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    Track And Field Report: February 8

    Georgia Track & Field Starts Action At VT Elite Meet

    BLACKSBURG, Va. --- Georgia’s track and field teams opened the VT Elite Meet with four victories in Blacksburg, Va., on Friday.

    This is the fourth regular season meet for the Bulldogs with the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships scheduled to start on February 22.

    “I thought we had a pretty good start to the meet, but not as well as I would have liked in all of the events,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton.

    True freshman Chanice Porter posted the second-best mark of her career as she won her fourth consecutive meet.  The Pratville, Jamaica, native worked up to a sixth jump of 20 feet, 9 ¼ inches to top the nearest competitor by nearly one foot.  

    “The true highlight for us on Friday was Chanice continuing her undefeated run,” Norton said.  “Every time she goes out, she wins so we have been very pleased with her consistency.”

    Similar to Porter, sophomore Charles Grethen has also done nothing but win since suiting up in red and black.  Grethen, who transferred from Texas State, clocked a 1:51.42 to top 24 other competitors in the 800-meter run.

    Not far behind Grethen was true freshman Kisean Smith.  Smith trimmed three seconds off his previous 800 time for the Bulldogs to take third at the meet with a 1:52.43.

    “This was a nice (personal best) for Kisean,” said Norton.  “His time was more in the neighborhood of what we had been looking for and the best thing is that he looked strong doing it.”

    The Lady Bulldogs finished first and second in the 200.  Sophomore Tynia Gaither ran a 24.29 to win while freshman Briana Vaughn managed second with a time of 24.51.

    Georgia also went 1-2 in the pole vault thanks to the work of its heptathletes.  Freshman Maicel Uibo cleared 16-0.75 on his second try to win his first open event.  Sophomore Garrett Scantling finished second in the event after going over the bar at 15-7.  

    In addition, freshman Devon Williams reached a new height in the pole vault after tying for seventh with a personal-best mark of 14-7.25.

    The Bulldog freshmen tailback tandem of Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley made their debut with the track team and established a pair of new entries on Georgia’s all-time top-10 lists.  Marshall and Gurley combined for more than 2,000 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns during the 2012 football season.

    Marshall tied fellow football and track teammate Justin Scott-Wesley with the third-best 60 time in school history (6.75).  Marshall’s time earned him runner-up honors in his first meet with the Bulldogs.  

    Junior Johnathan Smith, who already had a 6.77 on his resume, tied his previous mark to take fourth in the 60 finals.

    Gurley made his debut in the 60 hurdles and took sixth in the finals with an 8.12.  His time ties him with two other former Georgia hurdlers, including football/track standout Reggie Brown, at the No. 7 spot on the Bulldogs’ all-time top-10 list.

    “It was a promising sign that Keith ran this kind of time in his first meet,” said Norton.  “Todd was apprehensive but he looked better in the finals and will hopefully keep improving.”

    Lampe Sets 5K School Record for Second Straight Week Gamecocks compete in three meets on the day

    Husky Classic
    A week after running 16:39.15, freshman Kayla Lampe turned in a time of 16:32.48 in Seattle, Wash., to set a new school record for the second week in a row.  Before Lampe set a new standard last weekend at the Armory Collegiate Open, the record had stood since 1992. Lampe captured 14th in a field of 82 runners at the Husky Classic.

    Tomorrow, Chelsea France will compete in the 3,000-meters for the Gamecocks.

    Tyson Invitational
    More than 40 colleges and universities competing in Fayetteville this weekend, including 18 ranked teams (seven men, 11 women) and eight 2012 NCAA champions.

    Redshirt senior Robert Razick finished 11th in the mile run at Tyson, setting a new PR with a time of 4:08.68.  The time bested his previous mark of 4:12.08 and moves into third in Gamecock history.  He is just off the school record of 4:08.03 set by Tim Colas in 1982.

    Junior Petra Olsen also made a jump in the Gamecock record book.  Already holding the third spot, Olsen cleared 13’10 ½ (4.23m) to break her old PR of 4.15m.  The mark moves Olsen into the second spot and just off the record of 13’11 ¾.

    In the men’s 60-meter dash, sophomores Kendall Kee and Damiere Byrd along with junior Chris Royster advanced from the prelims to the semis. Kee ran a 6.78, earning his ticket by winning his heat.  Byrd ran a 6.73, as one of the fastest times in the heats. Royster was the last man in the semis with a time of 6.84. In the next round, Byrd placed 14th (6.75), Kee 16th (6.77) and Royster 20th (6.84).  No Gamecocks went on to the finals.

    For the women’s 60-meter, freshman Alexis Murphy was the top Gamecock performer, earning the last ticket to the semis with a time of 7.55.  Junior Vashti Bandy and sophomore Ahtyana Johnson set new season best marks. Bandy ran a 7.61 and Johnson a 7.71 in the opening round.

    Senior All-American Kierre Beckles was the number two qualifier in the 60-meter hurdles out of the preliminary round with a time of 8.25.  Freshman Tyler Brockington set a new PR at 8.58, just missing out on a berth to the finals. Beckles advanced through the semis and onto the finals, taking third in the final round with a season-best 8.17.

    Freshman Dondre Echols advanced to the 60-meter hurdles semifinals with a time of 8.03. In the next round, Echols dropped an 8.01, good enough for 10th place, but did not make the eight-man final.

    In the 400-meter invitational group, sophomore Erika Rucker faced a loaded field with nine of the top 25 times of the season in the pool. Rucker, who stood at third in the nation entering the race, placed seventh with a 53.57. Junior Clayton Gravesande placed seventh in the men’s 400-meter invitational section with a 47.31.

    In long jump action, sophomore Chalese Davis set a new personal record with a jump of 19’0 ¾ (5.81m) to capture eighth place. Senior Jarrod Hutchen took fourth in the men’s long jump with a 24’9 ¼ (7.55m). Hutchen’s

    Tomorrow, the Gamecocks compete in the 200m, the relays, men’s pole vault, high jump and triple jump.

    Tiger Paw Invitational
    Freshmen Anna Todd and Lisa Zimmer set new personal bests in the women’s 800-meter early in the day at Clemson. Todd ran a time of 2:12.44 to take third place and Zimmer ran a 2:13.77.  Todd’s time cracks the South Carolina indoor top-10 list, and currently sits in the 10th spot.

    Senior Breanna Radford took fifth in the weight throw with a mark of 56’3 (17.14m) while redshirt sophomore Kaysee Sullivan placed 13th with a throw of 51’3 ¾ (15.64m).  In the men’s weight throw, redshirt sophomores Andrew Seay and Walker Selby placed sixth and eighth, respectively.  Seay threw 55’6 ½ (16.93m) and Selby’s mark was 54’1 (16.48m).

    In the men’s long jump, redshirt sophomore James Adams and junior Josh Jones set new season bests.  Adams recorded a leap of 22’8 (6.91m) for seventh place while Jones had a mark of 21’10 ¼ (6.66m) to take 14th.

    Redshirt junior Tylar Mangan cleared a season-best 10’11 (3.33m) for eighth place in the women’s pole vault.

    Florida's Dendy Tops in NCAA and Lovett Sets School Record on Opening Day at Virginia Tech

    BLACKSBURG, Va. and SEATTLE, Wash. - The No. 2 Florida men and No. 7 Florida women opened competition at the Husky Classic and the Virginia Tech Elite Meet on Friday evening. This is the final weekend of action before the SEC Indoor Championships, hosted by the University of Arkansas, February 22-24.

    Sophomore Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Del.) became the new collegiate leader in the men’s long jump, leaping 7.99m/26-2.75 to win the event at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet. Joining Dendy in the Winner’s Circle was junior Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.), who matched his school-record time of 7.66 in the men’s 60-meter hurdles to capture the event. Lovett is the two-time defending SEC Champion in the men’s 60-meter hurdles indoors.

    “I’m extremely proud of everyone so far this weekend,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “Lately, I feel like we’ve been too focused on running fast, jumping far, throwing far. We challenged our athletes to be focused and really think about executing.”

    Freshman Kyra Jefferson (Detroit, Mich.) continued her phenomenal freshman campaign with a victory in the women’s 60 meters, crossing the finish in 7.35 and tying teammate Darshay Davis (Mirimar, Fla.) for fifth all-time at Florida. Fellow freshmen Destinee Gause (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) and Shayla Sanders (Pompano Beach, Fla.) finished 2-3 in the event, crossing the finish line in 7.38 and 7.42, respectively.

    “I’m incredibly pleased with Marquis, Eddie and Kyra tonight,” Holloway noted. “Eddie and Kyra PR’d and Marquis jumped the best he’s jumped all year. I couldn’t be more proud.”

    Sophomore thrower Jayla Bostic (Wellington, Fla.) set yet another personal best in the women’s weight throw, tossing a mark of 19.91m/65-4. It is Bostic’s third PR in five meets and the Gator sophomore has improved nearly 13 feet (16.03m/52-7.25 – 19.91m/65-4) in her first two seasons in the Orange and Blue.

    “Can’t say enough about Jayla’s performances this season,” Holloway commented. “She and Coach (Steve) Lemke are really in a rhythm and she’s seeing the efforts in practice pay off in competition.”

    Sophomores Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.) and Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) both had big nights for the Gators, as Graham, Jr. claimed the men’s 60-meter title for the Orange and Blue in a personal-best tying 6.65. For Dukes, he won his first individual title in the men’s 400 meters indoors with a time of 47.22.

    “I’m very proud of Hugh and Dedric,” Holloway said. “Dedric ran his first 400 meters indoors tonight and I was very impressed with the strides he has made indoors. For Hugh, he continues to improve as the season progresses and consistently shows up when the heat is on.”

    Pole vaulter Caitlin Schuessler (Boca Raton, Fla.) jumped into the UF record books Friday night, clearing a personal-best 3.85m/12-7.50 in the open women’s pole vault. Schuessler is tied for ninth all-time in Gator program history.

    “We need to refocus and not rest on what we did tonight,” Holloway commented. “We need to focus on execution and competing with the emphasis on technicality. We’re looking to go out there, compete and truly get better as we head into the championship portion of our season.”

    The seven victories in Blacksburg were a big highlight of Friday’s action, but a performance for the record books came late Friday evening from Seattle. Junior Mark Parrish (Tampa, Fla.) defeated a stacked field in the men’s open 5,000 meters, turning in a personal-best time of 14:02.46, good for third all-time in Florida school history. He topped his previous PR by over 23 seconds.

    In the women’s open 5,000 meters, junior Callie Cooper (St. Johns, Fla.) finished in a personal best 16:30.66, good for fifth all-time in Gator program history.

    Cross, Rono win titles on day one of Tyson Invite

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 1 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team opened competition at the Tyson Invitational Friday with first-place performances from Caleb Cross in the 60-meter hurdles and Patrick Rono at 800 meters. Additionally, the Razorbacks racked up nine personal-best results. Featuring more than 40 colleges and universities, including seven ranked men’s teams, day two of the Tyson Invitational begins Saturday at 11 a.m. (CT) with field events. Running events start at 1 p.m.

    Improving through each of the three rounds of the 60-meter hurdles Friday, Cross turned in a personal-best time of 7.65 to win the event. He finished just .01 seconds off the school record of 7.64 set by Michael Thomas in 2003. Based on times entering the weekend, Cross now has the second-fastest time in the NCAA this season. Cross replaced his previous best of 7.67 run last year at the NCAA Championships in Nampa, Idaho.

    The Newport, Ark., began his day with a qualifying run of 7.89 in the preliminaries which was good for the sixth fastest of the opening round. Cross was the third-fastest qualifier for the final with this time of 7.73 in the semifinal round. From start to finish, he knocked .24 off his time over the course of three races.

    “I was looking forward to three races in one day because there’s room to do better after each race,” Cross said. “After the prelims, I wasn’t feeling so good but we worked on some things so I’m happy I got the win and a PR today. I had a better start today but that could be better and I’m always working on the finish. These next two weeks, I’ll just work on staying consistent and on balance.”

    In winning the invitational section of the 800 meters, Rono led a trio of personal-best performances with his new lifetime best of 1:47.66. The time is more than a second faster than his previous PR of 1:48.75. With his most recent performance, Rono has the fourth-fastest time in the NCAA this season. The Razorback sophomore also moved from outside the top 10 into fourth place on the program’s all-time list.

    Teammates Anthony Lieghio and Tomas Squella also posted personal-best times Friday. Lieghio crossed the finish line in 1:48.56, good for fourth place overall, while Squella had his second PR in as many weeks with his time of 1:49.46. He finished in seventh place in the invitational section of the event.

    Marek Niit paced the Razorbacks’ efforts in the invitational section of the 400 meters. He won the opening section of the event with a time of 47.21 which was good for fifth place overall. He was followed by teammates Travis Southard in sixth place at a personal-best time of 47.25 and Eric Janise in 10th place at 47.45. Earlier in the day during the college section of the 400 meter, Anton Kokorin had a personal-best result of 46.88 to finish second overall in that event.

    In the invitational section of the mile, Cameron Efurd took more than 13 seconds off his personal best in the event. He crossed the finish line Friday in sixth place with a time of 4:05.17, bettering his previous mark of 4:19.12. The Razorbacks also got personal-best marks from Andrew Pisechko with a 1:50.42 in the Olympic development section of the 800 meters and from Deatrich Wise, Jr. with a 14.84m/48-8.25 in the weight throw.

    School record, world leader for George at Tyson

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 4 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team saw its school record at 400 meters fall at the hands of senior Regina George Friday evening on day one of the Tyson Invitational. With her time of 51.67, she also posted a world-leading mark in the event. The Razorbacks also picked up a win from Shannon Klenke at 5,000 meters and collected eight personal-best performances. Day two of the meet begins Saturday at 11 a.m. (CT) with field events and 1 p.m. with running events.

    Running in the final section of the invitational 400 meters, George ran to the front at the break and pulled away from the field to post the fastest time in school history. With her performance Friday, she broke the old school record of 52.10 set by former teammate Shelise Williams in 2011. As the first-ever Razorback to run a sub-52 time, George replaced the 2013 world-leading mark which stood at 51.82 by Ebony Floyd. George also extended her NCAA lead in the event.

    “I’ve been putting in the work in practice,” George said. “My goal was to come out here and run a 51, but I didn’t know I was going to come through the 200 (meters) so fast but I didn’t stop. I kept working for it and I’m happy about my time and the school record that I’ve wanted to get since last year. I’m in better shape than I thought I was because at the end, I was still holding on to my form.”

    Arkansas’ first win of the day came from Klenke in the invitational section of the 5,000 meters. The Razorback sophomore broke away early during the 25-lap race and crossed the finish line in a personal-best time of 16:58.10, nearly 18 seconds clear of the second-place runner. Klenke entered Friday’s race having competed at 5,000 meters just one other time during her career. She replaced her previous lifetime best of 17:37.79.

    Including George’s performance Friday, the Razorbacks posted a total of three top-10 finishes in the invitational section of the 400 meters. Teammates Gwendolyn Flowers and Sparkle McKnight both established personal bests to finish fifth and ninth overall, respectively. Flowers had a time of 53.48, while McKnight crossed the finish line in a time of 53.94.

    The Razorbacks’ middle distance received a boost from a runner-up showing from Martine Borge in the invitational section of the 800 meters. Holding the lead for most of Friday’s race, the Arkansas senior posted a season-best time of 2:07.73 despite slipping to second place down the stretch. In the Olympic development section of the 800 meters, Keri Wood had a fifth-place finish in a personal-best time of 2:09.90. The race marked Wood’s first sub-2:10 result of her career.

    Sandi Morris had a top-five finish in the invitational section of the pole vault with a fifth-place effort. She had a final clearance of 4.23m/13-10.5, the same height as two other competitors but finished in fifth with more misses throughout the competition. Former NCAA champion and Razorback standout Tina Sutej finished second in her post-collegiate debut.

    The Razorbacks picked up a pair of runner-up performances Megan Zimlich and Tamara Myers in the college sections of the pole vault and long jump, respectively. Zimlich had a final clearance of 3.85m/12-7.5 in the pole vault before bowing out with the bar set at 3.95m/12-11.5. In the long jump, Myers had a day’s best effort of 6.07m/19-11 competing in flight three of the event.