Following a record-setting NCAA Championships to close the 2014 season, four Georgia Bulldogs will return to action at the USA Track & Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday through Sunday.
Two First Team All-Americans from the outdoor season (senior Megan Malasarte and junior Nick Vena) and a pair of Second Team All-Americans (senior Johnathan Smith and junior Drew Branch) will compete against the country’s top talent at the Hornet Stadium.
Vena, a native of Whippany, N.J., starts in the qualifying round of the shot put at 2:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The finals are scheduled for 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The shot put competition will be contested on the grounds of the California State Capitol. Vena, who was third in Eugene, Ore., at Nationals earlier in the month, will join former Bulldog and three-time USA Outdoor champion Reese Hoffa in the competition.
Malasarte, a native of Fayetteville, Ga., is scheduled to run in the first round of the 800 meters on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. If she advances, the fourth-place finisher at this year’s NCAA Championships runs in the semifinals at 11:09 p.m. on Friday.
Smith, a native of Apple Valley, Calif., competes in the first round of the 100 at 10:25 p.m. on Thursday. The Second Team All-American in the event will run in the semifinals on Friday at 9:07 p.m. if he advances.
Branch, a native of Alpharetta, Ga., opens in the 400 hurdles at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. A leg on this year’s Second Team All-America 4×400 relay team and a Nationals qualifier in the hurdles, Branch will have the semifinal round at 4:29 p.m. on Saturday if he advances.
Also of note, junior Brandon Lord is slated to run in the 5000 at the Canadian Championships on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. (also ET).
Georgia is coming off the best combined finish in program history at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Lady Bulldogs scored 35 points for fifth place while the Georgia men were sixth with 24 points thanks in part to three individual NCAA champions.
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