University of Georgia junior Denzel Comenentia, a thrower from Amsterdam, Netherlands, competes in the men's shot put at the Spec Towns Invitational Meet in Athens, Georgia, on Saturday, April 7, 2018. Comenentia took first place with a throw of 19.92 meters. (Photo/Vira Halim, www.virahalim.wordpress.com) Comenentia: denzel.comenentia25@uga.edu UGA track and field SID Leland Barrow: leland@sports.uga.edu

The Georgia track and field team began a weekend full of competition with a national record and the 3000-meter steeplechase on Thursday in Torrance, California.

Senior Denzel Comenentia opened the hammer throw with a mark of 247 feet, 3 inches with a fourth try of 246 feet, 11 inches. Comenentia went for 252 feet on his fifth attempt, establishing a new personal record.

This throw improved his No. 2 spot on the school’s all-time top-10 list.

Comenentia, a native of Amsterdam, bested his own Dutch national record and was the top collegiate finisher. The effort was good for the NCAA lead by nearly eight feet and vaulted him to fifth on the 2019 world list.

Only Nike’s Marcel Lomnicky, the older brother of former Bulldog NCAA champion Nikola Lomnicka, was better than Comenentia on Thursday as he finished with a 253-feet-and-1-inch throw.

On the track, junior Jonathan Pelham competed in the 3000-meter steeplechase. He completed his laps in just 9:20.68 to be the third collegiate finisher and fourth overall.

Pelham was the only other Bulldog to participate in the meet’s opening day.

Georgia will begin day two on Friday at 2 p.m. with Johannes Erm and Karel Tilga in the men’s 110-meter hurdle prelims. A number of Bulldogs will also compete in the Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta on Friday.

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