The Georgia track and field team traveled to Clemson, South Carolina, Jan. 7 to compete in its first indoor meet of the season at the Orange & Purple Classic.
“I have said this before, but I truly think this year’s opener was the best in program history,” head coach Petros Kyprianou said.
Georgia left Saturday’s meet rewriting the record books as athletes made nine changes to the school’s all-time top-10 lists, which came along with 13 victories.
“We had remarkable performances in the jumps, throws and on the track,” Kyprianou said. “I told the team the night before the meet that they have to find their greatness and write their own history books.
“The fact that we got back to school this past week, started working and basically trained through this meet and still had these results makes me very excited.”
Kyprianou said senior Tatiana Gusin’s performance in the high jump in her return from injury was the highlight of Saturday’s meet.
Gusin set a personal-best mark of 6 feet, 2 ¾ inches on her final try to pick up the win in the high jump. This performance not only gave her the win, but it also put her in the school record books as she tied three-time Olympian Levern Spencer for the No. 2 spot on the all-time top-10 list.
Gusin earned runner-up honors in the high jump at last year’s NCAA indoor meet before sitting out the outdoor season as a redshirt while she recovered from injury.
For the men’s team, Keenon Laine and Darius Carbin became the first high jumpers to reach 7-foot-2 or better for Georgia since 1996. These performances were good enough to help lead the duo to a second and third place finish.
“Today, we have already put a group into NCAAs and that is a strong start,” Kyprianou said.
Keturah Orji reached 21-4.25 in the long jump for the third time in her career and tied her record for the No. 5 spot in the school record books. This performance helped her beat out new teammate, Kate Hall, who reached 21-3.25 and established the No. 6 spot in the school record books.
Hall, an All-American who transferred from Iowa State, ran the 60-meter dash in 7.35 in the prelims and 7.45 in the finals. This performance is the second fastest in school history for the Bulldogs, only trailing Olympic medalist Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie who set the school record with a time of 7.24 at the 1999 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Other school records that were established Saturday include; Aliyah Johnson’s 42-7.50 in the triple jump, Alex Poursanidis’ personal best throw of 69-10.75 in the weight throw, Shelby Ashe’s weight throw of 65-9.50 and Beatrice Llano’s weight throw of 61-2 in her collegiate debut.
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