Georgia Track & Field Leaves VT Elite With Another National Leader

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Georgia Track & Field Leaves VT Elite With Another National Leader

Kendell Williams
Kendell Williams (Photo: @UGA_XCTF)
[break] The Bulldog track and field teams took control of the national lead in another event and set numerous personal bests during the final day of the Doc Hale Virginia Tech Elite Meet in Blacksburg, Va., on Saturday.

[break] [break] “I am really glad to say that I saw a lot of good in a lot of our people which indicates we are getting better and developing consistency,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton.  “Kendell and Keturah looked very good in the long jump with some big jumps and more importantly, they showed signs of being capable of longer jumps.  Nick Vena’s shot put was impressive.  Morgann continues to make progress towards being the Morgann she can be.  Good examples of us getting better were how we competed in the 400s and 200s.  I could name a list of about six people because the men and women’s sprints groups had their best meet.  It was another good day, not spectacular but good.”
[break] [break] Sophomore Kendell Williams and freshman Keturah Orji yet again produced a 1-2 punch for the Lady Bulldogs, this time in the long jump.  Williams, who leads the nation with her 2015 pentathlon score, took control of the national lead and moved to No. 2 on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list with a long jump effort of 21 feet, 5 ½ inches to win.  Williams also had a mark of 21-0.75 one jump before her winning effort and then passed on her final three attempts after registering the best mark for the Georgia women since 2004 (Hyleas Fountain, NCAA Championships).
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[break] Orji, who has the country’s longest triple jump mark this year, continued to impress in just her third collegiate meet.  She opened with a mark (20-7.25) that would have taken second by itself and then worked up to a personal-best jump of 21-2 on her third try.  Orji, who also had another 21-foot jump in her series, is ranked fourth nationally and is now No. 5 in the Lady Bulldog record books.
[break] [break] On Friday, Williams matched her personal-best time in the 60-meter hurdles of 8.21 to win in the finals with the country’s ninth-best time this year.  This time equaled her No. 2 time in school history that was registered at last year’s NCAA Championships on the way to her collegiate record in the pentathlon.
[break] [break] Williams earned meet MVP honors for her two-day performance.
[break] [break] Senior Morgann Leleux reached her top height since capturing last year’s SEC title to take third in the pole vault.  She posted a season-best clearance of 14-4 on her third attempt that shot her into a tie for third nationally this year (currently ranked second in the conference).
[break] [break] Following up a performance where fellow shot putter Ashinia Miller set a school record and moved to the top of the national performance list, senior Nick Vena took over the No. 5 spot on the country’s shot list with his second personal best in as many meets this year.  Vena had four fouls in his series, but he launched his fifth attempt 65-7 to take second in the competition and improve his No. 3 spot in the school record books.
[break] [break] Miller, who now stands fourth nationally at 66-7.75, was fourth in Blacksburg after his second throw measured 62-8.50.  Miller finished his six throws with four fouls.
[break] [break] In the men’s long jump, junior heptathlete Maicel Uibo recorded three 24-foot efforts in his series, including a personal-best mark of 24-3.  This gave him a fifth-place finish in the open event as he prepares for the league and NCAA meets.  Also of note, sophomore heptathlete Devon Williams took eighth in the long jump after traveling 23-8.
[break] [break] Junior Ashley Henry finished with the 10th-best 400 time in school history during just her third meet with the Georgia women.  Henry, who transferred from North Texas, ran a 54.89 to take fifth in the competition and move into a three-way time on the Lady Bulldogs’ all-time top-10 list.
[break] [break] Henry returned with Devon Artis, Katie Stone and Natalie Bordes in the 4×400 relay and earned runner-up honors with a season-best time of 3:47.07.  Artis led the way with a second leg split of 56.02.
[break] [break] Junior Ayrian Evans won the men’s 400 after clocking a career-best time of his own.  Evans ran a 47.98 to finish ahead of the field, which included third-place finisher Jamario Calhoun (48.34).
[break] [break] Evans was the leadoff for the men’s 4×400 relay as they clinched the victory with a 3:12.12.  Drew Branch, who ran a 46.80 split, Derrick White and Raytez Jenkins completed the Bulldog relay team.
[break] [break] The Bulldog sprinters also went 3-4 in the 200 after sophomore Reggie Glover ran a 21.75 and White finished in 21.94.
[break] [break] Junior Brendan Hoban also completed his laps in the 3000 in a career-best time of 8:22.77 for third place while freshman Eric Westog took third in his first 5000 with a 15:22.36.
[break] [break] Georgia returns to work at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., which is the site of this year’s NCAA Championships, and the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash., on February 13-14.
[break] [break] Full results and a recap from the VT Elite Meet will be located at  Updates from this meet and throughout the season will be posted on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.

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