EUGENE, Ore. | On Friday the 13th in Eugene, Ore., Georgia scored 13 points in the heptathlon to pace the Bulldog attack during the third day of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Friday.
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 Jackie Johnson (Arizona State, 2004, 5,807) and only the third in history.
Junior Quintunya Chapman, in her first year competing in the heptathlon, complemented Williams’ finish by surprising the field with a sixth-place finish (5,610).
The Lady Bulldogs added five more points with a career-best fourth-place finish from senior Megan Malasarte in the 800 meter finals. Thanks to Georgia’s three scorers on Friday, UGA is fifth in the team standings with 25 points while Oregon (43), Texas A&M (41) and Texas (29) make up the top three.
In the men’s team race, the Bulldogs have scored 24 points and are in third place behind Oregon (53) and Florida (28). However, the Georgia men have no more scoring opportunities on Saturday and will wait to see where their final finish is.
Sophomore Leontia Kallenou, who captured the 2014 NCAA indoor high jump title and was fourth at outdoor Nationals last year, and freshman Tatiana Gusin compete in the high jump on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. ET to wrap up the meet for Georgia.
“The results were good, but the way we got there was not really good,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton. “In the 800, getting fourth was nice but Megan had the capability and motivation to try and be in that top two. But we got those fourth-place points and any finish like that nationally is huge. We got first and sixth in the heptathlon and we will take those places and those points for sure. It was a hard way to get there with Kendell getting knocked down in the final race and not being able to get the score she wanted. Chapman fought hard and battled for her spot and for points we needed. It was tough going today but we scored some big points. We were able to survive and now we will be able to try and stay up at the top of the leaderboard in the meet’s final day (Saturday).”
Williams’ heptathlon crown is the first for the Lady Bulldogs since 2008 Olympic silver medalist Hyleas Fountain won in 2003 (5,999) and only the second in history. It is the 13th NCAA outdoor title in history for the Georgia women as the team has now won at least one in each of the last two years.