Kyprianou is in his first year as Georgia’s head coach after joining the staff as an assistant coach in 2008 and assuming the associate head coach role in 2014. The Bulldogs have posted 12 NCAA team finishes in the top 20 and six in the top 10 since Kyprianou’s first season coaching at UGA in 2009.
“I am extremely excited to welcome this new breed of Bulldogs to our track and field and cross country teams,” said Kyprianou. “I am very proud of the work that was put in by all the coaches and most importantly teaming up in helping each event group land these talents. What this class highlights is a deep foundation in the sprints, something we lacked in the past. But most importantly, signees from every event area are in this class with a few that are ranked in the top three in the nation in the high jump and javelin. This is the first round of signees and we are hoping to announce another handful of potential NCAA scorers during the late signing period in April. It is great to be a Georgia Bulldog and these outstanding young men and women recognized that by committing to the G.”
While a small number of throwers will open their upcoming indoor season at the Icebreaker meet in Birmingham, Ala., on Dec. 4, Georgia’s official 2016 season opener will be at the Blazer Invitational in Birmingham on Jan. 15-16.
This group complements five transfers that the Bulldogs added at the beginning of the 2015 school year.
Here is a look at Georgia’s November track and field and cross country signees:
Darius Carbin – Mt. Pleasant High School, San Jose, Calif.
Event: High jump
Bio: IAAF World Youth Bronze medalist after clearing 7 feet, 1 inch in Cali, Colombia…Reached 6-11 to win the 2015 USATF World Youth Trials…Cleared 6-9 to earn runner-up honors at the California state meet…Also personal-best marks of 47-4 in the triple jump and 21-11.75 in the long jump.
Coach Kyprianou: “Darius is an amazing young man with a huge talent upside who has already proven himself as a world-class high jumper at the biggest meets and championships he has competed in. He fits our NCAA scoring model. I am extremely excited he has decided to join us and can’t wait to begin working with him. Coach (Tatijana) Jacobson has done a great job luring his talents to Georgia.”
Cejhae Greene – Princess Margaret High School (transfer from Florida State, eligible for 2017 seasons), St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda
Bio: Finished fifth in the 100-meter dash at the 2015 IAAF World Junior Championships…Competed for the Seminoles for two seasons…Advanced to both the 2014 and 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships in individual and relay events…Part of FSU’s winning 4x100m team at the 2015 ACC Championships…Posted personal bests of 10.25 in the 100-meter dash, 20.90 in the 200 and 6.64 in the 60…Bronze medal winner at the 2011 World Youth Championships and a semifinalist at the 2012 World Junior Championships.
Coach Ken Harnden: “Cejhae comes to us from FSU where he was one of very few freshmen in the NCAA 100-meter dash field, fifth at World Juniors and a World Championships participant with the Antigua 4×100 relay team. Cejhae followed Kendal Williams (World Junior 100 meters champion) and Helene Swanepoel (World Youth 400 hurdles champion) from FSU. We are so excited to have Cejhae here to add firepower to a growing sprint squad!”
Denzel Commentia – ROV van Amsterdam, Netherlands (Arriving January 2016)
Event: Throws (Hammer-Shot-Discus)
Bio: 2014 World Junior Championships silver medalist in the shot put…Won the Dutch indoor and outdoor championship in the 7.26kg shot put…Personal-best marks of 215 feet (5kg hammer), 217-2 (7.26kg hammer), 242-11 (6kg hammer), 194-5 (1.75kg discus), 185-10 (2kg college discus), 64-9.75 (indoor 6kg shot put), 66-2.25 (outdoor 6kg shot put) and 63-6.75 (outdoor 7.26kg shot).
Coach Don Babbitt: “Denzel is a versatile thrower who can make an impact at the NCAA level right away in three different events. He was the national champion of his country in the shot put as a high schooler, as well as the World Junior Silver medalist which is a testament to his talent.”
Davis Stockwell – Lakeside High School, Atlanta, Ga.
Bio: 2014 GHSA 6A cross country state champion…Finished second in the 1600 meters and sixth in the 3200 at the state track meet…Was 58th at the 2014 Foot Locker South Regional meet…Personal-best times of 4:15 (1600) and 9:26 (3200).
Coach Patrick Cunniff: “Davis is one of the best runners in Georgia and I believe he has a bright future in collegiate cross country and track. We have a great tradition of developing in-state boys into SEC and NCAA level competitors and I am completely confident Davis will be able to make that jump.”
Tairyn Montgomery – Redondo Union High School, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Event: Throws (Javelin)
Bio: Won the javelin (157 feet, 9 inches) as a sophomore at the 2014 New Balance Outdoor Nationals and was the runner-up (156-8) a year later…Finished fifth (153-6) at the US Junior Nationals…Personal-best javelin mark of 168-1.
Coach Babbitt: “I am very excited about Tairyn’s potential to make an impact right away. She is a young thrower who is still developing even though she is now one of the very best in the country at the Junior level.”
Amber Tanner – Ravenwood High School, Brentwood, Tenn.
Bio: Won the 2015 Tennessee AAA state 300-meter hurdles title with a time of 42.90 and was third in the 100 hurdles (14.16)…Personal-best marks of 14.68 (100 hurdles), 25.37i (200) 42.68 (400 hurdles) and 2:11.77 (800).
Coach Kyprianou: “Amber comes highly recommended and trained by one of the best multi-event coaches in America, former Olympian decathlete Gary Kinder. Kindersport Elite Athletics has produced former Bulldog All-American Michael Ayers and former Bulldog Ben Davies. I am very excited to get to work with her talents as I feel she has the heart and ability to be a great heptathlete. Her running skills are a testament of her toughness and perseverance.”
Emily Savage – Weston High School (transfer from Oklahoma arriving in January 2016, eligible for 2016 seasons), Weston, Conn.
Event: Pole Vault
Bio: Transfer from the University of Oklahoma…Penn Relays record holder…2013 high school national champion…Personal-best pole vault mark of 13 feet, 2 1Ž2 inches…Connecticut state and New England region record holder…Gatorade Connecticut Athlete of the Year nominee as senior in high school…Earned All-American honors as a senior…Connecticut Athlete of the Year as a senior…Connecticut Post Women’s Athlete of the Year…Named to the All-Academic as a freshman and a senior.
Coach Kyprianou: “Emily brings a wealth of experience and talent in the pole vault and I feel she will blossom as a fine pole vaulter and young woman at UGA. She is great student-athlete who will add depth to our jumps squad.”
Micaiah Ransby – North Springs High School, Atlanta, Ga.
Bio: Part of fastest 4×400-meter relay team in state history…Holds No. 5 state ranking and No. 28 national ranking individually…Won the 2015 GHSA AAAAA 400 title and was second in the 200…Personal-best 400 time of 54.22 and 200 time of 23.89.
Coach Harnden/Devin West: “Great young athlete coached by former world record holder Antonio McKay Sr. Micaiah has great foot speed, the ability to run everything from the 100 to the 400, making her the complete sprinter who we will build this team around. This young lady will bring excellent academics, on track speed and leadership skills to the Georgia program.”
Janaya Chambers – Stanton Prep, Jacksonville, Fla.
Bio: Personal-best 400-meter dash time of 54.17 while winning the 2015 FHSAA AAA state title.
Coach Harnden/West: “Janaya is the Florida state champion, an athlete who went unbeaten in her junior year. Janaya has a huge upside, she has not over competed and I believe will continue to grow in her craft at the collegiate level. Janaya brings with her very good academic credentials that we believe will ensure she is the complete student-athlete. Janaya is coached by James May, who also coached current Bulldog Kendal Williams.”
Makenzi Kopp – Providence High School, Jacksonville, Fla.
Bio: Personal-best high school times of 15.64 in the 100-meter hurdles and 46.81 in the 300 hurdles, finishing in the top six in both events at the 2015 FHSAA A state championships.
Coach Harnden/West: “Makenzi is that rare find that we feel will become an SEC level 400 hurdler down the road. Her dad played football at USC and in the NFL, her aunt was a javelin thrower for USC and Oregon, needless to say her gene pool is solid! Makenzi is a wonderful student who we believe will lead on and off the track.”
Chelsea Zoller – Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, Atlanta, Ga.
Bio: Ranked as high as No. 6 nationally in the 400-meter dash and in the top 20 in the 60 hurdles….Captured three state 400 titles so far in her career…Personal-best marks of 54.13 in the 400 and 43.91 in the 300 hurdles.
Coach Harnden: “Chelsea brings international experience with her. She has represented Switzerland (her father is Swiss), at both the World Junior and European Junior level, in addition she is an exceptional student who will pursue a degree in Business from the renowned Terry School of Business. She is coached by former Georgia great LaBronze Garrett.”
Jessica Drop – Coginchaug High School, Durham, Conn.
Bio: Personal-best times of 4:55 (1600 meters), 4:52 (1600 – DMR split), 2:55 (indoor 1000) and 2:15 (800)…Won Emerging Elite Mile and anchored Emerging Elite DMR champion team at 2015 New Balance Outdoor Nationals…Runner-up in New England Championships in the mile.
Coach Cunniff: “Jessica is a true diamond in the rough. She is a soccer player, who has never run year-round or done cross country, yet she has some outstanding performances in middle distance events. I am very excited to see what she will do in our program.”
Samantha Drop – Coginchaug High School, Durham, Conn.
Bio: Finished sixth at the New England Championships…Finished third for All-State honors at Connecticut state meet…Champion of Connecticut SS Division…Personal-best times of 5:07 (1600 meters) and 11:17 (3200)…Ran 1200 meters on DMR that won Emerging Elite race at New Balance Outdoor Nationals and on the 4×800 team that was third at the New England Championships.
Coach Cunniff: “With her performances at her Divisional, Connecticut state and New England Championships, Sam has established herself as one of the best cross country runners in the Northeast. I think she will have an immediate impact on our women’s cross country team and I suspect she is about to obliterate her personal bests in track this year.”