UGA’s Ondraschkova has career day at SEC track championships

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Georgia senior Lucie Ondraschkova put up four personal bests to finish second in a record-setting pentathlon during the first day of the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday.

The native of the Czech Republic tallied 4,208 points. This boosted Ondraschkova’s to second on the national performance list and moved her from third to second in the school record books. Only 2008 Olympic silver medalist Hyleas Fountain has piled up more points for the Lady Bulldogs after winning the 2004 SEC title with 4,417.

Thanks to Ondraschkova’s early six points, the Lady Bulldogs are in third behind Arkansas (10) and Texas A&M (10). Hyleas Fountain’s score was the SEC record until Lady Razorback Makeba Alcide (4,569) topped that mark on Friday.

“I’m not sure how things will end up on Sunday for us, but these performances today got us off to a good start,” said Georgia head coach Wayne Norton. “Lucie had a big (personal best) today and it was because of how well she competed and how hard she worked. She happened to be competing where two of the best performances in SEC track history happened so I am proud of her for battling like she did. She represented Georgia very well at her final SEC indoor meet.”

Ondraschkova is now scheduled to compete in the triple jump on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

Through four events in the heptathlon, sophomore Garrett Scantling and freshmen Maicel Uibo and Devon Williams all left the facility with day one personal-best scores. Scantling is leading the competition with 3,304 points while Uibo is in second (3,197) and Williams is holding down fifth (3,038).

The Bulldog trio in the heptathlon will wrap up their final three events on Saturday starting at 3:10 p.m. The field has the 60 hurdles, pole vault and 1000 left before a champion is crowned.

“All three of our guys started out strong and kind of kept the momentum going throughout the day,” said Norton, whose team had its one and only SEC heptathlon champion in 2010 (Tommy Barrineau). “Garrett and Devon had career-best times in the first event and Maicel tied his so that set the tone. At this meet, some of our best potential for points comes from the heptathlon so we need them to come through again for us (Saturday).

During the pentathlon, Ondraschkova saved her best finish in the competition for the fifth and final event. She ran the 800 in a career-best time of 2:16.23 to take third overall for her final 875 points.

She passed her personal best in the high jump as well and tied for third. Ondraschkova cleared the bar at 5 feet, 8 ¾ inches on her third and final try to accumulate another 916 points.

In the second to last event, Ondraschkova worked up to a top effort of 19-10.75 in the long jump. This bested the longest mark of her career and gave her a fourth-place finish (868 pts.)

Ondraschkova opened the competition by clocking a career best 8.83 to finish 10th (946 pts.) in the 60 hurdles. This was her second personal best in the event this year.

The third event of Ondraschkova’s competition was the shot put as she managed to finish in the middle of the pack with a season-best effort. She lifted her final attempt 36-5.75 for eighth-place honors as she scored 603 points.

This was only Ondraschkova’s third try in the pentathlon at the SEC indoor meet. She suffered a season-ending elbow injury in the first meet of 2012. Ondraschkova was second at the 2011 conference meet after putting together a then personal-best score of 3,995 points.

With the SEC heptathlon leader, Arkansas’ Kevin Lazas, not competing, the Bulldogs took advantage in the first day of action. Uibo, Scantling and Williams came into the meet ranked second through fourth in the league, respectively.

Scantling blazed to a career best to start his day in the 60. The Jacksonville, Fla., native clocked a 6.95 to win the event and score an even 900 points.

During the shot put, Scantling watched his second throw travel a personal-best 46-9.50 for his second victory of the day. This got him another 744 points in the competition.

Scantling earned runner-up honors in the high jump behind Uibo. He cleared 6-7 (813 pts.) on his first try before passing at the next height.

A third personal best came for Scantling in the long jump as he took off for a 23-5.25 jump for 847 points. Georgia went 1-2-3 in this event.

Uibo, who started the competition with the nation’s sixth-best score and the SEC’s second-best score this year, had a pair of career bests through the first four events. His only win of the day came in the high jump as he cleared 6-8.25 (which was three inches shorter than his best) for 840 points.

He earned fourth-place honors in the 60 after equaling his personal-best time of 7.22. This gave him 806 points to start the competition.

Uibo also registered the top long jump of his young career for second place. He opened with a mark of 23-7.25, which gave him 859 points, as Williams won the competition.

Like Uibo, Williams was also competing in only his second collegiate heptathlon. He responded by setting three personal bests and equaling another as he goes into day two in fifth place.

Williams highlighted the day by winning the long jump with a mark of 23-9.50. This effort rewarded him with 874 points.

He started the day by claiming the runner-up spot in the 60 behind Scantling with the fastest time of his career. Williams finished in 7.08 for 854 points.

When the shot put arrived, Williams overcame an opening foul to have a third throw of 39-3.75, also a career best. He added 605 points to his total with this effort.

Finally, Williams matched his personal best in the high jump (6-2.25) to take seventh and score 705 additional points.

Junior Caleb Whitener kicks off the open events in the men’s weight throw at 11 a.m. Saturday. The first event on the track for UGA is the men’s 60 prelims at 3:30 p.m. and Justin Scott-Wesley, Johnathan Smith and Pierce Vincent are all slated to race.

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