The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Georgia women, Florida men win NCAA Indoor track titles

160 days ago
Georgia Athletics, Florida Athletics
Photo: Georgia, Florida Athletics

Georgia Recap

COLLEGE STATION, Texas --- The Georgia women's track and field team earned UGA its first team national championship at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas, on Saturday.

Powered by two national individual champions and nine scorers, the Lady Bulldogs tallied a program record 61 points to finish in front of Arkansas (49), Kentucky (34) and Florida (32) in the team standings. This marks Georgia's fifth straight top-three finish at the NCAA indoor meet, including the team's runner-up finish in 2017.

This is the 43rd overall team titles for the University of Georgia Athletic Association, including the 30th by one of the Georgia women's teams and the first for any team since women's swimming and diving title in 2016.

The Georgia men completed the meet with their second-best point total in history (32, trailing their 35.5 from 2017) to take third. Florida (40) and USC (37) were the top two finishers.

Becoming just the second competitor in history to win three NCAA indoor women's triple jump titles, senior Keturah Orji highlighted the day by traveling the eighth-longest distance in collegiate history of 46 feet, 10 inches to give Georgia its second NCAA individual title of the meet.

Hall was the first Georgia team member to win a 2018 NCAA individual title after leading the charge on a historic 1-2-3 finish in the women's long jump. In addition, Orji and Davis (long jump), Comenentia (shot put), sophomore Louisa Grauvogel (pentathlon) and sophomore Jessica Drop (5000m) all finished in one of the top eight scoring spots to score on Friday.

There were also a number of school records that fell. Irby topped her own school record in the 200m during the final, trimming .11 off her top time in Georgia's last event of the meet. During Friday's action, Hall set a school record in the long jump and 60m, Davis topped her own UGA record in the 60m hurdles and Irby matched her previous Lady Bulldog all-time No. 1 time in the 200m. Also of note, Hall's 7.98 in the 60m hurdle semifinalist topped the World Junior record.

WOMEN'S TRIPLE JUMP

Orji, a native of Mount Olive, N.J., opened the triple jump with a mark of 45-6.25 to immediately take the lead. However, Florida's Yanis David, who also took a brief lead at the SEC Championships, went ahead in the third round with a mark of 45-10. Orji then responded with a mark of 46-4.25 on her third try and improved to a 46-10 on her fourth attempt to secure her sixth NCAA title (third indoors).

Orji's winning effort bested the previous meet record of 46-9 set by LSU's Suzette Lee in 1997 and gave her the eighth-best mark in collegiate history. In fact, Orji now owns all of the top eight marks in collegiate history.

WOMEN'S 200m

Irby boosted her team's lead in the 200m final, scoring the Lady Bulldogs' final six points with a third-place finish. Coming out of the second group, Irby finished second with a school record time of 22.55, which bettered the 22.66 she had already registered twice in 2018. Harvard's Gabrielle Thomas won Irby's heat with a collegiate record time of 22.38 and Irby's time bested Kentucky freshman Sydney McLaughlin (22.80, first heat) for runner-up honors.

WOMEN's 400m

Another six points came from Georgia's freshman from Indianapolis, Ind., native in the 400m. Irby ran out of the first group and flew to her second-fastest time in history of 50.87 to take second in her heat and third overall. The winner of Irby's group, USC's Kendall Ellis, proved victorious with a collegiate record time of 50.34.

WOMEN'S 60m

Hall started the meet with school records in both the 60m and the long jump and the first NCAA indoor long jump title for the program since 2004. The Casco, Maine, native ended the two-day meet by finishing sixth in the 60m with a 7.24 for three more points. LSU's Aleia Hobbs picked up top honors with a collegiate record finish of 7.07.

WOMEN'S 60mH

A day after setting a World Junior (under-20) record in the 60m hurdles, Davis lined up in the event's final and took sixth on Saturday. She sped to an 8.14 to be the top freshman finisher

HEPTATHLON

In the heptathlon, Erm moved to fifth in the school record books with six personal records to take fourth with 5,988 points. Saluri battled for a personal best in the final event to jump from ninth to seventh with 5,781 points. His move helped ultimately allow the Bulldogs to pass Virginia Tech in the final standings.

Posting four consecutive personal records to start the heptathlon on Friday, the 10th-seeded Erm was seventh with a day one personal best of 3,322 on Friday. Saluri, who is returning from a back injury sustained at the SEC meet two weeks ago, started Saturday's competition in 10th place with 3,206 points.

Erm began day two by running an 8.38 in the 60m hurdles to stay seventh. He returned to action in the pole vault and drilled his fifth personal record with a clearance of 16-3.25. Erm went into the competition's final event in fourth place by 378 points.

Thanks in part to a personal record in the 1000m, Erm locked down his fourth-place finish and finished with the most points of his life. He ran his five laps in 2:39.45 to stay 54 points ahead of fifth place.

Saluri started his second day with a season-best time of 8.41 in the 60m hurdles. He moved from 10th to ninth in the overall standings going into the final two events. In the pole vault, Saluri was pushed to his third attempt and cleared 14-11.50 for his sole height. He was in ninth going into the 1000m, trailing the eighth-place spot by 10 points.

During the final event of his indoor collegiate career, Saluri took off in the 1000m and ran a career-best time to slide into the scoring spot of seventh place. He and Erm stayed with the front pack and he was third overall in the race with a 2:36.23 to pass eighth place by 23 points.

Georgia will return to action to start the outdoor season on March 16-17 in Atlanta at the Yellow Jacket Invitational.

Florida Recap

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Behind a 29-point performance Saturday evening, Florida's men captured their fourth NCAA Indoor Championships team title, holding off a late push from Southern California. The Gators' women also nabbed a trophy for the first time since 2015, finishing fourth in the team standings.

The Gators last won the indoor national title in 2012, when it completed a three-peat. Florida boasts eight NCAA team titles since 2010-a total that leads all of Division I by three during that span.

Florida joins Arkansas, UTEP, and Oregon as the fourth men's program in Division I history to capture at least four NCAA Indoor titles, but only the Gators have won at least four since 2010.

Head coach Mike Holloway joins UTEP's Ted Banks, LSU and Texas A&M's Pat Henry, and Arkansas' John McDonnell as the fourth men's coach in Division I history with at least four indoor and four outdoor NCAA titles. Holloway's eight national titles rank fourth among Division I men's coaches since 1970. The title also marks Florida's 20th top-two finish in 31 NCAA Championships since Holloway became its men's head coach in 2003-no other program has more than nine such finishes during that span.

Sophomore Grant Holloway repeated as the 60-meter hurdles champion, becoming the fifth man in history to successfully defend his title. The collegiate record holder crossed in 7.47 seconds, winning in a runaway and tying the third-fastest time in collegiate history, in addition to breaking his own Gilliam Indoor Stadium record. His title also makes Florida the only program in Division I history with three NCAA 60 hurdles crowns, with Gator Great Eddie Lovett (2013) holding the other.

Coupled with his runner-up finish in the long jump Friday night, Holloway is the first man in Division I history to post top-two finishes in both the high hurdles and long jump at NCAA Indoors.

Holloway came back and teamed with Kunle Fasasi, Chantz Sawyers, and Benjamin Lobo Vedel to earn a bronze medal in the 4x400 relay. The Gators crossed in 3:01.43, decimating the school record in a race that featured the three fastest 4x400 relay times ever recorded. Holloway split 44.91 seconds, but Lobo Vedel had the team's top split, anchoring in 44.75.

The Gators scored 13 points in the triple jump, courtesy of runner-up KeAndre Bates and fourth-place finisher Clayton Brown. Bates, a senior, posted a season-best mark (16.67 meters / 54 feet, 8.25 inches) for his second consecutive silver medal at NCAA Indoors. The El Paso, Texas native also boasts six career top-two finishes in NCAA Championships horizontal jumps competition. Brown, a sophomore from Jamaica, also logged a season best (16.34 meters / 53 feet, 7.5 inches), doing so on his third attempt as he sat in 14th place and on the outside of the final.

The women's team secured their team trophy with a third-place finish in the 4x400 relay-which featured a 50.11-second anchor split from junior Sharrika Barnett. The quartet of Brandee' Johnson, Destiny Ward, Lauryn Ghee, and Barnett combined for a time of 3:29.41, breaking the program record set in 2015.

In the women's triple jump, junior Yanis David garnered runner-up honors for a second consecutive year, once again finishing behind American and collegiate record holder Keturah Orji. David joined Leah Kirklin (1991-93) as the only other Gator in history with multiple top-two finishes in the NCAA Indoors triple jump.

Individually, Barnett barely missed the 400 meters medal stand, taking fourth in a race that saw the gold and silver medalists break the collegiate record. Barnett lowered the second-fastest time in school history-which she set Friday-to 51.07 seconds. She missed Tiandra Ponteen's school record, set at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships, by 0.16 seconds.

A condensed television replay will air Sunday, March 11 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2, and again at 9 p.m. on ESPNU. A third replay will air Monday, March 12 at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.

QUOTES

Quotes from head coach Mike Holloway and the rest of the national champion Florida Gators will be distributed via e-mail later this evening, in addition to being available on FloridaGators.com

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