The Bulldog track and field teams posted another three NCAA leading performances to wrap up the Spec Towns Invitational in Athens, Ga., during persistent rain and wind on Saturday.
In addition, Georgia recorded eight more top collegiate finishes as the two-day meet was completed at the Spec Towns Track.
Junior Karel Tilga finished his third collegiate decathlon with the second-best collegiate score in history, a school record and the world’s top score this year with 8,484 points. Tilga rose to fourth on the all-time list for Estonia and his score is the highest ever decathlon score achieved before the month of May.
Also of note, former Bulldog All-American Garrett Scantling finished second with a personal-best score of 8,476. This shoots him to No. 2 on this year’s world list and 10th on the U.S. all-time list. More importantly, Scantling and Tilga each easily surpassed the Olympic standard of 8,350.
A day after taking over one of the top-10 spots on the all-time collegiate performers list in the long jump, sophomore Jasmine Moore opens her outdoor triple jump career with a national leading effort of 46 feet, 4 ¼ inches. Sporting another pair of 45-1 marks in her series, Moore shot to No. 2 in the school record books, No. 4 on the current world list and No. 8 on the all-time collegiate performer list with the 17th-best performance in collegiate history.
Also of note, junior Titiana Marsh competed in her first triple jump competition of the season and finished as the runner-up with a mark of 43-8.75, which currently ranks fifth nationwide.
Sophomore Anna Hall, a native of Greenwood, Colo., won her first collegiate heptathlon with a national leading score of 6,200 points. This shot her to No. 3 on the current world list and No. 2 on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list.
Other top collegiate finishers included junior Imani Carothers in the 100-meter hurdles, junior Labo Oke in the triple jump, graduate transfer Jonathan Tharaldsen in the shot put, sophomore Shelby Tyler in the high jump, senior Amber Tanner in the 800m, junior Clay Pender in the men’s 800m, sophomore Matthew Boling in the 100m and the women’s 4x400m relay.
Live Results: For live results of the Spec Towns Invite, please visit: http://gado.gs/6sb
Kyprianou’s Comments: “This Spec Towns Invitational never cease to amaze me,” said Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou. “The little Bulldogs, as I like to call them, compete so well at home, bad weather or not. They accomplished some amazing things today and on Friday. We had so many huge performances over the weekend in terrible conditions. We can’t wait to get to the postseason and to have some fun in Eugene, Ore., and then hopefully with a crew of these Dawgs in Tokyo.”
The Lady Bulldogs went 1-2 in the 800m, topping off with the second-best time in school history. Tanner, who last competed during the 2020 indoor season, ran her two laps in 2:03.39, which improved her No. 2 mark in the school record books and is the third-fastest time in the country this season. Tanner’s teammate, sophomore Anna Marian Block was next across the line in 2:09.80.
Minutes later, Pender completed the sweep in the 800m with a 1:50.47.
Carothers moved from No. 10 to No. 7 in the school record books with her top collegiate finish (second overall) in the 100m hurdles. She finished in 13.38 to finish only behind former Lady Bulldog great Kendell Williams (13.33).
Boling made his outdoor debut in the 100m and cruised to a victory with a 10.32. Boling’s performance came a day after he finished first in the long jump. Sophomore Curtis Borden was third in the 100m after crossing the line in 10.85.
Also in the sprints, Chelsea Zoller, Julia Hall, Halle McClintock and Tanner rounded out the events on the track with a 3:40.58 to take first in the 4x400m relay.
In the men’s triple jump, Oke started his series with a mark of 49-11.25. While Eastern Michigan’s Richie Sadler also went 49-11.25, Oke’s sixth and final try measured 48-7.50 to outdistance Sadler’s second-best effort to clinch the victory.
Tharaldsen, along with the rest of the men’s shot put field, battled a driving rain and managed a victory with a top effort of 59-9. He has now won all three of his shot competitions while suiting up in the red and black. Training partner Gavin Beverage was second with a mark of 52-5.25.
With standing water on the apron, Tyler managed to get over the high jump bar at 5-8.75 and clinched the victory. Junior Sakari Famous was second in the competition with a clearance of 5-7.
Sophomore Mia Anderson posted her second personal best in as many days, this time in the shot put for third place. Anderson worked up to a third throw of 45-9.25 and has now registered career-best efforts in the shot for two meets in a row.
Tilga approached his personal best in the decathlon 110m hurdles and was third in the decathlon’s sixth event. He ran a 15.16 to score 830 points and continue in second place behind Scantling. Tilga earned top honors an event later in the javelin after sending this third attempt 154-7. This earned him 811 points and gave him 5,996 points, which was only 76 points behind Scantling and 77 points in front of Zach Ziemek.
Posting a top clearance of 14-1.25 at the 2019 SEC Championships, Tilga secured yet another personal record in the pole vault after going over 16-1.75 on his second attempt. This performance scored him 886 points and kept him in second place overall and leading Ziemek by 16 points. The pole vault was moved into the adjacent Indoor Athletic Facility because of the rain before action returned to the track for the javelin.
At the 2019 home meet, Tilga went 95-8 in the javelin. This time around, he opened at 183-0 before going 218-4 for 837 points to win the event. This pulled him to 7,719 points with the 1500m around the corner.
In the decathlon’s finale, Tilga won the 1500m with a career-best finish of 4:26.95 for his final 765 points. Former Bulldog Karl Saluri, who paced Tilga throughout the race, was second at 4:28.02 and managed 7,983 points after clinching his spot to the 2016 Olympics at this meet that year.
Hall began her second day in the heptathlon by winning the long jump with a third attempt of 19-9.50, which scored her 859 points. She dropped a winning throw of 132-5 in the javelin between her first and third attempts. Hall earned 674 more points and headed into the hep’s finale, the 800m, at 5,245.
Just as she has did throughout the competition, Hall led the field in the 800m by finishing her two laps in 2:10.69 for her final 955 points. This helped propel Hall to second in the school record books with her 6,200 points behind Kendell Williams (6,564, 2017 USATF Championships).
Up Next: The Bulldogs will travel to Gainesville, Fla., for the Tom Jones Memorial and to Charlottesville, Va., for the Virginia Challenge on April 16-17. Georgia will return to the Spec Towns Track for the Torrin Lawrence Memorial on April 30-May 1.