBI (67). He earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors in a vote of the league’s head coaches. He set the SEC freshman home run record and was selected second-team All-SEC and Freshman All-SEC. He has been invited to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team (CNT) summer training camp in Cary, N.C., to compete for a spot on the 26-man roster. He is scheduled to play in the Cape Cod Summer League for the Falmouth (Mass.) Commodores as they open their season Saturday.  

“You can’t go wrong with three upperclassmen that hit over .430 for the season and were the top three hitters in Division I plus a redshirt freshman who hit .386 with 25 homers,” said Tracy Taylor, Executive Director of the BBNCSA and the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation. “This year’s finalists include the Player of The Year from the SEC (Crews), the Big 12 (Wetherholt), and Conference USA (Schanuel), and Condon was the SEC Freshman Of the Year. 

“But performance at the plate is not the entire story of these excellent student-athletes as they are leaders in the classroom and the community.  For example, Wetherholt carries an extremely high GPA as a finance major and Crews is a member of the SEC Community Service Team.  Schanuel and Condon both have business related majors and sport excellent GPAs.  The BBNCSA Selection Committee did another outstanding job getting the list down to four finalists this year.”

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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.