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Beyond the Hedges looks towards next year

Georgia's Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski during the Bulldogs' match with Wake Forest at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., on Friday, March 17, 2017. (Photo by John Paul Van Wert)
John Paul Van Wert and UGA Sports Information

With just one event remaining on the 2016-17 athletic calendar, UGA settled in a comfy, cozy, 4th in the all-sports SEC standings (a competition that used to have us and Florida clear and above competing for the top, but somehow we’ve been left in the dust). And before we go beyond the hedges, we know when things start between them. At 6:15 on September 2nd, televised by ESPN, Appalachian St will be in town (as will an increased number of guns at drunken tailgates, what could go wrong there?). We’d also like to extend congratulations to Devon Gales.

But beyond those hedges, seasons are coming to a close. Well, except for...


A large pack of Dawgs will be in Eugene, Oregon next week competing for NCAA titles. 22 to be precise, with multiple potential winners at the NCAA Championships that will be aired on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU among Denzel Comenentia (m hammer throw, m shot put), Mady Fagan (w high jump), Louisa Grauvogel (w heptathlon), Cejhae Greene (m 100m), Tatiana Gusin (w high jump), Kate Hall (w long jump), Aliyah Johnson (w triple jump) Keenon Laine (m high jump) Beatrice Llano (w hammer throw), Keturah Orji (w long jump, triple jump), Alex Poursanidis (m hammer throw), Karl Saluri (m decathlon), Kayla Smith (w pole vault), Devon Williams (m decathlon), Kendal Williams (m 100m, 200m), and Kendell Williams (w heptathlon). Also qualified are the men’s 4x100m (Maurice Freeman, Greene, Mecole Hardman, and Kendal W.) and 4x400m relay teams (Gabe Blackman, Ayrian Evans, Reggie Glover, and Jeramey Hampton).

Congrats to all those competing and who helped them get there, and GATA Dawgs!

Also of note, in addition to her extreme excellence in the air, Orji is also an elite student as the junior from New Jersey made all-district academic honors.


The men’s season ended at the SEC Tournament to Mississippi St, while the women made it to the NCAAs before Florida St finished them. Despite another losing campaign, Scott Stricklin’s extremely young crew finished strong enough for him to return, but not his pitching coach.


Yante Maten will be back for his senior season, and will be a leading candidate for Player of the Year when things tip off in November. Mark Fox looks to solidify his staff, and his schedule with news of another two year set in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge starting this season with a trip to Manhattan, Kansas and the Wildcats. And in sad news, one of the leaders of Georgia’s only men’s Final Four squad, Lamar Heard, passed away.


The ladies saw their season end at the hands of Pepperdine, while Ellen Perez in singles and the duo of Elena Christofi and Kennedy Shaffer advanced to the quarterfinals before falling out of the singles and doubles championships.

The men made it to the semifinals before North Carolina eliminated them. In individual action, sophomore Emil Reinberg and freshman Nathan Ponwith fell in the round of 32 in singles. But their doubles peers, sophomore Jan Zielinski and freshman Robert Loeb, made it to the finals before falling to an Oklahoma duo.

Also, congratulations to former star Matias Boeker on a well earned induction in to the ITA Collegiate Hall of Fame.


The PGA Dawgs were in Texas for the Colonial, where Kevin Kisner won the event to continue his strong season on tour.

We may be back with a recap of the events in Oregon, or for a tidbit here and there on former Diamond Dawgs in MLB and the minor leagues. But otherwise, enjoy your summers and as always, ....