Georgia Track Snags Big Time Transfers


Head Georgia track coach Petros Kyprianou wasted no time upgrading his coaching staff with sprinters coach Ken Harnden. Coach Harnden wasted no time upgrading the Georgia track talent.

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Georgia Head Track and Field Coach Petros Kyprianou not only upgraded his coaching staff by adding sprint and hurdle coach Ken Harnden. Coach Kyprianou leveraged the addition of Coach Harnden by snagging a sprinter and hurdler from Harden’s last coaching stop, FSU.

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Sophomore sprinter Kendal Williams and sophomore hurdler/sprinter Helene Swanepoel highlight a group of five track transfers that will join the current Bulldog’s in class on Monday.

Both Williams and Swanepoel are 2015 NCAA scorers. Included also in the group is graduate transfer heptathlete Xenia Rahn from North Carolina – a third place finisher in the pentathlon at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships and  Outdoor First Team All-American, and junior distance runners Eric Graf from Oklahoma, and Jon Moses from Florida Southern.

“I am very excited to announce the signing of five very talented and accomplished student-athlete transfers,” said Kyprianou r to “It is a true testament of our team’s efforts to make an immediate impact at the highest level. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to have these kids land in Athens and be fired up to help our current team with our goals in pursuing NCAA success.”

Williams, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., was a two-time First Team All-American outdoors for the Seminoles this year, taking fifth in the 100-meter dash (9.98) and eighth in the 200 (20.45). The 2015 ACC Indoor Freshman of the Year also clocked a 9.98 for runner-up honors at the ACC Championships. Indoors, Williams, who has a personal record in the 200 of 20.26, won the ACC 60 title with a season-best mark of 6.56. He capped his prep career by winning the 2014 World Junior 100 title, finishing second in the 200 and running a leg on Team USA’s gold medal 4×100 relay.

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Williams is the second standout for Georgia with that name, although the Lady Bulldogs’ Kendell Williams spells her name differently. Kendell Willams enters her third season with three NCAA titles, two SEC crowns and a collegiate record in the pentathlon on her resume.

“Every time a sub-10 second guy comes to your team, you have to be ecstatic,” Kyprianou said. “This is the level of athletes a championship team needs and must have. Coach Harnden has done a great job recruiting him to UGA. Kendal has decided to stay true to his promises for Olympic glory and we have made a commitment to him that will promote his talents to the world by helping him write history here at UGA as our ‘ancient’ 100m school record is at a blazing 10.01 (Bode Osagiobare, 1994 Sierra Medical Invitational). Kendal is the one we believe can be the next big thing in the U.S. sprints and take that record down.”

Swanepoel, a native of Wellington, South Africa, was the 2013 World Junior champion in the 400 hurdles (58.08). The former Seminole advanced to the 2015 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships in the 4×400 relay. Swanepoel’s team clocked the fastest time for FSU since 1984 (3:29.85) as the Seminoles took third at the NCAA East Prelims to punch their ticket to Nationals.

“Helene is another World Youth champion and a great talent out of South Africa,” said Kyprianou. “I have watched her win in Ukraine in 2013 and I am convinced she has what it takes to score big for us at the SEC and NCAA level. I am very excited for Helene and the possibility to help us boost our women’s  sprints program and join current relay girl standouts in Ashley Henry and Devon Artis for an NCAA scoring 4×400 relay.”

Rahn, a native of Dormagen, Germany, will be completing her Sports Management graduate degree and competing for the Bulldogs following a stellar career at North Carolina. Rahn finished third in the pentathlon at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships. She also picked up another First Team All-America certificate with a seventh-place finish in the heptathlon (5,851) at outdoor Nationals. She won this past season’s ACC heptathlon title by more than 500 points with a career-high 6,057 points. Rahn has advanced to five NCAA Championships in her career after winning heptathlon and pentathlon titles at the German Championships during her prep career.

“Xenia has proven herself to be one of the best heptathletes in the NCAA and we are very happy to have her join our powerful combined events group,” Kyprianou said. “She has developed into a great NCAA title contender and thanks to her UNC coach Josh Langley, she emerged into this elite class. Even though she has only one season left, we are expecting her to push herself into Olympic status and push her fellow heptathletes here for more success. Xenia is a tremendous competitor and a great person to add to our team.”

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