Georgia track and field’s multi-event crew continued to shine during the second and final day of the heptathlon at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday.
Senior Garrett Scantling posted his third consecutive 6,000-point performance (6,020) in the heptathlon and fourth of his career to win and move into the nation’s No. 1 spot. The Bulldogs also finished second and third at the meet with the second and sixth-best scores in the country this year coming from senior Maicel Uibo and sophomore Karl Saluri.
This weekend’s performances come just less than a month before Georgia returns to Fayetteville for the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships. The Bulldogs will compete in the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Ala., on March 11-12.
“Our goal was to get into the top 10 nationally in as many events as we could, and we did a strong job of doing that,” said Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou. “We had a boatload of personal records and I am really proud of these teams. Our crew is truly trying to find ways to get better and I think this is the best meet we have had in a long, long time. We now need to duplicate these results and keep improving through the postseason in March.”
Scantling and Uibo (5,854) finished their seven events of the heptathlon in first and second, which is where they were following the first four events on Friday. Saluri (a personal-best 5,686) moved into third at the end with the sixth-best score in Georgia history while junior Devon Williams, who was in third after day one and on a personal-record pace, no heighted the pole vault and finished 12th (4,990).
Scantling started the day by blazing to a career-best time in the 60-meter hurdles (7.96) to finish second for 992 points. This dropped his former No. 6 spot on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list by .02.
In the pole vault, Scantling matched his 2013 personal record in the pole vault of 16 feet, 8 ¾ inches to score 941 points and win the event.
The Jacksonville, Fla., native concluded the competition with 718 points after taking 12th in the 1000 with a time of 2:54.57.
Second-place honors came to Uibo in the pole vault after his second-attempt clearance of 16-0.75. This mark earned him 880 points going into the heptathlon’s final event.
During the 1000, Uibo finished his final straightaway with a time of 2:49.05 for 776 points and eighth place.
Uibo began his day and his fifth event with a sixth-place finish in the 60 hurdles. The Polva, Estonia, native clocked an 8.48 for 865 points.
Competing in his first heptathlon for the Bulldogs, Saluri improved his places as the competition continued. In the 60 hurdles, the Kuimetsa, Estonia, native finished seventh with a time of 8.51 for 858 points.
Saluri then reproduced his Georgia personal best in the pole vault of 15-5 to finish fourth for 819 points.
In the competition’s finale, Saluri pushed himself to a third-place finish in the 1000 (2:39.77) for his last 876 points.
Williams shot out of the gates on Saturday morning as fast as he had ended on Friday. The Marietta, Ga., native equaled his personal best of 7.85 set at the 2015 NCAA meet in the 60 hurdles and scored 1,020 quick points. This time is the second fastest in Bulldog history.
However, Williams came up empty in the pole vault after three misses at 14-5.25. He then responded admirably by running a 2:52.98 (735) in the 1000 for 11th place.
In the open events, senior Ashinia Miller finished second in the shot put with the nation’s fourth-best throw this year. Miller opened with a mark of 65-1.50 to keep the SEC’s top effort this year and then finished his competition with five fouls in a row.
Also in the shot, true freshman Denzel Comenentia finished third after working up to a fifth throw of 61-8.50.
“I thought our guys in the shot did a really good job today,” Kyprianou said. “Ashinia stepped up like a true captain. I have said it before, but these guys continue to push each other and I am excited to see what will come of it.”
While senior Kisean Smith finished fourth in the 800 (1:50.07), fellow senior Christian Harrison raced in the 800 Invitational and clocked a career-best time of 1:49.73 to also take fourth. This finish improved his No. 7 spot in the school record books and moved him to No. 19 on the 2015 national list.
Georgia also had two competitors post personal bests in the women’s 400 and a pair clock career-best times in the men’s mile. Senior Ashley Henry bettered her No. 7 400 time on the Lady Bulldog all-time top-10 list with a 54.36 in the Invitational race. In the other 400 competition, sophomore Devon Artis was fourth with the fastest time of her career (54.98).
Senior teammates Steven Spevacek and Zack Sims managed seventh and ninth-place finishes in the mile with the best times of their life. Spevacek took over the No. 9 spot in the UGA record books after running a 4:08.05 while Sims ran a 4:09.72 to finish two spots behind him on Saturday.
Georgia returns to action on February 5-6 at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet in Blacksburg, Va.