Georgia Bulldogs Sunday Sports Summary: Red and Black Track and Field Alumni Earn Olympic Bids

Though the Georgia Bulldogs are not presently engaged in organized intercollegiate team competition, that doesn’t mean Red and Black athletes are idle this offseason, as we now recount in this week’s edition of the Sunday sports summary:

Let’s begin with golf, where there is news to report both on the men’s and women’s fronts. For the fellows, sophomore Keith Mitchell earned an All-American honorable mention for the first time in his young career, whereas the ladies were represented by Emilie Burger, who made it to the second round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship.

Moving from the course to the court, Nathan Pasha and Ignacio Taboada will be competing in the Atlanta Open next month, while John Isner has been seeded eleventh at Wimbledon, site of the Georgia alumnus’s most famous match.

The 2012 Georgia cross country schedule has been announced, and is set to get underway on September 1. That also happens to be the start date for football season, but Mark Richt’s Bulldogs lately have been engaged in visiting Camp Sunshine.

That brings us to the Olympic sports, in which the Red and Black have been getting ready for the Olympics. A total of 13 current and former Georgia track and field athletes qualified for the Olympic trials, including 2000 teammates Reese Hoffa and Kibwe Johnson, both of whom carded victories in their respective events. Johnson unleashed the top two tosses in Thursday’s hammer throw, and five-time All-American Hoffa outdistanced his closest competitor by more than three feet in Saturday’s shot put prelims before clinching the event in Sunday’s finals with the world-leading 72’2.25” launch that punched Hoffa’s ticket to his third consecutive Olympic Games. Johnson will be appearing at his first Olympiad in London.

Unfortunately, Georgia senior Torrin Lawrence did not fare as well. After taking second place in the third heat of the opening round in the 400-meter dash, he finished fifth in the second heat of the event semifinals, falling one spot short of a place in the concluding race despite turning in a career-best 45.4-second pace. The Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore., concluded for Georgia this afternoon, when Red and Black pole vaulters Kat Majester and Morgann Leleux finished fifth and 13th, respectively.

In addition to the 13 present and previous Georgia track and field athletes who pursued their Olympic dreams this weekend, 53 current Georgia collegians, former Bulldogs, and Red and Black swimming signees will enter the pool to seek a spot in the London Olympiad, beginning tomorrow and continuing through the following Monday. Already, however, three-time NCAA champion and five-time SEC champion diver Chris Colwill has qualified for the field with a victory in the men’s three-meter springboard to become the first American connected with the Bulldog swimming and diving program to earn his way to London.

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