Track and Field: SEC Awards For Two UGA Athletes

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Track and Field: SEC Awards For Two UGA Athletes

Keturah Orji speaks at UGA's Indoor Athletic Facility dedication on Feb. 14, 2017
Keturah Orji

Junior Keturah Orji and true freshman Louisa Grauvogel from the second-ranked Lady Bulldogs have earned Southeastern Conference annual indoors track and field awards with the NCAA Indoor Championships arriving in four days.

Orji, a native of Mount Olive, N.J., has been named the SEC Women’s Field Athlete of the Year while Grauvogel, a native of Saarland, Germany, has garnered Women’s Freshman Field Athlete of the Year honors.

Earlier Monday, Orji was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year.

After sweeping the Women’s Freshman Field Athlete of the Year honors indoors and outdoors in 2015, Orji was then named the Women’s Field Athlete of the Year for both seasons in 2016, as well as the Women’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year last outdoor season. Grauvogel is completing her first collegiate season and is one of 14 Georgia team members who will travel to College Station, Texas, on Wednesday in anticipation for the NCAA Championships on Friday and Saturday.

Orji scored a team-high 16 points at the SEC Championships after winning her third consecutive conference indoor triple jump title (fifth SEC triple jump title overall) in record-breaking fashion. She also finished third in a long jump competition that finished with three 22-foot performers for the first time in collegiate track and field history.

Orji posted matching American, collegiate, meet, school and facility record marks (46 feet, 11 3/4 inches) to cruise to a victory in the triple with a series that featured five jumps of 46-3.50 or more. She now owns five of the top 10 collegiate marks in history, including the top three all set at this year’s SEC meet. Orji also set a school record of 21-11.75 on her third long jump before traveling 22-0.75 on her fifth try to lock down third in the long jump. She heads into the NCAA Championships ranked third on the country’s long jump list.

Grauvogel was the top freshman finisher and fifth overall in the pentathlon at the SEC Championships, thanks in part to four individual personal bests. She stands eighth nationally (No. 2 freshman) on country’s pentathlon performance list. Grauvogel made a 231-point improvement between her first and second pentathlons of the year and is No. 6 on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list.

UGA track and field athlete Louisa Grauvogel
Louisa Grauvogel

In addition, there were 16 Bulldogs named to the men and women’s All-SEC First Team, Second Team and All-Freshman Team. Georgia’s First Team members, who were event winners, included freshman Darius Carbin (high jump), sophomore Denzel Comenentia (shot put), senior Devon Williams (heptathlon), junior Mady Fagan (high jump), Orji (triple jump) and senior Kendell Williams (pentathlon).

The Bulldog Second Team recipients, who finished second or third at the SEC meet, were senior Maurice Freeman, sophomore Jeramey Hampton, junior Bryan Kamau, senior Sid Vaughn (distance medley relay), sophomore Keenon Laine (high jump), senior Alex Poursanidis (weight throw), junior Karl Saluri (heptathlon) and senior Tatiana Gusin (high jump). Carbin and Grauvogel were also included on the All-Freshman Team after being the top freshman finisher in their events.

Devon Williams and Saluri will start the NCAA Championships for Georgia in the heptathlon at 1 p.m. ET on Friday, March 10. Kendell Williams and Grauvogel will begin their pentathlon at 1:15 p.m. that same day.

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