Georgia freshman Kendell Williams sets record to win Bulldog Heptathalon
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia true freshman Kendell Williams set an American junior record to win the Bulldog Heptathlon and highlight the second day of the Spec Towns National Team Invitational in Athens on Saturday.
Williams established an American Junior record with 6,018 points to win the Bulldog Heptathlon. Her score leads the nation, is No. 2 all-time in the school record books and is currently No. 2 in the 2014 world rankings. This comes after Williams set the world junior and collegiate records in the pentathlon during the indoor season.
Behind Williams was junior Quintunya Chapman, who scored 5,669 points to finish fourth through seven events. Chapman's total boosted her to No. 5 on Georgia's all-time top-10 list and No. 2 on the national performance list.
Georgia also had 15 top collegiate finishes or outright wins during the second day of the Spec Towns Invitational.
"We had a fabulous meet with some of our best performances of the year," Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton said. "The results speak for themselves. We set records and had world and national leading marks at our meet. It was truly another great weekend to be a Georgia Bulldog."
Williams established her dominance in the heptathlon early and never loosened her grip. In the final event, Williams completed her two laps of the 800 in 2:18.86 for seventh place to score 839 more points to clinch her victory. Chapman capped her two-day performance after running a 2:15.53 for fourth place in the race.
Chapman won her third consecutive event of the heptathlon with her opening mark in the long jump to start Saturday. She traveled 19-8.25 for 850 points to hold her spot in second. Williams worked up to a third jump of 19-5.50 to tie for second place with Lucie Ondraschkova, which brought them 828 points apiece.
Williams hit the 125-foot mark for the second time this season in the javelin to take third for 632 points. Williams improved nine feet to keep a 300-point lead going into the final event. Chapman dropped in the standings during the javelin after taking 10th with a 108-1 mark (598).
Sophomore Freya Jones opened her first javelin performance of the year with a foul before building to a sixth throw of 181 feet, 7 inches to win the javelin by 20 feet. This was Jones' first collegiate meet since winning the 2013 NCAA crown.
Her mark improved her No. 3 spot in the school record books and shot her to third on the current national performance list. Jones, a native of Great Britain, also qualified for the Commonwealth Games with her career-best toss.
It took just a single jump for sophomore Chanice Porter, who is currently No. 2 on the national performance list, to cruise to a victory in the women's long jump. She traveled 21-4.25 to win her second meet of the year after earning first team All-America honors indoors.
In her first meet since winning the 2014 NCAA indoor high jump title, sophomore Leontia Kallenou took over the top spot in the national rankings by clearing 6-2 on her first try to take second overall (top collegiate finish) in the high jump Invitational. Kallenou's mark is No. 3 all-time for Georgia and No. 5 in the world this year.
Former Lady Bulldog All-American Levern Spencer won the high jump Invitational with a third-attempt clearance at 6-5 to take over the current No. 1 spot in the world rankings.
Senior Johnathan Smith anchored the men's 4x100-meter relay team to a victory with the Bulldogs' best time since 2007. Sophomore Jamario Calhoun, freshman Reggie Glover and freshman Brandon Thompson combined with Smith to run the sixth-best time in the nation this year and a time that ties for No. 6 all-time in school history.
Another freshman sprinter, Rashan Brown, tallied her second win of the year in the women's 400. Brown ran a 53.77 in the opening heat, which was only .10 off her personal best. Also of note, 800 All-American Megan Malasarte trimmed .01 off her 2013 outdoor 400 time to take seventh with a 55.33.
Later, Brown sped to a career-best time of 23.70 to have the top collegiate time in the 200 (third overall).
On the men's side, sophomore Maurice Freeman completed his 200 race with the best time of his career (20.79) to finish first in the 17-man field. Freshman Reggie Glover was second with his own personal best (20.87).
Smith returned in the men's 100 and matched his career best set at the Spec Towns Track last season to clinch the win. Smith ran a 10.20, which tied his No. 4 mark all-time in the Bulldog record books and tied him for sixth on the national performance list. Just two spots behind Smith was freshman Brandon Thompson, who lowered his personal best to 10.48.
Rivaling his 50.60 run at last year's Spec Towns Invitational, junior Drew Branch won the 400 hurdles thanks to a 51.01 finish. Branch's finish vaults him to 11th on the national performance list.
With Malasarte setting the pace in the 800, junior Carly Hamilton ran a personal-best time of 2:07.09 to win the event. She moved to No. 6 on the all-time list as she continues her pursuit to advance to Nationals in the 1500.
Senior Charlie Sparks won the steeplechase after trimming 11 seconds off his personal best. Sparks completed his laps in 9:08.27, which is No. 9 in the record books and a time that bumped teammate Brendan Hoban to the 10th spot on Georgia's all-tie list. Sophomore Trevor Grant grabbed second-place honors with a career-best finish of 9:37.98.
The Bulldogs managed to claim the top three collegiate spots in the men's shot put behind the world's most consistent performer in the event in the past 15 years. 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Reese Hoffa won with a mark of 68-8.50 while Nick Vena (61-11.50), Caleb Whitener (61-10.25) and Ashinia Miller (61-6.75) rounded out the top four with marks that rank in the top 20 nationally for collegiate competitors.
Freshman Tatiana Gusin recorded her first collegiate victory after reaching 5-9.25 on her second try in the high jump. This bested Gusin's only other high jump mark this season of 5-8.75. Freshman Rachael Doverspike had a first-attempt clearance of 5-5.25 for runner-up honors.
True freshman Georgia Stefanidi tied the No. 8 mark in school history to be the top collegiate finisher (second overall) in the women's pole vault. Stefanidi went over the bar at 12-11.50 on her second try to finish behind former Lady Bulldog Kat Majester (13-7.25).
Also in the jumps, Freeman equaled his mark from the Florida Relays of 6-9 to be the top collegiate finisher (second overall) in the men's high jump.
On the track, senior Bret McDaniel ran an event out of her comfort zone and managed a runner-up finish in the 1500. Focusing on the steeplechase coming into this weekend, McDaniel ran a 4:32.43 to be the second finisher.
Sophomore Jamario Calhoun returned from an opening foul to hit a mark of 24-3.75 to take second in the long jump. Calhoun was also the runner-up in the triple jump on Friday with a personal-best mark.
Former Lady Bulldog and 2013 NCAA indoor 400 champion Shaunae Miller won the 100 in 11.40 while sophomore Myasia Jacobs took third overall with an 11.73.
Junior Braydon Anderson also had a season-best mark of 210 feet to take third in the men's javelin on his second attempt.