Track & Field: Interviewing the UGA Olympians

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Track & Field: Interviewing the UGA Olympians

Keturah Orji
Keturah Orji

Georgia’s three track and field athletes Kendal Williams, Keturah Orji and Michael Uibo spoke to UGA media yesterday. All are tremendously excited as they prepare for the Rio Games as UGA Olympians:

Keturah Orji
Keh-TUR-uh OR-gee (sounds like letter ‘G’)
Sophomore, Triple jumper, Mount Olive, N.J.
Won the Olympic Trials to become U.S. champion in a convincing fashion, topping the nearest competitor in five of her six jumps and finishing with a mark of 46 feet, 11 ¾ inches in rainy conditions to officially qualify for Rio
Three-time NCAA champion (triple jump), four-time SEC champion (triple jump) and seven-time First Team All-American (triple jump, long jump)
Owns the sixth, seventh and eighth-best indoor collegiate jumps in history while outdoors, she owns the top, second, seventh and eighth-best collegiate jumps ever
Current finalist for The Bowerman Award, which is track’s version of the Heisman Trophy, and the winner will be selected in December
2016 USTFCCCA National Outdoor Women’s Field Athlete of the Year
2016 CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American, 2015 USTFCCCA Women’s National Outdoor Scholar Athlete of the Year
2015 SEC Indoor & Outdoor Freshman Female Field Athlete of the Year
2016 SEC Indoor & Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year, 2016 SEC Outdoor Scholar Athlete of the Year
2016 – INDOORS: went 5-0 in collegiate triple jump competitions, including setting school records on her last three victories; set the meet record to win the SEC Championships with a top mark of 46-2.50; moved to No. 5 on school’s all-time top-10 list in the long jump with two jumps of 21-4.25; improved to 46-4 to win her first NCAA indoor triple jump title; also earned a First Team All-America certificate in the long jump by taking fourth at NCAAs; later took fourth at the World Indoor Championships with another school record mark of 46-4.75
OUTDOORS: went 4-0 in collegiate triple jump competitions, including twice setting the collegiate record and once setting the all-time American record; won her second consecutive SEC outdoor title in the triple jump with a meet record mark of *47-10.75 (*this was a wind-aided mark – more than 2.0 meters/second – so it didn’t count as a school/collegiate record but it did match the all-conditions, all-time collegiate No. 1 mark in history); cruised through the NCAA East Prelims with a jump of 46-10.75, which was a legal collegiate record; also won the NCAA East Prelims in the long jump (21-8.75)…topped her own collegiate record and established a fresh American record with a winning mark of 47-8 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, giving her two NCAA outdoor titles in a row in as many years; was also a First Team All-American in the long jump with a sixth-place finish

Kendell Williams
Kendell Williams


Kendell Williams
Junior, Heptathlete, Marietta, Ga.
Held off two-time Olympian Sharon Day-Monroe by 17 points to clinch the third and final spot for Rio in the heptathlon after Williams scored a school record 6,402 points, thanks in part to a personal best in the seventh and final event (800 meters)
Five-time NCAA champion (pentathlon indoors, heptathlon outdoors), three-time SEC champion (pentathlon, heptathlon) and seven-time First Team All-American (pentathlon, heptathlon)
She owns the top, second, fourth, fifth, sixth and 10th-best collegiate pentathlon scores in history and the 11th and 12th-best collegiate heptathlon scores (these only count competitions during collegiate season so not the Olympic Trials score of 6,402)
Owns numerous SEC/NCAA meet, collegiate, World Junior, American Junior, school and facility records during her first three seasons
2014 USATF Junior & IAAF World Junior champion in the 100m hurdles
2014 SEC Indoor & Outdoor Women’s Freshman Field Athlete of the Year
USTFCCCA National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year for four times so far
2016 – INDOORS: won the season-opening Razorback Invitational in the pentathlon with 4,558 points; cleared a season best 6 feet, 1 ½ inches in the high jump during the Razorback pentathlon; won her second consecutive SEC indoor title in the pentathlon with 4,420 points; shattered the collegiate record in the pentathlon for the third straight year to win her third NCAA pentathlon title in a row with 4,703 points, which made her the first collegian over 4,700 points and only the fourth American in history; set a collegiate/meet/school record with an 8.09 in the pentathlon 60m hurdles (topping her own record of 8.10); also earned First Team All-America honors in the open long jump (21-2) with a fifth-place finish; returned to compete at the World Indoor Junior Championships to take sixth with 4,586 points
OUTDOORS: started her junior outdoor season by taking second behind former Lady Bulldog All-American Quintunya Chapman (Chapman also competed at the Trials and was sixth) with 5,957 points; posted a two-point personal record of 6,225 points to win her second NCAA outdoor heptathlon title (first NCAA outdoor title since her freshman season in 2014) and improved her school record; came from behind in the seventh and final event (800m) and overtook the favored defending NCAA champ (Kansas State’s Akela Jones, who will be competing for Barbados in Olympics); topped her own collegiate record in the heptathlon 100m hurdles with a 12.83 to win the event at NCAAs

Michael Uibo
Michael Uibo


Maicel Uibo
Michael WEE-bo
Senior, Decathlete, Polva, Estonia
2016 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South Region Field Athlete of the Year
Two-time NCAA champion (decathlon outdoors), four-time SEC champion (decathlon, heptathlon indoors) & six-time First Team All-American (decathlon, heptathlon)
2015 CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-American, 2015 SEC Indoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Childhood friend of current Bulldog Karl Estonia, who is also qualified in the decathlon for Estonia after battling for the necessary 8,100-point standard at the 2016 Bulldog Decathlon in Athens (Saluri scored 8,108 with a personal best in the 10th and final event – 1500m)
Engaged to former Lady Bulldog Shaunae Miller, who will be competing in her second Olympics for the Bahamas and is the current world leader for 2016 in the 400m (49.55)
2016 – INDOORS: finished second at the Razorback Invitational after scoring 5,854 points in the heptathlon; qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships but was forced to pull out following an injury during the seven-event competition.
OUTDOORS: earned runner-up honors in the decathlon (8,315) at the SEC Championships in the most competitive meet in league history; Scored 8,294 points to finish third in the decathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Championships; tied for first in the decathlon pole vault at NCAAs with a career-best clearance of 14 feet, 4 ½ inches (No. 7 in Bulldog record books)

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.