Day two of the Spec Towns Invitational positioned two Bulldogs at the top of the nation in their individual events and featured multiple event victories.
“Today was another great day for us in terms of qualifying a good number of student-athletes for both NCAA Prelims and hopefully to Nationals in the combined events, head coach Petros Kyprianou said. “Keenon Laine in the high jump was definitely a highlight for us and Denzel in the shot put again showed his consistency at a high level.”
Senior Keenon Laine made his 2019 outdoor debut and certainly did not disappoint. He secured the country’s top mark by leaping to 7 feet, 4 1/4 inches. Laine went 4-for-4 throughout his stops at different heights and is now tied for the fifth-best mark in the world this year.
Also in the high jump, sophomore Antonios Merlos and junior Darius Carbin cleared 6-11.50 and went third and fourth, respectively.
Junior Amber Tanner torched the track while taking on her first 800 meters of the season. She clocked the second-best time in school history and the best since 2013. Tanner distanced herself from the other six competitors and finished at 2:04.60, which leads the SEC.
In the combined events, sophomore Johannes Erm posted the third-best score of his collegiate career at 7,913 to take the top collegiate honor behind only former Bulldog All-American Karl Saluri (8,060).
Saluri’s showing puts him at number one this year while Erm now leads the nation and is ranked second on the 2019 world list.
Senior Denzel Comenentia was the top collegiate finisher in the discus, his strongest event. He launched his top try of 66-2.50 feet on his sixth and final attempt to be the top collegiate finisher and second overall.
Comenentia took the outright victory in the discus with a toss of 183-8 on his third attempt to win by 13 feet.
“I think we can build off of it [the early success] as we are mostly focusing on the national meets,” Comenentia said, “If we can keep getting better from here on, we can be pretty good.”
Freshman Elijah Godwin won both the 200m and 400m. He represented the only sprinter to break 46 seconds in the 400 and finished with Georgia’s seventh-best time in school history (45.99)
Micaiah Ransby, Makenzi Kopp, Chelsea Zoller, and Tanner combined to win the women’s 4x400m relay after running a combined 3:40.31 in one of the final events.
“Overall, [it was] a great day," Kyprianou said. "A year after winning the NCAA title, there are going to be ups and downs. Our team is solid and resilient and I am proud of all of them.”