The UGA track & field teams will open up their outdoor season today at Georgia Tech, competing at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta. The Bulldogs just completed their indoor season six days ago, with the women finishing in second place and the men in fourth at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in College Station, Texas.
Senior Alex Poursanidis and sophomore Denzel Comenentia, who were both at indoor Nationals competing in the weight throw, along with junior Alex Larsson will start the meet in the hammer throw at 9 a.m. at the George C. Griffin Track.
Georgia has 49 team members included in Friday’s start lists. For the women, Devon Artis, Natalie Bordes, Jessica Drop, Amber Tanner, Addy Lippitt, Morgan Ainslie, Micaiah Ransby, Sarah Gardner, Chelsea Zoller, Makenzi Kopp, Grace Tavani, Yanely Gomez, Ansley Heavern, Bre Ragsdale, Katie Jackson, Katie Stone, Catelyn Schmiedebusch, Catherine Reid, Anna Machovec, Hayden Merrick, Hailey Branch, Allie Castro, Asianna Covington, Caroline Dickey, Morgan Green, Lauren Hovis, Emma Maisel, Tairyn Montgomery and Tiffany Yue will be representing the Lady Bulldogs.
On the men’s side, Daniel Navarro, Sid Vaughn, Henry Dwyer, Terrell Estime, Ayrian Evans, Maurice Freeman, Gabe Blackman, Muhozi Aimable, Tyler Jones, Stephen Martinez, Jonathan Pelham, Jeramey Hampton, Bryan Kamau, Reggie Glover, Jonathan Raines, Joe Kimura Smith and Jon Moses will be joining Poursanidis, Comenentia and Larsson on Georgia Tech’s campus for the season opener.
This marks the first of five scheduled regular season outdoor meets, including the annual Spec Towns National Team Invitational and Bulldog Decathlon/Heptathlon on April 5-8 and the inaugural Torrin Lawrence Memorial on May 6. The Southeastern Conference Championships will arrive in Columbia, S.C., on May 11-13 and the NCAA Outdoor Championships are scheduled for June 7-10 in Eugene, Ore.
“We are excited to slowly transition into the outdoor season by staying close to home and competing a large number of our younger student-athletes who weren’t at the NCAA Championships,” said Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou. “This meet will serve as a great opener with low-key competition that will help us get the ball rolling towards our goal of getting as many team members qualified for the NCAA outdoor meet as possible. The team knows the standards have been set high and everyone has to step up their game.
“Coaches are committed to helping them achieve their athletic goals and it is all about qualifying for the meet in June at this point. Making no excuses and working hard will do the job, and that goes for the coaching staff and the team. A large number of people on our team are hungry for success and want to contribute to our team and this is the beginning. We look forward to adding some new faces into the elite level and hopefully we have even more weapons when outdoor Nationals arrive.”
Last weekend, the Lady Bulldogs had three NCAA individual champions with junior Keturah Orji (triple jump), senior Kendell Williams (pentathlon) and junior Mady Fagan (high jump) finishing first. The Georgia women scored a program record 51 points to match the best finish in history (second) in College Station, Texas.
Led by senior Devon Williams’ comeback victory in the heptathlon and Comenentia’s runner-up finish in the shot put, the Georgia men posted their best indoor finish in history (fourth) with their most points in history (35.5).
In 2016, the Lady Bulldogs finished third at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with 41 points while the Georgia men tallied eight points and were 29th.
CLICK HERE for the Yellow Jacket Invitational meet schedule.