TRACK & FIELD: 4 More Bulldogs Qualify for NCAA Championships

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TRACK & FIELD: 4 More Bulldogs Qualify for NCAA Championships

UGA track and field – Drew Branch
Drew Branch in the 400 meter hurdles during the Spec Towns National Team Invitational at the Spec Towns Track on Friday, April 10, 2015 in Athens, Ga.
(Photo by John Kelley)
[su_spacer size=”20″] Seniors Drew Branch and Charles Grethen led a group of four Bulldogs that clinched spots in the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., after qualifying on Friday evening during the second day of action at the NCAA East Prelims.


Junior Chanice Porter and freshman Keturah Orji qualified in the long jump on the women’s side to bring the total number of Bulldogs headed to Eugene to 13, with just one more day of competition remaining.  Senior Bret McDaniel set a school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on the women’s side, but finished just one spot out of qualifying for NCAAs.


The top 12 finishers in each event from both the East and West (Austin, Texas) regions advance to the finals of the NCAA Championships.  Multi event athletes Garrett Scantling and Maicel Uibo (decathlon) and Quintyuna Chapman and Kendell Williams (heptathlon) have already qualified for Nationals.


“We had a very productive day with qualifiers in the long jump, the hurdles, and the 800,” said Georgia head coach Wayne Norton. “What makes it even better is that we had no implosions. We can remain a great team if we don’t hurt ourselves with lack of focus and lack of execution. I am happy in looking at this from a broad view.”


Grethen turned in his best time of the season in the 800 meters, crossing the finish line in 1:47.30 to claim second place in his heat and seventh overall. The time is just 0.08 seconds off Grethen’s personal-best time of 1:47.22, which ranks third in school history.


Branch sped to a time of 50.85 in the 400m hurdles to finish third in his heat and 10th overall en route to advancing to Eugene in the event for the second consecutive year.


On the women’s side, Porter jumped 21-1.25 to place second overall in the long jump, while Orji, the school record holder in the event, finished eighth with a mark of 20-0.25 to qualify for Nationals.


Junior Jamario Calhoun advanced to tomorrow’s quarterfinals of the 200 meters after finishing in a tie for 22nd place with a time of 21.17. Sophomore Jon Okoye also competed in the event, finishing 35th overall in 21.50.


Junior Ashley Henry competed in the quarterfinals of the 400 meters for the Bulldogs after advancing past the first round yesterday. Henry finished in 53.96, good for 23rd place overall.


McDaniel rounded out competition for the Bulldogs on the track, finishing just one spot out of qualifying for the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase. McDaniel claimed 13th place in a new personal best and school-record setting time of 10:01.58. She tops her previous best time of 10:08.28 and also moves pass Leslie Boozer (10:02.02) for first place all-time in school history.


In field action, Asiana Covington finished 41st in the discus throw, while Braydon Anderson placed 17th in the javelin. Scantling and Uibo each competed in the pole vault in preparation for their mutli-event action in Eugene, and the duo finished tied for 18th with a mark of 16-4.75.


On Saturday, Calhoun will take the track first for the Bulldogs at 7:50 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the 200 meters. Zack Sims will race in the 5,000 meters later in the evening before the men’s 4×400 relay team takes to the track for the final event of the day.


Covington and fellow thrower Shelby Ashe will lead things off in the field events beginning at 1:30 p.m. with the hammer throw.


Updates on all Bulldog meets will be posted at and on Twitter/Instagram at @UGA_XCTF.



Bulldog Qualifiers for NCAA Championships: 

Chanice Porter (Long Jump) – 21-1.25 (2nd)

Charles Grethen (800 meters) – 1:47.30 (7th)

Keturah Orji (Long Jump) – 20-0.25 (8th)

Drew Branch (400 meter hurdles) – 50.85 (10th)

Bulldog Qualifiers for NCAA East Prelims Quarterfinals: 

Jamario Calhoun (200 meters) – 21.17 (T-22nd)


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