Friday’s news in Bulldog Nation contained both the good and the bad, but, as Greg McGarity noted in the broadcast booth with Chuck Dowdle and John Smoltz at Foley Field, the Red and Black are taking the field and the court in multiple sports these days, so there is not time enough to cover all of it adequately. Therefore, I present a précis in the Saturday summary:
- Are you ready for some hunt seat equitation on the flat? The second-seeded Georgia riders used a 5-0 sweep in reining to post an 11-8 win over host squad South Carolina in the first round of the Southern Equestrian Championships. The Bulldogs will face No. 1 seed Auburn in the championship round, commencing at 10:00 Saturday morning. Although the Red and Black have won the event six times in the last eight seasons, a string of five straight Georgia victories was snapped by the Plainswomen last year. As you know, the Bulldogs beat Auburn earlier this year, and I hope the Athenians horsewhip the Tigers. Auburna delenda est! (I hate Auburn, and the horses in on which they rode.)
- Another day, another victory for the Bulldog netters: Georgia claimed its ninth straight win in women’s tennis with a 7-0 shutout over LSU in Baton Rouge. The seventh-ranked Red and Black ladies, who improved to 11-1 overall and 5-0 in SEC matches, began with an 8-1 doubles win carded by Alexandra Anghelescu and Cameron Ellis, then cruised to win all six singles matches. Given the caliber of Georgia’s men’s and women’s tennis program, how could you turn down the chance to see the Bulldog netters perform live? (This has been a public service announcement.)
- One day after setting a school record in the 200 individual medley, Bill Cregar won the national title for the Bulldogs in the 400 individual medley at the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis. Cregar’s surge in the final 100 yards allowed him to post the second-fastest time in the event in Georgia history, as his 3:40.97 was outdone only by Robert Margalis’s 3:39.92 among Red and Black swimmers.
- This last item doesn’t have to do with University of Georgia athletics, but I hope you will permit me a small indulgence. As you know if you were following me on Twitter (or SB Nation Atlanta, for that matter) on Friday night, the Clayton State Lakers---yes, there is a lake on the Clayton State University campus, so their claim to the name is far more grounded in fact than the Los Angeles Lakers’ retention of a mascot tied to the team’s Minnesota origins (which is as absurd as the Utah Jazz’s continued use of a New Orleans nickname)---won the Division II women’s basketball national championship. Prior to transferring to Athens as a junior, I earned an associate’s degree from what was then Clayton State College in 1988, so I am proud to say that my alma mater has won a national championship in basketball. As vineyarddawg put it: "One down, one to go!"
That ought to be enough to get you going as your weekend gets underway. Ere your Saturday is done, University of Georgia student-athletes will be competing in baseball, equestrian, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field. Offseason? What offseason?