It's been a while since the last one of these, and Georgia has been doing a lot of big things for us to cover. Gymnastics? Vineyard has got you covered. And Kris Willis has been keeping us up to date on men's hoops results. But there's more, oh so much more to discuss. So let's not dawdle and do this...
Former Dawgs have had a pretty good start to the 2014 PGA season. Russell Henley just won the most recent event, the Honda Classic down in Palm Beach, Florida. The Macon (Stratford Academy) product and 2010 Haskins Award winner as the most outstanding collegiate golfer held off Rory McIlroy and others in a 4 man playoff to seal his spot in Augusta next month. That makes for 4 Dawgs in the Masters field, as 2012 green jacket recipient Bubba Watson (who won the Northern Trust Open in mid February), 2013 McGladrey Classic winner Chris Kirk, and 24 yr old Harris English (who won twice on the PGA Tour in 2013) will all be joining Henley at Augusta National.
As for current Dawgs on the links, the men finished 3rd in Puerto Rico, as did senior Joey Garber. The top 10 ranked men's golfers get back on the course after a week off at this weekend's Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas. As for the ladies, the women came in 5th when they headed south to Puerto Rico in February, led by freshman Harang Lee from Spain. They finished 14th in New Orleans at a rain marred event at the end of February, and will return to action this weekend as well with the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head, S.C.
Andy Lander's Lady Dawgs have finished their regular season with a 19-10 record overall, but 7-9 in conference. They are still almost certain to reach the NCAAs, but their post season begins tomorrow at noon in the 8/9 matchup with Vanderbilt at the SEC Tournament. Sophomore Shacobia Barbee was named second team All-SEC, and made the All-SEC defensive team.
The season is over, but good things are still happening around the net. Juniors Kaylee Kehoue and Lauren Teknipp recently took part in the open tryout for the U.S. Women's National Team late last month.
Swimming and Diving
You've already seen the results from the SEC Championships held in Athens in late February. But last weekend saw one more chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships coming later this month with Georgia's Last Chance Meet. No one who wasn't already qualified for the Wet Dawgs made it, but several did improve their times and "cut".
In news from the runners, both the men and women’s cross country teams, and three runners overall, have earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors. Juniors Luke Baker, Carly Hamilton, and Brandon Lord were the individuals honored.
Track and Field
Sticking in the genre, the track and field team saw 10 athletes reach the NCAA Indoors to be held in Albuquerque in two weeks. Seniors Lucie Ondraschkova (pentathlon) and Megan Malasarte (800-meter run), juniors Morgann Leleux (pole vault), Carly Hamilton (mile) and Quintunya Chapman (pentathlon), sophomore Chanice Porter (long jump) and freshmen Leontia Kallenou (high jump) and Kendell Williams (pentathlon), along with two from the men side in sophomore Maicel Uibo (heptathlon) and junior Nick Vena (shot put). Kellenou is fresh off a school record setting win in the high jump (6'2 3/4, which is exactly my height) at the SEC Championships.
The Horse Dawgs are now second in the nation. The team will have their final home match of the season against New Mexico State tomorrow (Friday the 7th) in a showdown of top 5 squads. Seniors Olivia Dorey and McKenzie Lantz earned rider of the month honors from the SEC for February.
Manager Lu Harris-Champer has her Dawgs playing well, sitting 16-2 and ranked in the top 20 right now. But tough conference play is right around the corner starting next weekend. This weekend though, they can continue getting ready for the SEC as Tennessee St, Kent St, and Purdue come to Athens for the UGA Softball Invitational Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The spring season has begun, with a loss to Clemson. That is not a good sign last I checked, so let's hope these girls can keep their ACLs this season.
An SEC play opening crushing of Tennessee, and a domination of Tech are good signs though. The top 15 ranked Lady Dawgs tennis crew sit 7-2 having struggled a bit at the National Indoors in early February. But they've bounced back with 3 straight shutouts (7-0) of Furman, and as mentioned the Vols and Lady Jackets. They do a Mississippi two-step this weekend, at Miss St Friday and at Ole Miss Sunday, before returning to the Dan Magill courts in Athens to host Virginia and South Carolina next weekend.
The men will have a reverse this weekend, hosting Miss St Friday and Ole Miss Sunday in Athens. They also had a horrible showing at the National Team Indoors, losing all 3 matches. But have swept everything since against Tech and Tennessee with both matches ending 4-0 because apparently they didn't want to finish the other 3. Manny Diaz's squad is also ranked in the top 20 nationally.
WE BEAT GEORGIA TECH 1-0 ON A 9TH INNING WALK OFF. After a rough start to the season, the 6-6 Diamond Dawgs have reeled off 4 straight victories heading into last night's game against Charleston Southern (I'm writing this about a half hour before first pitch to post in the morning, so hopefully it's now 5 in a row and a winning record). Scott Stricklin's club will play hosts for the Bulldog Invitational this weekend getting Buffalo Friday night, North Florida Saturday afternoon, and Western Carolina Sunday. The two teams that don't play Georgia will play each other on those days in a doubleheader, with tickets counting for both games and not just one.