Welcome Beyond the Hedges, ladies and gentlemen, where we give you a little glimpse into what UGA's many remarkable student athletes are doing that isn't within the privet borders of Sanford Stadium's field. Spring means a lot of sports get going around Athens, so let's catch up on all that's gone on this past week.
MEN'S BASKETBALL, GYMNASTICS, PGA TOUR, AND LACROSSE
Let's get the easy stuff out of the way to start. Mark Fox positioned his Hoop Hounds quite nicely for an NCAA Tournament bid. Saturday also saw them honor the 25th anniversary of the 1990 SEC Conference Champion team of Hugh Durham. The Dawgs close out their season with senior night Tuesday at 9 taking on undefeated and top ranked Kentucky, followed by a trip to Auburn Saturday at 4.
And we'd all appreciate if that season road finale sees a better result for Fox's crew than it just did for Danna Durante and her GymDawgs. They'll host a top 20 Arkansas Saturday night in Stegeman at 6. Georgia keeps winning in lacrosse, as told by Kyle. And GlimmerTwin graciously keeps us abreast ofthe Dawgs on the PGA Tour.
SWIMMING AND DIVING
Fresh off an excellent showing at the SEC Championships, Jack Bauerle's boys and girls had their last chance to register an NCAA Championships qualifying time. They will be hosted later this month, with approximately 30 Dawgs looking to compete for titles. I'll give a fuller run down as we get closer to the meets.
Apparently Georgia and Savannah St are not supposed to play softball against each other this year, as a double header previously scheduled for last week got rained out, rescheduled for Tuesday, and is already not happening. But they should host Wright St in Athens for a double header Wednesday before a trip to Starkville on the weekend. This past weekend saw a visit to Orlando, where the 8th ranked Lady Diamond Dawgs went 5-0, including a perfect game from ace Chelsea Wilkinson Sunday.
The Ladies are currently in California preparing for the Bruin Wave Invitational, shooting 36 holes today and 18 tomorrow at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana. On the men's side of the sticks, juniors Lee McCoy and Sepp Straka were named, along with Arkansas' Kolton Crawford, SEC Golfer's of the Week after they lead the Dawgs to a first place finish in Puerto Rico.
Spring is the season of friendlies, and Florida State wasn't that gracious a host to our girls this weekend. Their next chance for the competitive kicking of balls comes March 19th at 7:30 in Atlanta, against Auburn.
Our Horse Riding Dawgs continue defense of their national title last season this weekend in Fresno, California against Fresno St and TCU. But this past weekend saw them enjoy Senior Day with a victory over Texas A&M. The third ranked ladies head to College Station at the end of the month for the SEC Championships with the NECA National Championships in Waco, Texas in mid April.
It was a good week for Australian freshman Ellen Perez. First comes SEC Freshman of the Week honors, then she proceeds to win all her matches over the weekend as Georgia knocked off LSU 6-1 and droppingTexas A&M 5-2. They'll head west for the coming weekend, with matches at Alabama Friday and in Auburn Sunday afternoon. The men meanwhile are coming off the road, where they took care of Florida Thursday 4-1, then went to Auburn for a 4-0 sweep Saturday. Manny Diaz's men host Texas A&M Friday at 2:30 and LSU Sunday at 1 on the Dan Magill Courts, and you can get a bit of senior Nathan Pasha's perspective here.
Let's not go back to Statesboro. K? Thanks. (At least Robert Tyler is kind of OK.) The Diamond Dawgs look to rebound with Foley Field hosting Furman Tuesday at 5, Georgia State Wednesday at 5, and a 3 game set against Longwood on the weekend.
We have pros doing good things in Europe! We also ended the regular season beating Florida! Their next game is Thursday at 6 on the SEC Network vs. Mizzou, at this year's SEC Women's Basketball Tournament in Little Rock. Winner gets Tennessee, oh goody, Friday at 6, also on the SEC Network.
TRACK AND FIELD
We'll close things out with very positive news. And a treat for those who stayed with me and are still reading after all of that. SEC CHAMPS BABY! Well, not on the whole, as the women finished 6th and the men took home 8th from this past weekend's SEC Indoor Championships in Lexington, Ky. Super sophomore Kendell Williams won her first pentathlon title of the SEC Indoor variety, after finishing second then winning the NCAA title last spring. Senior Quintunya Chapman brought home 3rd in the pentathlon. Freshman Kenturah Orji enjoyed her first SEC Indoors with a 1st place finish in the triple jump, and 3rd place in the long jump. Georgia took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the heptathlon, as senior Garrett Scantling finished above junior Maicel Uibo, who finished above sophomore Devon Williams. Junior Leontia Kallenou won the high jump over second place finisher and fellow Dawg and sophomore Tatiana Gusin. Also scoring points were shot putter Ashinia Miller (2nd), weight thrower Alex Poursanidis (4th), and distance runner Brandon Lord (5th). The 4x400m relay team of Drew Branch, Ayrian Evans, Reggie Glover, and Derrick White Jr. also scored with a 6th place finish. The NCAA Indoor Championships will be in two weeks in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
And as always, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS!