Eight University of Georgia track and field team members have announced that they will return to wrap up their senior seasons in 2021.
Darius Carbin (San Jose, Ca.), Taylor Scarbrough (Canton, Ga.), Jessica Drop (Durham, Conn.), Marie-Therese Obst (Oslo, Norway), Victoria Powell (Atlanta, Ga.), Kayla Smith (Indianapolis, Ind.), Amber Tanner (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Tiffany Yue (Lawrenceville, Ga.) had their 2020 campaign cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fourteen Bulldogs, including Carbin, Drop, Smith and Tanner, were in Albuquerque, N.M., prior to the start of the 2020 NCAA Indoor Championships during the second week in March when all NCAA events were put on hold because of the virus dangers. At the time, the Georgia women were ranked fourth and the Bulldog men were ranked fifth in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) polls.
Georgia’s team members listed above have combined for two Southeastern Conference individual titles, nine NCAA First Team All-America certificates, three undergraduate degrees and a number of them were a part of the Lady Bulldogs’ 2018 NCAA indoor team title and the Georgia men’s 2018 NCAA outdoor team championship.
High jumper Darius Carbin: “I was planning on completing my last year of undergrad during my fifth year (2020-21), and this year (2019-20) was supposed to be my last year of eligibility. I’m happy about the decision, and it ends up working out for me since I was still going to be in school anyway.”
Distance runner Taylor Scarbrough: “I’m more excited for this upcoming cross country season than I’ve been for any season during my career. I feel like I really got my feet under me and felt like myself during our last indoor meet at SECs. There’s definitely a vibe on the team that this year is our year to put Georgia back where it should be in the rankings for cross country. We have a lot of young talent that’s going to be another year older and better, and we have a group of fifth years who have such a high level of respect and pride for being a Georgia Bulldog and who want nothing more than to show that with our performances out on the course. Ultimately, I’m coming back to be a part of this great group of guys and to be a part of this great culture that we’re continuing to build on. Go Dawgs!”
Distance runner Jessica Drop: “I am excited to come back for my fifth year to both finish my degree and my track eligibility. I still have some goals that I want to accomplish on the track and can’t wait to see what I can do this season. I’m also super glad to be in Athens one more year because Sam (twin sister and teammate) and I have been discussing that there are a few more things that we still haven’t done in Athens. We are making a list of those things we need to do before we leave.”
Javelin thrower Marie-Therese Obst: “I am coming back to UGA for my last year because I want to see what I can achieve. I worked hard this fall and winter to get out in the spring and throw a new (personal best), and it looked very promising at practice. With that in mind, I’m sad that I didn’t get to show that this year because of the pandemic, but it makes me even more hungry to go out in ‘21 and snatch those medals! I can’t leave Athens knowing I can do some damage next year.”
Sprinter Victoria Powell: “Getting to come back for an outdoor season in 2021 is a great opportunity for me to stay and finish my graduate degree while continuing to compete. I think that even though this pandemic has caused a huge rift in training, education and everyday life, it’s an opportunity for me to continue my degree and allow me more time to pursue a career path post-athletics.”
Pole vaulter Kayla Smith: “Athens and UGA track and field have shaped me into someone I can be proud of today. It’s my home and this team is my family. Having one more year to do the sport I love and to get a second degree? What a huge blessing. Year six here we come!”
Middle-distance runner Amber Tanner: “The University of Georgia track and field atmosphere is like no other. It is truly something each of us is so blessed to experience, and once we graduate, we will never experience again. I have put my all into this program, and this program has put its all into me. I am so excited to come back for one last go around!”
Distance runner Tiffany Yue: “I wasn’t able to run cross country last fall due to an injury, so I wanted to come back for one last season. I know I’ll have to move on from athletics and UGA eventually, but the thought of having one more semester with everyone, getting to wear the ‘G’, and living in Athens was just something I couldn’t turn down.”