TRACK & FIELD: Devon Williams and Kendell Williams Sweep Bulldog Decathlon/Heptathlon

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TRACK & FIELD: Devon Williams and Kendell Williams Sweep Bulldog Decathlon/Heptathlon

Devon Williams and Kendell Williams, Georgia Track and Field edit by Bob Miller 03-11-2017
Photos from Georgia Sports Communications
(edit by Bob Miller)

Georgia track & field seniors Devon Williams and Kendell Williams completed the sweep of the sixth-annual Bulldog Decathlon/Heptathlon at the Spec Towns Track with a couple of the top scores in collegiate history in Athens, GA on Sunday.

Trailing the leader by 24 points to start the second day of the decathlon, Devon Williams shot to second on the 2017 NCAA and world lists as well as on the UGA all-time top-10 list with 8,345 points to win handily. His total makes him the sixth-best performer in collegiate history with the eighth-best score in the NCAA Division I ever. Williams’ performance featured seven personal records.
Kendell Williams, Devon’s younger sister, posted a consistent series of seven events in the heptathlon, including a personal record in the high jump, and finished with the second-best score of her career to take over this year’s world lead. The Marietta, Ga., native scored 6,354 points to become the fifth-best collegian in history with the fifth-best collegiate score ever.
Williams also becomes only the sixth competitor in a collegiate competition to eclipse 6,300 points and the first to do it in April. She has only scored more points at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials during her school record 6,402-point performance to earn a trip to the Rio Games.
Her training partner, true freshman Louisa Grauvogel, scored 5,616 points to take second in the heptathlon and move to No. 6 on the school’s all-time top-10 list and No. 7 on the national performance list.
“This was a great weekend for the Bulldogs,” said Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou. “As they always are for this meet, the kids were excited to compete on their home track in front of their friends and family and there were some monster performances. I am really excited about how we are progressing and the quality of these teams is tremendous. We now need to stay healthy and happy and get ready for June, because nothing really matters but the NCAA Championships. I think tis meet was a great confidence booster and shows great promise for the future.
“The Williams siblings set a world best for total scores from a heptathlon and decathlon, a record they already owned, so I am really proud of them. This competition was about what Kendell could do when she’s competing against herself and she proved she can handle that effectively today. Devon’s mark is one of the more impressive ones you’ll see and I was pleased to see him string together all those personal bests to get there.”
Devon Williams began his final day of the decathlon by running the country’s 15th-fastest 110-meter hurdle time to be the only competitor below 14 seconds. This personal-best time moved him to No. 3 in the school record books with the best time for the Bulldogs since 1980 and scored him 997 points to overtake the lead.
Williams posted his fourth personal best in a row with a second-place finish in the discus. He improved on his second and third throws, topping out at 151 feet, 10 inches for 793 points to extend his overall lead.
Following a 15-foot performance in the pole vault for 781 points, Williams returned to his chain of personal bests by taking second in the javelin. He reached 197-8 on his second attempt for 742 points and positioned himself for the decathlon victory. Nebraska’s Cody Walton set a meet record by winning the javelin with a 223-9.
Williams wrapped up his 10 events by winning the 1500m by four seconds. He completed his laps in 4:36.79 for 701 points and pushed his final edge over Kentucky’s Tim Duckworth to 372 points. Williams topped Duckworth by only 12 points to win the 2017 NCAA heptathlon crown indoors.
Kendell Williams started her second day of the heptathlon by winning the long jump with her third try of 20-10 for 959 points. This is the longest mark for Williams in the outdoor multis since she traveled a career-long distance of 21-1.25 at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Williams returned to action in the javelin and left the runway with her best mark since a personal record at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. She sandwiched a toss of 137-3 for 703 points, which is the longest throw for her in a collegiate competition.
During the conclusion of the combined events, Williams made two laps in 2:18.40 to score 845 points in the 800m. This finish surpassed the previous No. 5 mark in the collegiate record books by a single point.
Grauvogel reached 18-6.50 on her second heptathlon long jump try to finish with 744 points. In the javelin, Grauvogel finished where she did in six of seven events behind Williams, taking second. She tallied a mark of 127-11 for 648 points. Grauvogel wrapped things up by clocking a 2:25.34 for 752 points in her first completed collegiate heptathlon.
CLICK HERE for the results from Sunday’s 6th-annual Bulldog Decathlon/Heptathlon competition at the Spec Towns Track.
Georgia travels to Charlottesville, Va., for the Virginia Challenge on April 21-22.

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