TRACK & FIELD: Georgia Setting National Pace at McCravy Memorial

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TRACK & FIELD: Georgia Setting National Pace at McCravy Memorial

Georgia's bus arriving at McCravy Memorial

Georgia’s bus arriving at McCravy Memorial
Photo: UGA Track & Field Twitter
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Georgia’s track and field teams continued setting the tone for the nation during the second day of the McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Highlighted by Keturah Orji’s national leading mark in the triple jump and a pair of the country’s top times in the 800-meter run, the Bulldogs continued to position themselves for the postseason that arrives in just more than a month.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “We showed bright spots in every event area this weekend,” Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou said. “I thought our team continued to come together through this meet and I was encouraged by how much they cheered for each other. I am really proud of everyone’s effort after we have trained in the cold and then showed up and competed like we have. Everyone is pushing each other with one goal in mind and that’s qualify as many people as possible for Nationals. Next week we will arrive at a truly big-time meet and we will see how our teams respond.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Orji, a sophomore from New Jersey, opened with a winning mark of 44 feet, 4 ¼ inches before traveling 44-5.50, which took control of the national lead. Last year, Orji established American Junior and school records with a mark of 45-10.50 to win the McCravy meet.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “This was Keturah’s first time from a full run and I was pleased with her consistency,” said Kyprianou.
[su_spacer size=”40″] In addition, sophomore Aliyah Johnson, who competed in the combined events as a freshman in 2015, returned to one of her high school events and finished fourth with a mark of 41-3 in the triple jump.
[su_spacer size=”40″] On the track, senior Kisean Smith completed his laps in the 800 with the third-fastest time in school history and fastest since the school record was set in 2012. Smith registered the No. 4 time in the NCAA this year (1:48.35) to take third place.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Another pair of Bulldogs also showcased their skills in the 800. Senior Christian Harrison left the Nutter Field House with the seventh-best time in UGA history and the 11th-best time in the country this season (1:49.80). Freshman Jeramey Hampton debuted in the 800 and finished 11th with a time of 1:51.85.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Bulldogs wrapped up the meet by recording the nation’s sixth-best time this year in the 4×400 relay. Ayrian Evans, Raytez Jenkins, Maurice Freeman and Reggie Glover tied the No. 10 time in school history, which was set at the 2011 Southeastern Conference Championships, with a 3:08.90.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “I think our 4×4 team has a shot at Nationals, they need to just keep developing as this season goes,” said Kyprianou.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Similar to Orji, senior Ashinia Miller put up a new No. 1 mark in the men’s shot put at the 2015 McCravy meet and shined again on Saturday. Miller launched the nation’s eighth-longest throw this year (63-2.25).
[su_spacer size=”40″] True freshman Denzel Comenentia, who only arrived in Athens from the Netherlands at the beginning of January, finished third in the shot with the nation’s ninth-longest toss (63-0), which is also the sixth-best throw in school history.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “Both guys in the shot put did great, pushed each other and I am very excited about what Ashinia and Denzel have to offer,” Kyprianou said.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Senior Steven Spevacek stuck his name on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list in the 3000. The former walk-on ran an 8:17.00 to take over the No. 10 spot in the record books and take 12th in the race. In the same race, sophomore Bryan Kamau left with an impressive career best of 8:26.14.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Senior Ashley Henry also approached her career best in the 400 for sixth place with a finish of 54.66.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Senior Garrett Scantling continued his training with a host of other Bulldog multi-event competitors and posted a personal best in the open shot put. Scantling reached 48-1.25 while junior Devon Williams had a season-best effort of 42-3.50.
[su_spacer size=”40″] During the 60 hurdles, Williams clocked a 7.93 in the prelims before finishing second in the finals with a time of 7.87. This time was just .01 off his personal best which ranks second in school history.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Scantling and senior Maicel Uibo went second and fourth, in that order, in the pole vault as well. Scantling went over the bar at 16-4.75 and Uibo cleared 15-11.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Also continuing to train for the combined events was graduate student Xenia Rahn. Rahn tossed her third attempt in the shot put a personal-best distance of 43-2.50 for 11th place.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Bulldogs return to action at the Razorback Invitational on January 29-30 versus another highly ranked group of competitors.
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