Daily Dawg Thread – July 24, 2021

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Daily Dawg Thread – July 24, 2021


Tokyo Olympics will feature 16 Dawgs

Denzel Comenentia (Photo by Lauren Tolbert)
Denzel Comenentia (Photo by Lauren Tolbert)

 With the Opening Ceremonies complete, a trio of current Bulldogs and 13 former members of Georgia’s track and field teams are scheduled to compete in the Athletics portion of the Olympic Games in Tokyo starting on July 30 and ending on August 8.

Georgia’s track and field program has accounted for 13 medals dating back to Spec Towns’ gold in the 110-meter high hurdles in 1936.  The Bulldogs’ last medal winner was Miller-Uibo, who dove at the finish line of the 400-meter dash final to reach the top of the podium at the 2016 Games.

Here’s a look at the current and former Bulldogs set to compete at the Games:

 

 

 

 

Johannes Erm: A native of Tallinn, Estonia, Erm captured the 2019 NCAA decathlon championship and is the No. 7 all-time collegiate performer in the decathlon.  The five-time All-American has won a pair of Southeastern Conference titles and was a CoSIDA Academic All-American in addition.  Erm is expected to return for his final year as a Bulldog in 2021-22.  He is at his first Olympics and will be competing in the two-day decathlon.

Karel Tilga: A native of Tartu, Estonia, Tilga became the third competitor in history to sweep the NCAA heptathlon and decathlon titles in 2021 with school record scores.  He topped teammate Kyle Garland for the indoor national championship in the heptathlon with the second-best score in NCAA history (6,264 points).  Tilga then became the No. 2 all-time collegiate performer in the decathlon outdoors after tallying 8,484 points on the Spec Towns Track in Athens during the regular season.  He is at his first Olympics and will be competing in the two-day decathlon and is expected to be back in the red and black this coming year.

Elija Godwin: A native of Covington, Ga., Godwin set the school record in the outdoor 400m with an Olympic standard time of 44.61 this year and had runner-up and third-place finishes in the event at the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Championships, respectively.  Scheduled to return to Athens for the 2022 seasons, Godwin ran a leg on the record-breaking 4x100m relay (38.54) that was second at this year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships and clocked a 44.21 (fastest indoor 400m relay leg in collegiate history) for the fourth-place Bulldog 4x400m relay team indoors at Nationals.  He is at his first Olympics and will have the opportunity to compete on one or more of Team USA’s relays.

 

 

 

 

Denzel Comenentia: A native of Amsterdam, Netherlands, Comenentia won both the hammer throw and the shot put at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships and propelled the Bulldog men to their first national team title.  The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year went on to historically score in three events (hammer, shot, discus) at the 2019 NCAA outdoor meet to help become one of Georgia’s all-time greats in the sport.  He is at his first Olympics and will be competing in the hammer throw.

Cejhae Greene: A native of St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda, Greene was one of the flag bearers in the Opening Ceremonies for his home nation after starting his collegiate career at Florida State and ending it with the Bulldogs.  Greene was a three-time All-American while in Athens and also helped deliver the 2018 NCAA team championship to the Bulldogs.  He is at his second Olympics after advancing to the 100m semifinalist in Rio and will be competing in the 100m.

Charles Grethen: A native of Tuntange, Luxembourg, Grethen was an All-American in the 800m for the Bulldogs in 2015 and still holds spots in the top six on both the indoor and outdoor all-time UGA lists.  Starting his career at Texas State before transferring to Georgia prior to the 2013 season, Grethen clocked a top time of 1:47.22 in the 800m during his time in red and black.  He is at his second Olympics and will be competing in the 1500m after running in the 800m at his first Games.

Lynna Irby: A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Irby is the No. 3 collegiate performer all-time in the outdoor 400m after she registered a 49.80 to win the 2018 NCAA title.  Third in the 400m at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships to help the women secure their first national team championship, Irby is the No. 6 all-time collegiate performer indoors after she registered a 50.62 to take second in the 400m at the 2018 SEC meet.  She is at her first Olympics and will have the opportunity to compete on one or more of Team USA’s relays.

Morgann Leleux: A native of New Iberia, La., Leleux was a three-time SEC champion and five-time All-American in the pole vault for the Lady Bulldogs during 2012-15.  Overcoming a significant eye injury during the middle of her career, Leleux remains second on both the school’s indoor and outdoor all-time lists.  She is at her first Olympics and will be competing in the pole vault.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo: A native of Nassau, Bahamas, Miller-Uibo is the defending Olympic champion in the 400m after her lunge for the line in Rio.  She ran a 50.88 to win the 2013 NCAA indoor 400m title for the Lady Bulldogs and remains No. 12 on the all-time collegiate performer list.  Miller is second on both the school’s all-time indoor list (50.88) and outdoor list (50.70).  She is at her third Olympics and is expected to run in the 200m and the relays for her home country.

Jasmine Moore: A native of Grand Prairie, Texas, Moore recently competed her second year with the Lady Bulldogs after her first was cut short with no 2020 NCAA Indoor Championships or outdoor season that year.  This year, Moore swept the SEC triple jump titles after also winning the 2020 SEC indoor crown.  She was the outdoor runner-up in the triple jump and third in the long jump at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships after also scoring in both jumps at this year’s NCAA indoor meet.  Moore traveled 47 feet, 2 ½ inches this season to become the No. 3 all-time collegiate performer in the triple jump.  She is at her first Olympics and will be competing in the triple jump.

Keturah Orji: A native of Mount Olive, N.J., Orji was three centimeters short of the bronze medal in the triple jump at the 2016 Olympics after her fourth-place showing was the best for an American woman in the event in history.  Awarded The Bowerman in 2018 for being the top collegiate track and field athlete, the NCAA Woman of the Year was a 15-time All-American and eight-time NCAA individual champion who helped lead the Lady Bulldogs to the 2018 national team title.  Orji set school, collegiate and American records in her featured event during her legendary career in Athens.  She is at her second Olympics and will be competing in the triple jump.

Chanice Porter: A native of Prattville, Jamaica, Porter started her career by winning the 2013 SEC indoor long jump championship and concluded it by capturing the 2016 NCAA long jump title with a school record effort on her final collegiate attempt.  The six-time First Team All-American traveled a personal record 22-2.50 at the Spec Towns Track in Athens this year to help earn her spot on Jamaica’s national team.  She is at her first Olympics and will be competing in the long jump.

Garrett Scantling: A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Scantling narrowly missed the 2016 Games after finishing one spot out in fourth at the U.S. Trials in the decathlon.  However, this year Scantling won the Trials and punched his ticket to Tokyo.  Temporarily retiring from the sport at the 2016 Trials, starting a career as a financial analyst and even having a stint with the Atlanta Falcons as a receiver before restarting his training in 2019, Scantling finished in the top three in the heptathlon at three separate NCAA Indoor Championships and was fourth in the decathlon at the 2014 NCAA outdoor meet.  He also won a record-setting three SEC heptathlon titles as a Bulldog.  Scantling is at his first Olympics and will be competing in the two-day decathlon.

Levern Spencer: A native of Castries, St. Lucia, Spencer carried the flag for her home nation yet again during her fourth trip to the Games.  She became the first Olympic finalist in any event for St. Lucia after taking sixth in the high jump in 2016.  Starting her career at Albany State, Spencer transferred to Georgia and became a three-time SEC champion and three-time All-American, including runner-up honors in the high jump at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships behind teammate Patricia Sylvester.  She will competing in the high jump at her fourth Olympics.

Maicel Uibo: A native of Polva, Estonia, Uibo was a four-time SEC champion in the multi-events for the Bulldogs, collected a pair of NCAA decathlon titles and was a six-time First Team All-American, including a runner-up finish in the heptathlon at the 2014 NCAA indoor meet.  The 2015 SEC Indoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year remains the No. 6 all-time collegiate performer in the decathlon with a score of 8,356.  Uibo is also married to 2016 Olympic gold medalist and 2020 Olympian Shaunae Miller-Uibo after the two crossed paths while at Georgia.  He is at his second Olympics and will be competing in the two-day decathlon.

Kendell Williams: A native of Marietta, Ga., Williams was a seven-time NCAA champion for the Lady Bulldogs between 2014-17, including becoming the first woman in collegiate history to win four NCAA titles in the single event (pentathlon).  The former collegiate record holder was named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Year three times and still owns six of the 10 best collegiate pentathlon scores in history.  The 2017 SEC Female Athlete of the Year and Honda Award winner is at her second Olympics and will be competing in the two-day heptathlon.


Media are terrible at preseason picks

“Eight times since 1992 has the predicted champion prior to the season proceeded to win the SEC Championship Game.” The previous sentence from SEC proves just how bad those of us in the media are at prognostication. I decided to be a homer this year and voted the Dawgs to win the SEC Championship (and all their other games). Woof!

SEC PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

EASTERN DIVISION

Georgia (124 first-place votes) 923-total votes

Florida (7) 784

Kentucky (2) 624

WESTERN DIVISION

Alabama (130) 932

Texas A&M (1) 760

LSU (1) 633

SEC CHAMPION

Alabama (84 votes)

Georgia (45 votes)

2021 PRESEASON MEDIA DAYS ALL-SEC TEAM

OFFENSE

First-Team

QB – Matt Corral, Ole Miss

RB – Tank Bigsby, Auburn

RB – Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M

WR – John Metchie III, Alabama

WR – Treylon Burks, Arkansas

TE – Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M

OL – Evan Neal, Alabama

OL – Darian Kinnard, Kentucky

OL – Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

OL – Cade Mays, Tennessee

C – Nick Brahms, Auburn

Second-Team

QB – JT Daniels, Georgia

RB – Kevin Harris, South Carolina

RB – Zamir White, Georgia

WR – Kayshon Boutte, LSU

WR – George Pickens, Georgia

TE – Jahleel Billingsley, Alabama

OL – Jamaree Salyer, Georgia

OL – Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama

OL – Ed Ingram, LSU

OL – Austin Deculus, LSU

C – Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas

Third-Team

QB – Bo Nix, Auburn

RB – Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama

RB – Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky

WR – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

WR – Jacob Copeland, Florida

TE – Nick Muse, South Carolina

OL – Charles Cross, Mississippi State

OL – Nick Broeker, Ole Miss

OL – Myron Cunningham, Arkansas

OL – Luke Fortner, Kentucky

*C – Michael Maietti, Missouri

*C – Ben Brown, Ole Miss

DEFENSE

First-Team

DL – Jordan Davis, Georgia

DL – Phidarian Mathis, Alabama

DL – Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina

*DL – Zachary Carter, Florida

*DL – DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M

LB – Henry To’o To’o, Alabama

LB – Christian Harris, Alabama

LB – Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

DB – Derek Stingley, LSU

DB – Josh Jobe, Alabama

DB – Malachi Moore, Alabama

DB – Kaiir Elam, Florida

Second-Team

DL – Josh Paschal, Kentucky

DL – LaBryan Ray, Alabama

DL – Ali Gaye, LSU

DL – Trajan Jeffcoat, Missouri

LB – Grant Morgan, Arkansas

LB – Ventrell Miller, Florida

LB – Zakoby McClain, Auburn

DB – Smoke Monday, Auburn

DB – Jordan Battle, Alabama

DB – Jalen Catalon, Arkansas

DB – Elias Ricks, LSU

Third-Team

DL – DJ Dale, Alabama

DL – Jayden Peevy, Texas A&M

DL – Travon Walker, Georgia

DL – Derick Hall, Auburn

LB – Owen Pappoe, Auburn

LB – Nakobe Dean, Georgia

LB – Christopher Allen, Alabama

DB – Roger McCreary, Auburn

DB – Lewis Cine, Georgia

DB – Alontae Taylor, Tennessee

DB – Yusuf Corker, Kentucky

SPECIALISTS

First-Team

P – Jake Camarda, Georgia

PK – Cade York, LSU

RS – Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss

AP – Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss

Second-Team

P – Paxton Brooks, Tennessee

PK – Will Reichard, Alabama

RS – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

AP – Tank Bigsby, Auburn

Third-Team

P – Mac Brown, Ole Miss

PK – Anders Carlson, Auburn

RS – Kearis Jackson, Georgia

AP – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

* – Indicates a tie

Source: SECSports.com


Today’s Pics – George Pickens

2021:  Pre-season All-America 2nd team pick by Walter Camp…missed much of spring practice after suffering right knee injury in late March.

2020:  A starter in all eight games in which he played…tied with K. Jackson for team receiving honors with 36 catches for 513 yards and a team-high six TDs…caught seven passes for 135 yards, including a career-long 51-yarder, in Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl win over Cincinnati…season-high eight receptions for 87 yards and a TD vs. Mississippi State…caught a pair of TD passes in win at Missouri, including a key score with :37 left before halftime…team-high five receptions for 53 yards vs. Alabama…caught four passes for 47 yards and the team’s first TD of 2020, a 19-yarder, in Georgia’s win at Arkansas…caught two passes for 26 yards vs. Auburn, highlighted by a 21-yard TD catch in second quarter…caught two more passes in win over Tennessee…missed the Kentucky game because of injury…named to the pre-season watch list for the Fred Biletnikoff Award (nation’s top WR)…also Pre-Season All-SEC Second Team, as selected by the media covering the league.

2019:  Coaches’ Freshman All-SEC Team…co-winner of Offensive Newcomer of the Year award, given at team’s post-season awards gala…played in all 14 games, earning his first start vs. Kentucky…also started in Sugar Bowl win over Baylor…finished season with 49 catches for 727 yards, both team highs…also led the Bulldogs in TD catches with eight…had 12 catches for 175 yards and a TD in the Sugar Bowl, earning MVP honors…his 12 grabs tied a UGA bowl record and were the most by a Bulldog receiver in 17 seasons…two of his five catches vs. Missouri went for scores (25 & 18 yards)…first TD catch was a second-quarter score, from 15 yards out, vs. Murray State…one of his three catches vs. Tennessee was a 7-yard score…had five catches for 84 yards vs. Arkansas State…season highs of seven catches and 98 yards both came vs. South Carolina…team-high four catches for 35 yards vs. Kentucky…lone catch vs. Georgia Tech went for 41 yards and a TD.


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Greg is closing in on 11 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.