Georgia Track Lives and Dies With Multi-Event Competition At NCAA Championships


It was the best of times and the worst of times for Georgia track on the first day of NCAA competition at the National Meet in Eugene, Oregon.

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The Georgia track teams traveled to Eugene, Oregon for the NCAA Track and Field Championships needing a strong effort from it’s multi-event competitors to compete for team medals.

With this years top two decathletes competing for the Dawgs on the men’s side, defending national champion junior Maicel Uibo and senior Garrett Scantling, Georgia, expected to open the meet strong. On the women’s side, Georgia sends defending heptathlon national champion sophomore Kendell Williams to compete along with senior Quintunya Chapman.

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Both Williams and Chapman had day one personal-best scores and are in second and third places after four of seven events. Williams scored a day one high of 3,804 points and is 219 points behind the leader, Kansas State’s Akela Jones (4,023). Chapman is 90 points behind Williams with a personal-best 3,714 points thanks to four personal records in a row.

With Williams and Chapman performing as expected, the women’s team has an opportunity to finish high in the final standings.

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But on the men’s side, the Dawgs were hit with injuries to Scantling and also to decathlete Devon Williams. And although Nick Vena performed well, placing sixth in the shot put, it was a bad day for the men.

Head Track Coach Wayne Norton spoke to “Uibo’s in good shape in the decathlon and has a good chance to come through and win it (on Thursday). But we did not do a good job of qualifying through on the men’s side, although I am pleased Vena came through with a sixth-place finish in the shot put. This is a tough meet and we are really quite a bit down from where we would have hoped to be. Hopefully we can bounce back and scrape what we can from the decathlon. Our women’s team still have a full cupboard and I think we have plenty of things to look forward to on that side.”

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