The Lady Bulldogs stand No. 2 in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll while the Georgia men improved one spot to No. 7 in the latest national poll. Five out of the top 10 teams on both the men and women’s sides are SEC squads, including top-ranked Arkansas on the women’s half and No. 1 Florida for the men.
The SEC meet will come on the heels of the Bulldogs posting another batch of sensational results at the Tyson Invitational (Fayetteville, Ark., site of the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships) and at the Husky Classic (Seattle, Wash.) on February 13-14.
Sophomore Leontia Kallenou, who swept the SEC and NCAA indoor and outdoor high jump titles last year, returned to the top of the national standings with a season-best effort of 6 feet, 2 inches at the Tyson meet.
In addition, true freshman Keturah Orji tallied four triple jump marks longer than 45 feet (she and Florida’s Ciarra Brewer are the only two nationwide to hit 45 feet this season) and cruised to her second victory in the event with a measurement of 45-7.75. Orji was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for the fourth time this year following her performance.
Senior Brandon Lord highlighted the Husky meet by setting his second school record of the season. The native of Ontario who grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., was fifth in the 5000 meters with a time of 13:43.92, which bested Ian Burrell’s mark of 13:46.97 from the 2007 Tyson meet. Lord also topped Burrell’s 2007 Tyson Invite time in the 3000 for another school record earlier this year.
Georgia has a host of team members in position to score (top eight finishers) going into the SEC Championships. Here’s a look at who is ranked in the top eight headed into the meet, and who is currently situated in the nation’s top 16 for the coming NCAA field decisions:
1. Garrett Scantling (heptathlon) – 5,886 pts. (1st nationally)
2. Maicel Uibo (heptathlon) – 5,847 pts. (2nd nationally)
2. Brandon Lord (5000m) – $13:43.92 (13th nationally)
2. Ashinia Miller (shot put) – $66 ft., 7 ¾ in. (4th nationally)
3. Devon Williams (heptathlon) – 5,538 pts. (10th nationally)
3. Nick Vena (shot put) – 65 ft., 7 in. (5th nationally)
3. Brandon Lord (3000m) – #7:55.24 (16th nationally)
5. Kamau, Grethen, Harrison, Lord (DMR) – 9:51.85
5. Maicel Uibo (pole vault) – 17 ft., 2 ¾ in.
5. Alex Poursanidis (weight throw) – 66 ft., 9 ¾ in.
6. Evans, Branch, White, Calhoun (4x400m relay) – 3:08.56
T6. Maicel Uibo (high jump) – 6 ft., 11 in.
7. Charles Grethen (800m) – 1:48.96
$ school record; # converted time from Camel City Elite
1. Leontia Kallenou (high jump) – 6 ft., 2 in. (T1st nationally)
1. Kendell Williams (long jump) – 21 ft., 5 ½ in. (2nd nationally)
1. Keturah Orji (triple jump) – $45 ft., 10 ½ in. (1st nationally)
1. Kendell Williams (pentathlon) – 4,609 pts. (1st nationally)
2. Kendell Williams (high jump) – 6 ft., ¾ in. (T6th nationally)
2. Morgann Leleux (pole vault) – 14 ft., 4 in. (T3rd nationally)
3. Tatiana Gusin (high jump) – 6 ft. (T11th nationally)
3. Kendell Williams (60mH) – 8.21 (10th nationally)
3. Keturah Orji (long jump) – 21 ft., 2 in. (5th nationally)
4. Quintunya Chapman (pentathlon) – 4,257 pts. (6th nationally)
4. Hamilton, Artis, Bordes, Lippitt (DMR) – 11:35.79
5. Shelby Ashe (weight throw) – 66 ft., 1 ½ in.
6. Chanice Porter (long jump) – 20 ft., 9 ¼ in. (T10th nationally)
In 2014, Georgia left the SEC Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas, with three individual champions and two top-six team finishes. Kallenou set a meet record clearing 6-2.75, which gave the Lady Bulldogs six champions in the event since 2000. Morgann Leleux also won her first SEC indoor title (third overall) in the pole vault to help give the UGA women a fifth-place finish (64.5 points). The Lady Bulldogs then scored a school record 40.5 points to tie for third at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Maicel Uibo was the sole champion on the men’s side after finishing first in the heptathlon as the Georgia men finished sixth at the 2014 SEC indoor meet with 39 points. The Polva, Estonia, native swept the SEC multis last year, also winning the decathlon crown outdoors. The Bulldogs have won the past four SEC multi-event crowns as Uibo also claimed the 2013 decathlon championship and Garrett Scantling won the 2013 SEC heptathlon title.
Following next weekend’s SEC Championships, those qualified will return to Fayetteville for the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 13-14. The outdoor season then cranks up at home for the Bulldogs on March 20-21 with the Georgia Relays in Athens.
Live and full results and a recap from all Georgia’s meets are located at georgiadogs.com. Updates from the coming SEC Championships and throughout the year will be posted on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.