Georgia’s track and field teams made the short trip to Clemson, S.C., for the Bulldogs’ indoor season opener at the Orange & Purple Invitational, which runs on Saturday.
The field events begin with the women’s pole vault at 10 a.m. while the track events start with the women’s 5000-meter run at 12:30 p.m. Georgia will join Clemson, Bethune-Cookman, Campbell, Charleston Southern, FIU, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, J.C. Smith, North Carolina A&T and Tennessee Tech in the teams’ first meet of the year.
“Our student-athletes and coaches are eager to get this season started on Saturday at our neighbor’s world-class indoor facility,” said Petros Kyprianou, who will be starting his third year as the Bulldogs’ head coach. “We have put in a lot of work during the fall season and as we say every year, we would like to see where we stack up compared to where we were at this time last year. We are still struggling with some long-term injuries, but I’m optimistic that once we get the competitive juices rolling, we can get some new faces to step up and help our existing performers.
“Either way, our student-athletes are fired up to get it going and as we said in our meeting yesterday, we will carry our motto of doing simple things extraordinarily to find our greatness. I have been stressing the leadership aspect this year as we lost a few key people to graduation. But we still have some strong leadership on our team. This will be the key to any success we may have.
“I have strong faith in this team but we still have to be hungry for more. Holding each other accountable and lifting each other up can help us get to our goals. I am also very excited to watch our new additions this year and see how they ‘break-in’ their collegiate uniforms! Regardless, it is a great time to be a Georgia Bulldog and I am confident the track and field teams will continue to build on previous years. One meet at a time, one NCAA qualifier at a time – that is how we are going to approach 2018. The journey to the NCAA Championships begins (Saturday).”
This marks the first of three regular-season meets at Clemson as Georgia also travels there for the Clemson Invitational and Tiger Paw Invitational later in the winter. While the Bulldogs also travel to Fayetteville, Ark., during the regular season for the Razorback Invitational, Georgia will make a pair of journeys to College Station, Texas, during the postseason.
The Bulldogs will join the league’s competition at the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships on February 23-24 at Texas A&M’s home facility before returning to indoor Nationals there on March 9-10.
Georgia posted one of the top combined indoor finishes in school history last year. The Lady Bulldogs scored 51 points to take second place at the NCAA Championships and the Georgia men worked to take fourth at Nationals.
Most recently, the Lady Bulldogs cross country team posted its best finish since 2006 with a 17th-place finish at the NCAA Championships in November. For the first time in history, the Georgia women had two All-Americans in the same year as Sam and Jessica Drop went 30th and 31st, respectively, during their sophomore campaigns.