TXF: Dawgs Travel to Arkansas for Razorback Invitational

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TXF: Dawgs Travel to Arkansas for Razorback Invitational

Matthew Boling (L) and Petros Kyprianou
Matthew Boling (L) and Petros Kyprianou

Georgia’s track and field teams will face a sample of the top competition from the Southeastern Conference as well as from across the country at this weekend’s Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark.

Events are scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday and finish following the 4×400-meter relays during the afternoon on Saturday.  This will mark the Bulldogs’ first competition at the Randal Tyson Track Center since last year’s SEC Indoor Championships.

Georgia and Arkansas will join Florida, Purdue, Stanford, Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Auburn, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma State and LSU at the meet. 

Where Are The Dogs Ranked: The Lady Bulldogs are ranked No. 2 in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll.

Kyprianou’s Comments: “We have now kind of arrived at the midpoint of our short indoor season, and this one is an important meet to our teams’ development,” said head coach Petros Kyprianou.  “Not only are we opening up in the heptathlon and pentathlon, but we are doing so against a deep, talented field.  This meet draws in many of the nation’s top teams and competitors.  Our crew in the multis are very important to our overall team success so we are looking for a big weekend from them.  I am confident everyone else will also continue to rise to the level that they are capable of since we have already had a couple of meets to shake the rust off.”

Who’s Competing & When: Twenty-one Georgia women and 18 Bulldog men are scheduled to compete for UGA.  Junior Johannes Erm and freshmen Kyle Garland and Karel Tilga are scheduled to begin the meet for the Bulldogs in the heptathlon 60m at 1 p.m. on Friday.  Junior transfer Nina Schultz and freshman Anna Hall are slated to begin the pentathlon with the 60m hurdles at 1:20 p.m. on Friday.

The open events will begin for Georgia as freshmen Haze Farmer and Collin Lark line up in the men’s pole vault at 3 p.m. 

Others competing for the Georgia women are: graduate Victoria Powell, seniors Kayla Smith, Ansley Heavern, Micaiah Ransby, Amber Tanner, juniors Jessica Drop, Samantha Drop, Tiffany Yue, Chelsea Zoller, sophomores Anna Marian Block, Titiana Marsh, Imani Carothers, Sterling Lester and freshmen Jasmine Moore, Julia Fixsen, Ellie Hall, Arria Minor, Nicole Pachuta and Shelby Tyler.

In addition to the men listed above, senior Darius Carbin, juniors Jack Bradley, Taylor Scarbrough, Delano Dunkley, Michael Hans, Justes Nance, sophomore Elija Godwin and freshmen Matthew Boling, Sam Bowers, Caleb Cavanaugh, Chase Condra, Tyler Fox and Wesley John are scheduled to line up for Georgia.

What To Watch For In Fayetteville: A variety of Bulldogs will be competing in their featured events or debuting in an event that are of note.  Here are a number of items to watch:

FRIDAY

  • Men’s heptathlon Day 1 (60m, long jump, shot put, high jump) starting at 1 p.m.: Erm, who is the two-time defending SEC heptathlon champion and was fifth at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships, joins Garland and Tilga for their first collegiate heptathlon.  Garland is 11th on this year’s national list in the long jump after traveling 25 feet, 2 ¾ inches last week.  Tilga’s top shot put effort in 2020 of 51-0.25 is more than two feet farther than anyone threw during last year’s indoor Nationals in the heptathlon.
  • Women’s pentathlon (60mH, high jump, shot put, long jump, 800m) starting at 1:20 p.m.: Anna Hall begins her collegiate career in the pentathlon after overtaking former Lady Bulldog Kendell Williams’ national high school record last year.  After redshirting in 2019, Schultz is back on the scene after taking third in the pentathlon at the 2017 NCAA indoor meet and second at the 2018 Nationals with Kansas State.
  • Women’s pole vault at 6 p.m.: Smith and Fixsen finished with matching marks of 13-10 last weekend, which stand 11th on the national list.  Smith topped out indoors at 13-11 at the 2019 SEC meet for fourth.
  • Men’s high jump at 7 p.m.: Carbin sits third on the country’s descending order list and has won both of his first two meets with marks of at least 7-3.75.
  • Men’s 200m at 7:25 p.m.: Boling won the 200m at the 2019 USATF U-20 Championships and now makes his collegiate debut in the event along with Godwin, who stands 13th nationally after registering a 21.02 at last week’s Bob Pollock Invitational.

SATURDAY

  • Heptathlon (60mH, pole vault, 1000m) begins at 11:40 a.m.
  • Women’s 3000m at 12:20 p.m.: The Drop twins made their season debut in the mile last weekend and will now return to the 3000m.  Jessica last raced at the distance at the 2018 SEC Indoor Championships and left with the school record (9:11.01).  Samantha last raced a 3000m in 2017 and clocked the school’s 10th-fastest time in history at 9:33.62.
  • Women’s triple jump at 2:45 p.m.: Moore started her career in the event with the country’s fourth-best mark this year at 43-9.  Now, she and Marsh, who was fourth at SECs last year and advanced to Nationals, will give it another shot on Saturday.
  • Women’s 60m hurdle prelims at 2:50 p.m.: Carothers will return to action in the event after equaling her personal best at the first meet and improving her fastest career time to 8.20 at the Bob Pollock Invitational.
  • Women’s 800m at 3:15 p.m.: Tanner was third at last year’s SEC indoor meet and advanced to the NCAA Championships in the 800m and will now make her season debut in her featured event.

Did You Know?: Seven combined entries on Georgia’s all-time top-10 lists in the heptathlon and pentathlon came from competitions in the Arkansas indoor facility.  The Bulldogs have won the last seven SEC heptathlon titles indoor and eight total in history.  The Georgia women have captured three of the last five SEC pentathlon crowns and five since 2003.

What Happened Last Time Out: In addition to the performances described above, the Bulldogs had a variety of highlights from the Bob Pollock Invitational in Clemson, S.C., last weekend.

Jessica Drop rocketed to what would have been fourth on the 2020 NCAA list coming into the weekend with a 4:44.39 for fourth in the mile while Samantha Drop sped to a personal record of 4:50.68.

Carothers was the top collegiate finisher (second overall) in the 60m hurdle final after flying to an 8.20.  This ranks sixth nationally coming into the weekend and moves her from fifth to fourth on the UGA all-time top-10 list. 

Fixsen won her first collegiate meet in the pole vault with a first attempt clearance at 13-10.  This boosted her into the top 10 nationally and No. 6 on the school’s all-time list.  Meanwhile, Smith had back-to-back third try clearances and also finished at 13-10 to take third.

Erm improved his No. 10 spot on the UGA all-time top-10 list with an 8.07 in the 60m hurdles while Tilga bettered his 8.42 from two weeks ago to 8.32.  Garland, who started the year with an 8.07, went 8.09.

On the second day of action, Anna Hall posted a second attempt clearance at 6-0.50 to be the top collegiate finisher (second overall).  She tied the No. 10 mark in the school record books and situated herself in a tie for the No. 2 spot on this year’s national performance list.

Tyler also had a clearance on her second try at 5-10 to be third overall in the high jump.

Carbin had a third attempt clearance at 7-2.50 before going over the bar at 7-3.75 to earn top honors. 

Ransby, Anna Hall, Lester and Tanner passed the baton for the team’s second win in a row in the 4x400m relay.  Their time of 3:36.07 ranks third on this year’s national list and second in the school record books.

A week after winning the long jump with the country’s fifth-best effort in 2020, Moore left Clemson with the nation’s fourth-best triple jump to win during her first try in the event and take over the No. 6 spot on UGA’s all-time top-10 list.

Marsh traveled 42-11 for runner-up honors in the triple jump.

Godwin rocketed to a victory in the 200m, his first in the indoor event.  He clocked a 21.02 to edge Auburn’s Brandon Smiley by .002 to move to No. 11 on this year’s NCAA list.  Godwin is now third on the school’s all-time list and is the fastest for the Bulldogs since 2017.

Godwin led off the 4x400m relay to end the meet and the Bulldog foursome finished first with a 3:10.78 to take second.  Godwin combined with Cavanaugh, Nance and Boling to record their season-best time.

In just his second meet as a Bulldog, Farmer went over the pole vault bar at 16-10.75 to win his second competition in a row.  This gave him the school’s 10th-best mark in history.

Where Does The Indoor Season Take The Dogs: This weekend’s meet marks the third of the year.  Georgia will return to action on Arkansas’ campus with the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 14-15.  Another contingent of Bulldogs will travel to Seattle for the Husky Invitational that same weekend.

The postseason begins with the SEC Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas, on Feb. 28-29.  Georgia will return to Albuquerque, N.M., for the first time since 2014 for the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 13-14.  One week later, the outdoor season cranks up in Atlanta at the Yellow Jacket Invitational.

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