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Georgia Track and Field in Eugene, Oregon for NCAA Finale

EUGENE, Ore. --- Members of the Bulldog track and field program traveled to Eugene, Ore., this week before the NCAA Outdoor Championships arrive at Hayward Field on Wednesday through Saturday.

The 17th-ranked Georgia men begin the meet on Wednesday after winning the team national championship at the same facility in 2018. The seventh-ranked Lady Bulldogs come to the University of Oregon campus after having earned national runner-up honors at that same meet in 2018. As usual, the Southeastern Conference has the most combined entries by 77 over the nearest conference.

Following the 2023 NCAA Championships that were held in Austin, the 2024-27 NCAA Outdoor Championships will be in Oregon’s facility, which recently underwent a $270 million renovation.

Georgia qualified 19 individuals in a combined 18 events from the NCAA East Prelims in Lexington, Ky., on May 22-25. Sophomore heptathlete Ella Rush (NCAA No. 21) had already qualified automatically for the final round because of her score in the heptathlon during her bronze medal run at SEC Championships.

When Do The Bulldogs Start? Junior Nikolai van Huyssteen will start the action for Georgia in the men’s pole vault on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, marking his first competition at the NCAA Championships. Freshman Jehlani Gordon will also be making his debut at Nationals in the 100-meter dash semifinal at 8:46 p.m. to start the action on the track.

On the women’s side, defending NCAA champion and Lady Bulldog graduate transfer Stephanie Ratcliffe will line up in the women’s hammer throw at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Georgia’s quartet in the 4x100m relay will open the track events at 8:32 p.m. on day two.

Rush will start on Friday in the heptathlon at 4 p.m. She is slated to complete the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m on the meet’s third day before tackling the hep’s final three events on Saturday.

Other than the decathlon running Wednesday-Thursday and the heptathlon going Friday-Saturday, the meet is set up to be a men’s competition on Wednesday and Friday and a women’s competition on Thursday and Saturday.

Where To Catch The NCAAs: ESPN has exclusive rights to broadcast the meet and will feature the Nationals on ESPN2 this week:

Wednesday: 7:30 p.m., ESPN2

Thursday: 8:30 p.m., ESPN2

Friday: 9 p.m., ESPN2

Saturday: 5:30 p.m., ESPN2

Live Results: To check out live results throughout the four-day season finale, please check: http://gado.gs/byb

Coach Caryl’s Comments: “These five months of the indoor and outdoor season always pass more quickly than you think they will, and here we are again at the pivotal part of our year,” said head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. “We have seen it at this year’s SEC meets and at the NCAA Indoor Championships: some of the best competitors in the world reside in collegiate track and field. I can’t wait to see all of our hard work and determination pay off as we get to what will be an awesome four days for our sport. With this being an Olympic year, the anticipation is even greater for the NCAA Outdoor Championships to start and I look forward to see how our teams represent the ‘G’. GO DAWGS!”

What Bulldogs Are Competing: In addition to Rush for the women, sophomore Aaliyah Butler (400m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay), junior Kelsie Murrell Ross (shot put), graduate transfer Stephanie Ratcliffe (hammer throw), junior Elena Kulichenko (high jump), sophomore Kaila Jackson (100m, 200m, 4x100m relay), graduate transfer Erin McMeniman (javelin), senior Dominique Mustin (400m hurdles), graduate transfer Zoe Pollock (400m hurdles), sophomore Haley Tate (4x400m relay), senior Mikeisha Welcome (triple jump), graduate transfer Kimberly Harris (400m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay), freshman Sydney Harris (4x400m relay) and freshman Karsen Phillips (4x100m relay) will line up for the Lady Bulldogs.

On the men’s side, sophomore Christopher Morales Williams (400m), graduate transfer Marc Minichello (javelin), freshman Jehlani Gordon (100m), graduate transfer Alex Kolesnikoff (shot put), freshman Riyon Rankin (high jump) and junior Nikola van Huyssteen (pole vault) are slated to compete.

Honors Begin To Roll In: While the most important meet of the outdoor season is still to come, a pair of SEC honors has already rolled in. Morales Williams completed the indoor-outdoor sweep of the SEC Men’s Runner of the Year honors while first-year sprinter/jumper Micah Larry was voted the SEC Outdoor Men’s Freshman Field Athlete of the Year.

In addition, Minichello and senior Gracie O’Neal were included on the SEC Community Service Team for their dedication to volunteering in order to help others.

FLASHBACK – 2023 NCAA Outdoor Championships: Georgia and the rest of the field diverted from Oregon for a year to compete in Austin. The Bulldog men finished seventh with 28 points to collect their sixth straight top-10 finish at the meet. The Lady Bulldogs scored 19 to finish 10th, marking their eighth top-10 finish out of the last 10 scoring meets (the 2020 NCAA Outdoor Championships were canceled due to the pandemic).

A Glimpse From The Dogs’ Last Action: The Bulldogs continued their 2024 postseason at the NCAA East Prelims on the University of Kentucky’s campus on May 22-25.

Here are the Bulldog highlights from the meet:

WOMEN

Kaila Jackson – Matched her school record of 10.95 to have the fastest qualifying time in the 100m while also passing the legend Gwen Torrence for the No. 3 spot in the school record books with a 22.28 to help punch her ticket in the 200m.

Zoe Pollock – Earned her first trip to Nationals by improving her No. 3 time on UGA’s all-time top-10 list with a 56.39 to be the eighth qualifier in the 400m hurdles.

4x400m relay (Aaliyah Butler, Kimberly Harris, Sydney Harris, Haley Tate) – Erased the school record with a 3:26.06 to have the fastest time in the quarterfinals.

Mikeisha Welcome – Obliterated her season best with a triple jump mark of 13.27 meters/43 feet, 6 ½ inches to have the third-longest qualifying mark.

MEN

Jehlani Gordon – Sped to a personal best 10.05 in the 100m to move to No. 5 in the school record books to join the Bulldogs’ traveling group to Oregon in his first collegiate season.

Nikolai van Huyssteen – After matching the school record during the season, overtook the No. 1 mark at Prelims thanks to a second attempt clearance at 5.42m/17-9.25 in the pole vault.

Alex Kolesnikoff – Dropped a season-best shot put mark of 19.78m/64-10.75 on his third and final attempt to put his name on the Nationals start list.

Results and recaps from the NCAA Championships will be found at georgiadogs.com. News and updates from Georgia’s track and field and cross country teams are always located on Twitter/Instagram at @UGATrack.