T&F: Three More Dawgs Advance at Olympic Trails

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T&F: Three More Dawgs Advance at Olympic Trails

Matthew Boling (Photo: Walt Beazley)

Georgia had another trio of current or former student-athletes advance to latter rounds at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday.

Sophomore Matthew Boling advanced to the semifinal round of the men’s 100-meter dash after running the fifth-best time in school history, former standout Lynna Irby lived to see another round in the women’s 400m after earning a time qualifier and junior Elija Godwin extended his 2021 campaign by automatically qualifying for the men’s 400m final with the sixth-best time in the semifinals.

Through the first five events of the decathlon, former All-American Garrett Scantling posted a personal best in the 100m and completed the day leading with 4,494 points.  Current sophomore Kyle Garland registered a trio of personal records and is in second place with a day one career-best score of 4,424 going into Sunday’s finale.

On Friday, sophomore Anna Hall (women’s high jump) and sophomore Jasmine Moore, junior Titiana Marsh and former standout Keturah Orji (women’s triple jump) advanced to the final round of their events.

Eleven current Bulldogs and eight former Georgia standouts will compete in their home country’s Trials on June 18-27.  The top three finishers in each event at the Trials will advance to the Olympic Games in Tokyo on July 23-August 8, barring they have the standard mark/time necessary in their event.

Boling, a native of Houston, Texas, bettered his 10.15 from the NCAA Championships and sped to a 10.13 in the opening round of the 100m.  He was fifth in his heat and 14th overall with a time qualifier that improved his own No. 5 spot in the school record books.

Irby, an Indianapolis, Ind., native, was fourth in her heat yet also had the fourth-fastest time in the 400m semifinal after recording a 50.58.  Irby already has the Olympic Standard necessary in the event so she will qualify for Team USA with a top-three finish on Sunday at 10:06 p.m. in the final.

Godwin, a native of Covington, Ga., fired out of the opening heat in the 400m semifinal and qualified automatically by taking second in that group with a 45.10.  Already with an Olympic Standard under his belt, Godwin will punch his ticket to the Games if he can finish in the top three during Sunday’s final at 10:15 p.m.

Scantling, who finished one spot out of qualifying for Team USA in 2016 after taking fourth place, sped to a 10.53 in the 100m to start his dec in second.  He then went 24-11.75 to take third in the long jump and won the shot put with an effort of 52-2.50.  After having a season-best high jump of 6-8.75 to take seventh in the event, Scantling wrapped up his five events with a 48.86 for sixth in the 400m.

Garland has completed only a single decathlon during his Bulldog collegiate career, winning the SEC title with 8,196 points.  He started Saturday’s 100m with a personal record of 10.79 for seventh place.  In the long jump, worked up to a career-best distance of 25-1.25 on his third try for runner-up honors while in the shot put, he launched his second attempt a personal best of 51-9.75 for second.  Following two third attempt clearances, Garland won the high jump after going over the bar at 7-1.50.  He completed his opening day by running the 400m in 51.58 to take 14th.

On Sunday, Garland, Scantling and Williams will wrap up the final five events of the decathlon.  In addition, Hall will compete in the high jump final at 8:50 p.m., the triple jump trio will battle at 8:55 p.m. and Boling will run in the semifinals of the 100m at 9:19 p.m.  If Boling advances, he will run in the final at 10:52 p.m.  However, Boling does not yet have the 10.05 Olympic Standard necessary to automatically qualifying with a top-three finish in the final.

Also of note, former Bulldog SEC champion Kendal Williams took 18th in the men’s 100m with a season-best 10.15, missing the semis by three spots.  In the decathlon, former NCAA heptathlon champion Devon Williams did not start in the 400m after competing in the first four events of the day.

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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.