Georgia true freshman Lynna Irby highlighted the first day of the Razorback Invitational by toppling the school record in the women’s 200-meter dash with this year’s world-leading time on Friday.
Irby, a native of Indianapolis, Ind., sped to a 22.96 to win the race with the world’s only sub-23 second time this year. Her finish surpassed the school record set by Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, a five-time Olympian from the Bahamas who won the 1996 NCAA indoor 200m title with a 23.17.
“Overall, I thought we had a number of highlights, especially with Lynna’s performance in the 200,” said Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou. “Our goal each meet is to pick up more national qualifiers and we did just that with Lynna and Louisa (Grauvogel) in the pentathlon. I challenged the team this morning that if you are the sheriff in town, fight to continue to hold your badge. And if you are new to the game, take over, get your badge and become the new sheriff. I think we had some people answer the call today.
“I thought Louisa had a good start to her season with two big personal bests. Our three girls in the long jump set the tone for the day and continue to perform at a high level. All three of our high jumpers also had nice showings in the meet’s first day. Looking for more good marks from the heptathletes on Saturday and from the rest of the team.”
Senior Karl Saluri and freshman Johannes Erm made their season debut in the first four events of the heptathlon on Friday. Saluri leads by five points with 3,268 points while Erm (3,139) is in third place in his first collegiate multi-events comp. The heptathlon’s final three events – 60-meter hurdles, pole vault, 1000m – will wrap up on Saturday starting at 11:50 a.m. ET.
Day two will start for the Bulldogs with the men’s 3000m as senior Jon Moses, sophomore Jonathan Pelham and freshman Michael Hans are scheduled to run at 11:15 a.m. The meet concludes with the women’s 4x400m relay at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday.
The Lady Bulldogs secured a 1-2-3 finish in the long jump thanks to a trio of 21-foot jumpers. Junior Kate Hall, who owns the national lead, soared 21 feet, 6 inches twice to clinch her second victory of the year. True freshman Tara Davis answered an opening foul with a mark of 21-1.25 on her second try for second while senior Keturah Orji worked up to a mark of 21-0.50 on her fourth attempt.
In the vertical jumps, senior Mady Fagan took another step at defending her SEC and NCAA titles by winning the high jump with a 6-0 clearance. She came into the weekend as one of only eight jumpers who have reached at least 6 feet this season.
The Bulldogs managed a second and third-place finish in the men’s high jump with a pair of 7-foot performers. Junior Keenon Laine sailed over the bar at 7-3.25 on his second try to earn runner-up honors. Sophomore Darius Carbin reached 7-2.25 on his opening attempt to tie for third.
Sophomore Louisa Grauvogel started the pentathlon with two personal records and ended with another career best to earn runner-up honors. She scored 4,235 points, which surpassed her No. 6 spot in the UGA record books of 4,187 and currently stands second in the country.
Grauvogel jumpstarted her competition by trimming .01 off of her fastest career time in the 60m hurdles to 8.30 to finish second in the event behind the overall winner Taliyah Brooks. Grauvogel’s time bettered her No. 5 entry on the school’s all-time top-10 list.
In the second event, Grauvogel returned to improve her indoor and outdoor bests in the high jump by three inches. She cleared 5-7.75 on her second try for another 879 points.
Grauvogel completed the pentathlon by winning the 800m with a personal-best time of 2:19.56 to clinch her personal-best score.
The Bulldog heptathletes stand first and third after Saluri started things by winning the 60m with a 6.90. Erm (24-3) topped his teammate Saluri (24-2.50) for a 1-2 finish in the long jump to pace the scoring.
Also of note, senior Emily Savage hit her second-best mark of her career to take seventh in the pole vault. Savage went over the bar at 12-11 on her first try.
The Razorback Invitational will be featured on SEC+ today (Saturday, Jan. 27th): CLICK HERE for the live video stream on WatchESPN.
CLICK HERE for the live results of the Razorback Invitational track and field meet.