Georgia track and field team members who qualified for the NCAA’s hit the road this week and will compete in the NCAA East Prelims in Lexington, KY starting today and going through Saturday.
After top-five finishes at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Columbia, S.C., on May 11-13, the third-ranked Georgia men and the sixth-ranked Lady Bulldogs have qualified a combined 33 team members for the first round of the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The latter rounds of Nationals will arrive in Eugene, Ore., on June 7-10 for those who make it through this weekend.
When Does The Meet Crank Up?: Freshman Beatrice Llano, who is coming off her SEC victory, and senior Asianna Covington start the action for Georgia in the women’s hammer throw at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday. The Bulldogs’ first event on the track is the women’s 100-meter dash as junior Katie Stone battles for a spot in the finals at 6:30 p.m. on the first day.
Forty-eight individuals and 24 relays from around the country have qualified for either the East or West (Austin, Texas) Prelims in each event and the top 12 in each event from both regions advance to Nationals. Seventeen of the Bulldog individuals or relay teams who are competing this week are currently ranked in the top 12 in the East Region, including junior Keturah Orji’s top national ranking in the triple jump.
Where To Catch The Meet:
The NCAA East Prelims will be streamed live for portions of the meet on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
SEC Network+ info:
Thursday, May 25 (9 p.m. ET); LINK: CLICK HERE
Friday, May 26 (5:30 p.m.); LINK: CLICK HERE
Saturday, May 27 (6 p.m.); LINK: CLICK HERE
For live results on Georgia at the NCAA East Prelims, CLICK HERE
Who Qualified For The Dawgs?:
For the Georgia men, seniors Maurice Freeman (400m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay), Ayrian Evans (4x400m relay), Sid Vaughn (10,000m), Alex Poursanidis (hammer throw), Reggie Glover (4x100m relay, 4x400m relay), juniors Cejhae Greene (100m, 4x100m relay), Bryan Kamau (5000m), Alex Larsson (hammer throw), Gabe Blackman (4x100m relay), sophomores Kendal Williams (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Jonathan Raines (4x100m relay), Denzel Comenentia (shot put, hammer throw, discus), Keenon Laine (high jump), Jeramey Hampton (800m, 4x400m relay), and freshman Mecole HardmanClick here to hear it (4x100m relay) made the trip to Kentucky’s facility.
On the Lady Bulldogs’ side, seniors Georgia Stefanidi (pole vault), Covington (hammer throw), juniors Orji (triple jump, long jump), Stone (100m), Mady Fagan (high jump), Tatiana Gusin (high jump), sophomores Aliyah Johnson (triple jump), Mary Terry (high jump) and freshmen Kate Hall (long jump), Llano (hammer throw), Amber Tanner (4x400m relay), Tairyn Montgomery (javelin), Kayla Smith (pole vault), Jessica Drop (5000m), Sam Drop (10,000m), Chelsea Zoller (4x400m relay), Micaiah Ransby (4x400m relay) and Catherine Reid (4x400m relay) will be suiting up in the Red and Black.
“Finally we are here and getting ready for the most important part of our outdoor season,” said Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou, whose teams have already posted four top-five team national finishes since he took over in 2016. “We have qualified a very large number of student-athletes and we expect to advance as many as we can to Eugene for the final round. It has been a long and rocky road to our health and happiness but our team has proven resilient and persistent. The coaching staff has done a great job qualifying these young men and women to the Prelims and we hope to be even happier by coaching them to the final round.
“There is a lot of excitement and everyone understands that this is all business and we will be trying to represent the ‘G’ the best way we can. We are a team that has proven its NCAA caliber by our finishes indoors and we want to repeat that outdoors. It is not easy but that’s how legendary teams become legendary – by creating tradition in their sport. We are eager to establish that here at Georgia.
“Watching our men’s tennis team overcome adversity and advance to the semis motivates our student-athletes and like I said in the past, momentum and excitement are contagious. We hope and strive for a fun week in Lexington.”
Decathletes Devon Williams and Karl Saluri along with heptathletes Kendell Williams and Louisa Grauvogel have already punched their ticket to Eugene with their combined event scores. Devon Williams, a senior from Marietta, Ga., sits second in the national rankings with 8,345 points behind collegiate record holder Lindon Victor (8,539) of Texas A&M. Saluri, a junior from Kuimetsa, Estonia, is ranked fifth nationally at 7,948 points.
Kendell Williams, who like her brother is a senior from Marietta, has tallied the country’s best heptathlon score (6,354) this season by 255 points and is the defending NCAA champion. Grauvogel, a freshman from Saarland, Germany, sits 18th on the national list at 5,616.