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Beyond the Hedges hopes to keep rising up

Georgia's Devon Williams during the 2017 Spec Towns Invitational at the Specs Towns Track Facility in Athens, Ga. on Sunday, April 9, 2017. (Photo by Cory A. Cole)
Cory A. Cole and UGA Sports Information

Georgia was in the hunt for a pair of national titles over the past two weeks, but failed to capitalize on their opportunities. But there are several other sports still competing hard for titles, in addition to the ones finishing up their spring seasons, so let’s get to discussing what’s happening in Athens away from those hedges so many will be gathered around again come Saturday afternoon.

GYMNASTICS

The GymDawgs made it out of Florida to reach the national championships, but crashed and burned on arrival in St Louis finishing 12th out of 12 with a score that some found quite unacceptable. Now the young team rests up, and looks forward to what should be a better 2018 season. Plus, we’ll host an NCAA regional in 2019.

EQUESTRIAN

The Dawgs that ride horses went to Texas for their national championships, and made the finals after taking care of business against Fresno St and Auburn. But Texas A&M came out on top over SEC Champion Georgia, at least keeping the national title in the only conference it has ever known.

SOCCER

The Kicking Dawgs have been putting in work this spring, splitting a pair against South Carolina and Furman. They took on Mercer in Macon last month, and had matches with Auburn in Atlanta earlier this month, as well as North Carolina and Appalachian State a week and a half ago, but there’s been no updates on what happened.

GOLF

The PGA Dawgs have been in Augusta and Hilton Head the last couple weekends. While senior Greyson Sigg and recently graduated Lee McCoy were in Florida working to join them on the tour soon. A little closer to home, the men have been doing work around town since finishing 8th in their own Augusta, GA- based event earlier this month, as they head to St Simon’s this weekend. The Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course will host the hackers starting Friday, and like with gymnastics, an NCAA regional will be coming to Athens in 2019.

The ladies also have their SEC Championships starting Friday, in Birmingham at the Greystone Golf & Country Club. The top 10 ranked squad are fresh off a win at the Liz Murphey, hosted in Athens earlier this month, where they took care of top ranked Alabama in the final match. Sophomore Jillian Hollis took home medalist honors at the event, and her performances earned her the SEC Golfer of the Week award.

TENNIS

Around the nets, the Lady Dawgs took care of LSU on Friday but fell to Texas A&M on Sunday to lose a share of the SEC regular season title. Like the golfers, their SEC Championships will also be held this weekend. Technically, it begins today, but second seeded Georgia has a bye until the noon match on Friday when they face the winner of Auburn and Arkansas.

The men also took a loss to Texas A&M over the weekend to end their regular season. Their tournament begins next week in Knoxville, where the men will also be the second seed, with their opening match that Friday at noon, with a chance to face Arkansas too, but their opponent the day before will be LSU instead of Auburn.

BASKETBALL

Yante Maten is testing the NBA Draft waters, while JJ Frazier is looking to get a chance too after excelling at the annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament where the NBA gets a closer look at collegiate seniors. Mark Fox also officially inked 6’5 guard Teshaun Hightower, out of Lithonia by way of Mt Zion Prep in Baltimore.

TRACK AND FIELD

The Dawgs are having a good season on the track, and it’s spilled over to football too. Three time SEC heptathlon champion and decathlete Garrett Scantling, who has recently been working as a volunteer assistant with the program, signed a contract with the Atlanta Falcons to get a look in their off season camps at a possible football career.

They recently hosted the Spec Towns Invitational, which had great weather and even better performances from the Dawgs. Brother and sister multi-event powerhouses Devon and Kendall Williams are finishing their careers in Athens strong as seniors, and our sprinters excelled in South Carolina last weekend. The Virginia Challenge will be their events this weekend in Charlottesville, with just that, and the Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens on May 6th, between now and the SEC Championships also in Soda City (aka Columbia, South Carolina) starting May 11th.

SOFTBALL

The top 25 ranked Lady Diamond Dawgs host Georgia State tonight at 6 in what will be their last non-SEC game of the regular season. They won only one in the series hosting Mississippi St over the weekend, and were swept by the Gators in Gainesville two weeks ago, with a 7-2 victory over Georgia Tech between those games. They’ll be in College Station for our recent nemesis Texas A&M this weekend before hosting their final home games of the regular season next weekend when South Carolina comes to town.

BASEBALL

The male Diamond Dawgs will be in Clemson tonight, facing the top 5 ranked Tigers at 6:30 before hosting Vandy at Foley Field this weekend. They were swept by Arkansas last weekend, and dropped two of three to Missouri the weekend prior, but did stick a 5-1 win over Georgia Tech in the middle of them.