Georgia Track leaves Oregon with top combined NCAA finish in history

EUGENE, Ore. | Georgia’s men and women combined to post their top combined finish in history as the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships wrapped up on Saturday.

The Lady Bulldogs scored 35 points, thanks in part to two individual champions, to finish fifth behind Texas A&M (75), Texas (66), Oregon (59) and Florida (55). This is the best finish for the Georgia women since 1999 and their third best in history.

The Bulldog men, who also had an individual champion, finished sixth with 24 points as Oregon (88), Florida (70), Texas A&M (41.50), LSU (29) and USC (29) rounded out the top five. This marks the best national finish indoors or outdoors for Georgia and their sixth top-10 outdoor finish (first since 1995).

The one and only other time both Georgia teams have finished in the top 10 outdoors in the same year was 1995. The Lady Bulldogs were third that year with 41.3 points and the men tied for 10th with 25 points.

The highlight on Saturday was sophomore Leontia Kallenou extending her winning streak in the high jump to seven meets as the Nicosia, Cyprus, native cleared 6 feet, 2 ¼ inches. This marked the third NCAA title of the meet for the Lady Bulldogs. Kallenou’s winning streak includes a sweep of both Southeastern Conference and NCAA meets in 2014.

“The scoreboard proves today that these teams, both men and women, are good teams,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton. “It’s not ‘well maybe’ or ‘if we could only do this’. We don’t have to worry about that anymore because we got the job done. I think we have arrived and most of our team gets it. We have some of the best athletes in the country and we proved it this week.”

Kallenou, who had a national-leading mark of 6-3.50 heading into the meet, did not miss a single height until after she had locked down her second career national championship and starting making tries at 6-4. Kallenou cleared her first four bars on her first try, including the winning mark of 6-2.25.

This is the first NCAA outdoor high jump title for the Lady Bulldogs and 14th overall in history. Counting Kendell Williams’ title in the heptathlon, the Georgia women have two national championships in the same outdoor season for the first time since 1998 and only the third time in history (1998, 1987, all in the sprints).

True freshman Tatiana Gusin, who was 60th on the national performance list before qualifying at the NCAA East Regional with a personal-best mark of 5-11.25, finished ninth in the high jump. The Moldova native cleared her first three heights on her first try, ending with a mark of 5-10.75.

Gusin was on the edge of scoring another point for Georgia, however South Florida’s Courtney Anderson soared over the bar at 6-0 on her third try to take over eighth place.

UGA finished the meet with another pair of NCAA champions as well. During Friday’s competition, true freshman Kendell Williams scored 5,854 points to edge San Diego State senior Allison Reaser (5,836) for the heptathlon title. Williams becomes the first freshman to win an NCAA title in the event since 2004 and only the third in history.

On Thursday, sophomore Maicel Uibo scored 8,182 points to win the NCAA decathlon title, giving the Bulldogs’ their first national crown in the event and first outdoor championship since 2009.

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