A7 Elija Godwin

Elijah Godwin of Georgia crosses the finish line during the men’s 400m event at an invitational at the Speck Towns Track on Apr. 6, 2019 in Athens, Georgia. Godwin placed first overall. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

Georgia’s men’s and women’s track and field teams had a strong showing at the Clemson Invitational on Jan. 15 and 16 in Clemson, South Carolina. It was their first event of the indoor season, finishing with 14 total victories.

On Friday, four Bulldogs clenched national top marks, including senior Jessica Drop in the mile with a time of 4 minutes, 39.83 seconds, sophomore Matthew Boling in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.7 seconds, sophomore Jasmine Moore in the long jump with a mark of 20 feet, 3 inches and sophomore Julia Fixsen in the pole vault with a height of 13 feet, 9.25 inches.

Boling set a school record with his time. Drop’s time was good for third all-time in school history and was also the best time in the nation this year.

“We have to adjust to these new circumstances and make the best of it,” said head coach Petros Kyprianou. “We had some very solid marks today, especially in our strong events.”

Other standout victories included Boling in the long jump, senior Chelsea Zoller in the 600-meter, sophomore Caleb Cavanaugh in the 600-meter, junior Imani Carothers in the 60-meter hurdles and senior Destiny Jackson in the 60-meter.

Redshirt sophomore Clay Pender returned to the track for the first time since 2019, finishing third in the mile with a time of 4:17.41.

On Saturday, sophomore Anna Hall gained a national mark in the high jump with a height of 6-1 1/4. This pushed her to the No. 9 spot in school history.

Georgia also gained four more victories on the second day with strong wins by Jackson in the 200-meter, senior Delano Dunkley in the 200, sophomore Sam Bowers in the 3000-meter, and the men’s 4-x-400 meter relay team.

The men’s 4-x-400 relay team consisted of junior Elijah Godwin along with Boling, Dunkley and Cavanaugh. They finished with a time of 3:10.39.

Junior Anna Marian Block also earned her way into the school record books for the 800-meter run, finishing with a time of 2:08.45 — the sixth-best time in school history — to finish third.

Other notable accomplishments on the second day was sophomore Sara Bailey gaining a personal record in the 3000-meter with a time of 10:15.62 and freshman Spencer Evans placing third in the pole vault in his first-ever collegiate meet.

Junior Labo Oke also set a personal record of 48-2.75 on the triple jump to place third in the event.

“Overall this was a great opener for the Dawgs given how long it has been they competed on an elevated track and competing in general,” Kyprianou said. “We needed to create some momentum and I think these young Dawgs are just excited and thankful to be able to compete at the highest level.”

Georgia’s next competition is on Jan. 23 at the Carolina Challenge in Columbia, South Carolina.