ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia track and field teams compete in their final regular season meet of the year as they play host to the second annual Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens on Saturday.
The fifth-ranked Lady Bulldogs and the sixth-ranked Georgia men will welcome West Georgia and Shorter along with a host of competitors from other collegiate teams and professional competitors to the Spec Towns Track for the program’s second home meet of the year. This will mark the final regular season action before the Southeastern Conference Championships arrive in Knoxville, Tenn., on May 11-13.
When Do The Bulldogs Start Competition? The Torrin Lawrence Memorial begins with the men’s hammer throw at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. The first event on the track is the women’s 100-meter hurdles at 12:20.
The Bulldogs will honor the late, great Torrin Lawrence and recognize the program’s seniors who are saying farewell to their time in Athens at 12 p.m. This comes on the heels of a week where the teams closed out their spring semesters.
Kyprianou’s Comments: “This meet is a good opportunity versus a small field in the nice, warm weather for our teams to compete in front of their friends and family, as well as a good opportunity for us to pay tribute to our seniors,” said head coach Petros Kyprianou. “We will be going up against some strong competition, mainly at the professional and post-collegiate level. This is finals week and I have tried to tell our team and the coaches, ‘hey, one day off won’t hurt.’ I feel like our student-athletes are thoroughbreds who are well trained and who have good foundations so an easy practice or a day off won’t hurt. Hopefully having the opportunity to come out and compete on Saturday will help them let the steam off of their engines, so to speak.”
Kyprianou, who arrived at UGA in 2008 as an assistant, is determined to remember one of the program’s greats in Torrin Lawrence every year with this meet.
“I got to know Torrin during his four years in Athens (2009-12) and he was a tremendous character and an amazing athlete,” Kyprianou explained. “He had a unique personality that attracted every kind of student-athlete around him because of his spirit, his personality and the way he handled everything. I feel like it fits our program to name this meet after him because this meet is a combination of post-collegians and collegiate student-athletes getting ready for championships, and that’s who Torrin Lawrence was. He was a high-level athlete who was a laid-back person but also a guy who won a national championship and has had the fastest time in the world.”
Remembering A Bulldog Great: Known in the past as the Georgia Invitational, Kyprianou and his coaching staff decided before the 2017 season to rename the Bulldogs’ final home meet of the year the Torrin Lawrence Memorial. Lawrence, a Jacksonville, Fla., native competed for Georgia from 2009-12 and graduated with a degree in Sociology in 2013. During his time as a Bulldog, he captured three SEC titles, an NCAA crown and set a collegiate record in the indoor 300m. Lawrence was tragically killed in a car accident on July 28, 2014. He was 25-years-old.
Lawrence, who still owns one of the top 10 collegiate indoor 400m times in history, started his career as the 2009 SEC Freshman Runner of the Year and was eventually named the 2010 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Indoor Male Track Athlete of the Year. Following his UGA career, Lawrence signed with Nike and was one of Team USA’s brightest prospects in the sprints.