Nineteen competitors from the sixth-ranked Georgia women (FloTrack No. 5) and 21 competitors representing the eighth-ranked Bulldog men (FloTrack No. 10) made the trip to Charlottesville, Va., and will compete at this weekend’s Virginia Challenge.
In a meet where more than 60 collegiate teams are represented and at least 1,200 athletes are entered, the Bulldogs get started in the women’s hammer at 10 a.m. on Friday morning. The first event on the track is the women’s 100-meter dash at 1:30 p.m.
Action begins again at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning and continues through the start of the women’s 5000m at approximately 10:15 p.m.
Following this weekend’s action, the Bulldogs will conclude the regular season with their final home meet (Georgia Invitational – April 30). The Southeastern Conference Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala., arrive on May 12-14 before the NCAA East Prelims in Jacksonville, Fla., on May 26-28. The season will finish, as regular, in Eugene, Ore., with the NCAA Championships on June 8-11.
“This meet is becoming one of the best ones in the Southeast and the timing of his meet is what we like because we are going to try and train through this meet, taper with our home meet next weekend and then get ready for the postseason,” said Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou. “We are excited since this meet has a lot of festivities, similar to our home Spec Towns meet a couple weeks ago. I feel like everyone is ready to go and put on a show.”
What Bulldogs Are Traveling?:
Shelby Ashe, Asianna Covington, Natalie Bordes, Ashley Henry, Aliyah Johnson, Mady Fagan, Katie Stone, Devon Artis, Keturah Orji, Chanice Porter, Torrenzia Lyles, Hayden Merrick, Kingsley Green, Brooke Koblitz, Georgia Stefanidi, Leontia Kallenou, Freya Jones, Morgan Ainslie and Kendell Williams traveled for the Lady Bulldogs.
Denzel Comenentia, Ashinia Miller, Ayrian Evans, Maurice Freeman, Jamario Calhoun, Reggie Glover, Raytez Jenkins, Jon Okoye, Jeramey Hampton, Christian Harrison, Bryan Kamau, Kisean Smith, Zack Sims, Steven Spevacek, Daniel Navarro, Jon Moses, Alex Poursanidis, Joe Kimura Smith, Karl Saluri, Devon Williams and Maicel Uibo will suit up for the Bulldog men.
Georgia Elite Competing:
A majority of Georgia’s top performers return to action this weekend after last weekend was dominated by a number of the Bulldogs’ distance runners at the Mt. SAC Relays. On the women’s side this weekend, Mady Fagan and Chanice Porter will high jump in the Invite section (Saturday 7 p.m.) while Keturah Orji will be in the triple jump Invite (Friday 4 p.m.). Shelby Ashe is scheduled to throw in the hammer throw Invite (Friday 7 p.m.) and three-time First Team All-American Freya Jones is set to make her season debut in the javelin Invite (Saturday 8:10 p.m.).
For the men, Maurice Freeman will run in the 400m (Friday 2:10 p.m.), Ashinia Miller and Denzel Comenentia were included in the shot put Invite field (Saturday 8 p.m.) and Alex Poursanidis and Comenentia will throw in the hammer throw Invite (Saturday 7 p.m.). Also, the three Bulldog 800m runners – Kisean Smith, Christian Harrison and Jeramey Hampton – will run on Friday at 9 p.m.
A quartet of Bulldog multi-event student-athletes will also compete as they train through the weekend. Kendell Williams, who has finished first and then second nationally in the heptathlon during her first two seasons, will run the 100m hurdles (Saturday 2:15 p.m.) and throw the javelin (Saturday 8:15 p.m.) on Virginia’s campus. Maicel Uibo, who is the two-time defending NCAA decathlon champion, and Devon Williams will throw the discus (Friday 4:30 p.m.) and run the 110m hurdles (Saturday 1:30 p.m.) while Karl Saluri, who currently leads the nation in the decathlon, will run in the 110m hurdles.
Bulldogs At The Top Of The National Ranks:
There is just more than a month left before the NCAA Prelims begin in Jacksonville for the East and in Lawrence, Kan., for the West. The top 48 in each region advance to each of the Prelims in the individual events and the top 24 advance to the East and West meets in the relays. In addition, the top 24 combined event student-athletes nationally are allowed to skip the Prelims and advance directly to the NCAA Championships.
Here are the Bulldog men and Georgia women who are currently ranked in the top 10 nationally:
Karl Saluri (decathlon – 1st – 8,108 pts.), Mady Fagan (high jump – T-3rd – 6 feet, 1 1Ž4 inches), Kendell Williams (heptathlon – 4th – 5,957), Devon Williams (decathlon – 4th – 7,928 pts.), Ashinia Miller (shot put – 4th – 65-1.50), Maurice Freeman (400m – 5th – 45.77), Alex Poursanidis (hammer throw – 5th – 229-11), Shelby Ashe (hammer throw – 6th – 212-4), Denzel Comenentia (hammer throw – 8th – 227-9), Kendell Williams (high jump – T-8th – 5-11.25) and Leontia Kallenou (high jump – T-10th – 5-10.75).
Last Weekend For The Bulldogs:
Only seven Georgia distance runners competed last weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. Four seniors finished with career-best times to lead the charge for the Bulldogs. Christian Harrison shot to No. 18 on the national list after taking second overall (top collegiate finisher) in the 800m run with a 1:47.74. This improved his No. 5 time in the school record books as he registered his second 1:48 or better this year.
A pair of fifth-year racers, Steven Spevacek and Zack Sims, finished fifth and ninth, respectively, in the 5000m with the best times of their career. Spevacek took over the No. 6 spot on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list after completing his 12.5 laps in 14:05.32. Sims was bumped from No. 6 to No. 7 by Spevacek in the UGA history books despite clocking a personal-best time of 14:07.32 in the same competition.
Finally, Sid Vaughn was 29th overall in the 10,000m thanks to his 29:40.64, which vaulted him from No. 10 to No. 7 on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list. Also of note, sophomore Bryan Kamau finished 16th in a 55-man field with a 3:49.83 in the 1500m.
Where To Find Results, News:
Live stats and full results from the Virginia Challenge will be posted at georgiadogs.com.
Updates from Georgia’s track and field and cross country program can always be found on Twitter/Instagram (@UGATrack).