Kendell Williams Opens SEC Track & Field Championships with a Title

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Kendell Williams Opens SEC Track & Field Championships with a Title

Kendell Williams high jumps
(Photo by John Kelley)
[break] Georgia sophomore Kendell Williams won her first league indoor title to highlight the opening day of the SEC Track & Field Championships on Friday.
[break] [break] Williams, who was the 2014 runner-up before claiming last year’s NCAA championship with a collegiate record score, tallied 4,519 points for 10 points. Her training partner, senior Quintunya Chapman, was third for six points with 4,244 points.
[break] [break] The second-ranked Lady Bulldogs stand in second place (22 points) after one day while Arkansas (49.50) took an early team lead and Kentucky (19) stands in third.
[break] [break] The seventh-ranked Georgia men scored eight points for ninth place thus far. Arkansas (33), Florida (24) and Auburn (20) are the top three going into Saturday.
[break] [break] “We had a lot of good things happen, and unfortunately we had some bad things happen as well,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton. “The heptathletes did a great job and Williams and Chapman got a lot of big points for us in the pentathlon. But we had a lot of goose eggs to in the qualifying rounds on the track. We cannot keep not qualifying people for finals if we want to be a top-level team so we have to work to improve that in the future.
[break] [break] “People who were out there for us in the finals did well. Keturah (Orji) in the long jump and Alex (Poursanidis) in the weight got some good things done. I am disappointed that everything didn’t go the way we needed it to. Overall, not bad and since we will not have a lot of final events on the track, we will have to count on our field events to keep us in the top half of the conference finishers.”
[break] [break] The Bulldogs stand 1-2-6 with four of the seven heptathlon events completed. Junior Garrett Scantling scored a day one personal best of 3,392 to take the lead while junior Maicel Uibo’s 3,283 points have him in second. Sophomore Devon Williams is holding down sixth place with a personal-best day one tally of 3,023.
[break] [break] The SEC meet begins on Saturday with the final three events of the heptathlon at 10 a.m., starting with the 60-meter hurdles. The pole vault and 1000 will complete the hep’s seven events later in the day.
[break] [break] The first open events of day two are the women’s weight throw (Shelby Ashe), women’s high jump (Leontia Kallenou, Tatiana Gusin), women’s triple jump (Keturah Orji) and men’s pole vault at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. The first open event on the track is the women’s 60 hurdles at 2 p.m.
[break] [break] Kendell Williams and Chapman managed to score 16 points for the Lady Bulldogs thanks to finishing first and third, respectively, in the pentathlon competition. Also competing for Georgia was freshman Aliyah Johnson, who scored a collegiate career-best total of 3,611 for 12th place.
[break] [break] This marks the first SEC pentathlon crown for the Georgia women since Hyleas Fountain won back-to-back titles in 2003-04. Fountain also won the high jump and long jump at the 2004 meet before winning a silver medal in the heptathlon at the 2008 Olympics four years later.
[break] [break] Capturing the 2014 NCAA pentathlon title and last year’s SEC and NCAA heptathlon championships, Williams wrapped up her competition on Friday with a season-best finish in the 800. Williams worked to stay with Chapman and clocked a 2:20.56 for eighth place and 816 points.
[break] [break] Williams bulked her point total by 978 points in the long jump after working up to a third jump of 21-0.50. This performance gave her the win in the event by nearly a foot.
[break] [break] In the high jump, Williams used a first attempt clearance at 5-11.25 to win the event and give her 991 more points.
[break] [break] Williams was third in the opening heat of the 60 hurdles after clocking an 8.30 to start her day. This scored her 1,061 points.
[break] [break] Following a foul to start, Williams launched her second shot put attempt 39-11.50 to take eighth and score 673 points in the day’s third event.
[break] [break] The final event of the day for Chapman ended up being her third personal record of the competition. Chapman crossed the 800 finish line in sixth place with a 2:18.43 for 845 points.
[break] [break] Chapman blazed to a career best in the 60 hurdles (8.36) after matching her previous personal best (8.49) at the McCravy Memorial earlier this year. This gave Chapman 1,048 points and shot her to fifth on the all-time list.
[break] [break] Chapman posted her second personal record of the day in the long jump. She opened with a mark of 19-10.25, which gave her 865 points and fourth place.
[break] [break] After flirting with disaster thanks to two early fouls, Chapman responded with the winning throw in the shot put of 43-9.25. This save gave Chapman 750 points and put her back in the overall race.
[break] [break] Chapman went over the high jump bar at 5-3 on her first try for 736 points and 14th place. However, the Hinesville, Ga., native missed her next three tries at 5-4.25.
[break] [break] True freshman Keturah Orji scored six more points for the Lady Bulldogs in the long jump. She opened her first SEC Championships with a third-place finish. Seeded third in the conference and fifth in the nation coming in, Orji traveled 21-1.25 on her second takeoff to be one of three jumpers in the 21-foot range.
[break] [break] Orji, who scored Georgia its first eight points, returns to compete in the triple jump on Saturday as the national leader. She set her national leading mark of 45-10.50 at the McCravy Memorial also in Kentucky’s facility earlier this year.
[break] [break] Sophomore Alex Poursanidis put the Bulldog men on the scoreboard after lifting the weight a personal-best distance of 68-6.50. A 2014 First Team outdoor All-American in the hammer, Poursanidis scored a fourth-place finish with his effort and moved to ninth on UGA’s all-time top-10 list with the best effort at UGA since 2010.
[break] [break] Senior Brandon Lord scored the team’s final points on Friday after taking fifth in the 3000. Lord completed his laps in 8:08.08 and scored four points for the Bulldogs.
[break] [break] In the heptathlon, Scantling, who leads the nation (5,886 points), won the 2013 SEC title while Uibo, who is ranked second nationally (5,847), captured the 2014 conference heptathlon championship.
[break] [break] Scantling wasted little time taking control on Friday in the long jump after his first effort measured a personal-best distance of 23-5.50 for 850 points, which was second. This mark edged his 23-5.25 set during his run to the 2013 SEC title.
[break] [break] The Jacksonville, Fla., native had the longest throw of his career (49-1.75) in the shot put. Scantling scored 788 points and was only six inches behind the winner, Texas A&M’s Lindon Victor.
[break] [break] Scantling returned in the high jump and posted a season-best mark of 6-9.50. His third attempt clearance gave him 868 points and a third-place finish in the event.
[break] [break] Scantling also won the heptathlon’s opening event with a 6.99 in the 60 for 886 points.
[break] [break] Uibo warmed up to a career-best mark in the high jump during the fourth and final event of the heptathlon. He soared over the bar at 6-11.75 on his first try to put another 925 points by his name.
[break] [break] Following an opening foul, Uibo went for a season-best mark of 23-7.50 on his second try in the long jump. He then returned with an improvement of 23-9.50 to win the competition and scored 874 points. This moved Uibo from 10th to fourth after two events.
[break] [break] Uibo finished one spot behind Scantling in the shot put and scored 715 points. His opening attempt measured 45-2.50 before letting go of two fouls. He started the meet with 769 points after finishing 10th in the 60 with a 7.33.
[break] [break] Devon Williams’ first personal best of the competition came in the shot put. He hit the 44-foot mark twice, topping out at 44-1.50 on his first throw to take fourth and score 695 points.
[break] [break] Williams tallied his second consecutive meet with 23-foot long jumps to take third on Friday. The Marietta, Ga., native reached 23-2 on his second effort and scored 828 points.
[break] [break] Williams came within .03 seconds of his personal best in the 60 thanks to his time of 7.10. This gave him a third-place finish in the event for 847 points. His final performance of the day was a 6-foot clearance in the high jump for 653 points.
[break] [break] In another open event, junior Jamario Calhoun had one fair jump of 23-2.75, which was a season-best mark, to finish 15th in the long jump.
[break] [break] During the prelim events, junior Ashley Henry tied the seventh-best 400 time in school history (54.57) to be second in her heat and 16th overall. Freshman Devon Artis also broke the 56-second barrier for the first time at UGA and was 23rd with a 55.95.
[break] [break] returned in the 200 to run a Lady Bulldog career-best time of 24.35 to take 23rd in the prelims.
[break] [break] On the men’s side, senior Drew Branch ran his second personal-best time in as many meets to take 11th overall in the 400 prelims with a 46.86. This is the 10th-best time in school history. In addition, sophomore Reggie Glover registered a career-best time of 47.37 and was 17th in the prelims.
[break] [break] Glover hit the track again in the 200 and recorded the fastest time of his career (21.32), which moves him to No. 8 on the Bulldog all-time list, for 11th in the prelims.
[break] [break] Later in the women’s 200, freshman Katie Stone bettered her personal-best time for the second straight week to finish 16th in the prelims. Her time of 24.13 takes over the No. 8 spot in the school record books, edging Georgina Nembhard’s 24.14 set at the 2010 SEC meet.
[break] [break] Sophomore Victoria Coppage finished two spots away from qualifying for the mile final after running a personal-best time of 4:55.91 in the prelims. Morgan Ainslie also posted a personal record in the race of 5:00.67 for 16th place.
[break] [break] Freshman Jon Okoye also walked away with the fastest time of his career in the 200 (21.61) for 16th place in the prelims.
[break] [break] Freshman Morgan Green ran a personal-best time of 10:02.88 to take 16th in the 3000 while Zack Sims was 10th in the men’s half with a career-best time of 8:20.44.
[break] [break] Also of note, senior Morgann Leleux, who was the defending SEC champion in the women’s pole vault, did not reach a height after coming in at 13-8.50. On the track, senior All-American Carly Hamilton was forced to pull out of the mile prelims because of an injury lingering from her last action.
[break] [break] The SEC meet will also air as part of a 90-minute show on ESPNU on Monday, March 9, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The broadcast talent includes Dwight Stones (play-by-play), Larry Rawson (analyst) and Jill Montgomery (sideline reporter).
[break] [break] Full results and a recap from the SEC Indoor Championships will be located at Updates from this meet and throughout the season will be posted on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.
[break] [break] Pentathlon Results

60mH High Jump Shot Put Long Jump 800m TOTAL

Kendell Williams 8.30 5-11.25 43-9.25 21-0.50 ^2:20.56 4,519

Quintunya Chapman *8.36 5-3 39-11.50 *19-10.25 *2:18.43 4,244

Aliyah Johnson *8.83 5-3 34-10.50 18-1 *2:33.07 *3,611

*personal-best mark; ^season-best mark
[break] [break] Heptathlon Results

60m Long Jump Shot Put High Jump Day1 TOTAL

Garrett Scantling 6.99 *23-5.50 *49-1.75 ^6-9.50 *3,392 pts.

Maicel Uibo 7.30 ^23-9.50 45-2.50 *6-11.75 3,283 pts.

Devon Williams 7.10 ^23-2 *44-1.50 6-0 *3,023 pts.

Bulldog Scorers – Day One
[break] [break] Name Event Mark/Place

Kendell Williams Pentathlon 4,519 pts./1st

Quintunya Chapman Pentathlon 4,244 pts./3rd

Keturah Orji Long Jump 21-1.25/3rd

Alex Poursanidis Weight Throw *68-6.50/4th

Brandon Lord 3000m 8:08.08/5th

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