Already ranked in the top 10 nationally in a trio of events, Georgia sophomore Matthew Boling traveled one of the country’s top distances in the long jump to highlight day one of the Tiger Paw Invitational.
Boling, a native of Houston, Texas, took off for a career-best long jump mark of 25 feet, 5 ¼ inches to win his second straight competition in the event with the fifth-longest mark in school history.
Georgia also had a number of competitors shine during the beginning of the Music City Challenge in Nashville, Tenn. The Bulldogs recorded a trio of top-10 times in UGA history, including sophomore Sam Bowers’ showing the 5000m with one of the nation’s top-10 finishes this year.
A mixture of 34 student-athletes are also competing in the one-day USC Indoor Open (Columbia, S.C.) on Saturday. On Saturday, the men’s weight throw (junior Alex Pereira), women’s shot put (redshirt freshman Mia Anderson), women’s pole vault (senior Kayla Smith, sophomore Julia Fixsen, junior Courtney Long, sophomore Kaeli Thompson, redshirt freshman Gracie Jauch), women’s long jump (junior Imani Carothers, junior Titiana Marsh) and men’s long jump (senior Justes Nance) will start the USC Indoor Open at 11 a.m.
Sophomore Caleb Cavanaugh will begin Saturday at the Tiger Paw meet in the men’s 800 meters at 12:25 p.m. He will later join Boling, senior Delano Dunkley and junior Elija Godwin in the 4x400m relay at 3:25 p.m. At the Music City meet, junior Anna Marian Block is scheduled to start the action in the 800m at 2:20 p.m. on Saturday.
Due to COVID-19, there will be no spectators allowed in the facilities.
Live Results: For live results to the USC Indoor Open, please visit: https://gado.gs/63s
For live results to the Music City Challenge, please visit: https://gado.gs/63t
For live results to the Tiger Paw Invitational, please visit: https://gado.gs/63z
Live Stream: For a live stream of the USC Indoor Open, please visit:
Saturday – 11 a.m.: http://gado.gs/63r
For a live stream of the Music City Challenge, please visit:
Saturday – 1 p.m.: http://gado.gs/63x
For a live stream of the Tiger Paw Invitational, please visit:
Saturday – 11 a.m.: https://gado.gs/64j
The Lowdown: Boling ignited Georgia’s start to the weekend during the fourth long jump competition of his collegiate career and second of the 2021 season. Opening with a pair of fouls, Boling had a collegiate personal best of 24-9.25 on his third attempt. One try later, he traveled 25-5.50 to lock down the win and move to eighth on the national list. Boling’s top effort rockets him to fifth on the Bulldog all-time top-10 list with the top mark since former Georgia NCAA heptathlon champion Devon Williams went 25-8.25 in 2017 (No. 2 mark in UGA record books).
Coming into the weekend, Boling was already ranked in the top six in the 60m (sixth), 200m (second) and 400m (third). He was named to the 2021 Bowerman Mid-Indoor Watch List earlier this week.
Block opened the Music City Challenge for the Bulldogs and did not disappoint. Block finished third out of 38 runners with a 4:41.60, which trimmed more than four seconds off of her previous personal best. Her fresh personal record ranks in the top 20 nationally and is fifth on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list.
Bowers ran the fastest 5000m of his career with a time that would have ranked sixth nationally at the beginning of the weekend. Bowers sped to a 14:09.35 for ninth place and positioned himself at No. 4 in the school record books with the school’s top time since 2015. Teammate Michael Hans also registered a career best of 14:20.83 for 11th.
The Drop twins completed their second 5000m races of the year and both finished in the top six. Jessica Drop battled for runner-up honors thanks to her 16:07.13, which put her in the country’s top 15 according to the list at the start of the weekend. Samantha Drop had a season-best time of 16:28.46 to take sixth in the same race.
In the men’s mile, redshirt sophomore Clay Pender picked right up where Block left off and left the track with the school’s fourth-best time in history. He completed his laps in 4:04.71 with the top time since Bryan Kamau registered a 4:04.88 in 2017. Pender was ninth in the mile with the top six finishers breaking the four-minute mark.