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Spencer Breaks School Record At Clemson Invitational
Georgia men finished second at season-opening meet
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ATHENS- Led by junior Levern Spencer's school record effort in the
high jump, Georgia's track and field teams also won three other events at
the season-opening Clemson Invitational on Saturday.
In the team scoring, the Bulldog men (102 points) finished second to host
Clemson (133.50), while the Georgia women took seventh with 40 points.
"I would say we were successful for this being the first meet and I'm glad
the freshmen had a chance to get their feet wet," said head coach Wayne
Norton.  "I was satisfied with what happened out there."
After clearing an outdoor school record of 6 feet, 4 inches at the World
Championships in Osaka, Japan, over the summer, Spencer cleared 6-2.75 on
Saturday to break the indoor school and the facility record and notch an
NCAA automatic qualifying mark.  The St. Lucia native missed her first two
attempts at the height before gliding over the bar.
Spencer and Patricia Sylvester reached a height of 6-2.25 during the finals
of the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships to top the school record books.
During their run to the No. 1 spot in Georgia history, Sylvester won a
national title in the event and Spencer was the runner-up.
"Neither she nor I was thinking about her breaking a school record because
she was basically just having an average meet," said Norton.  "She had some
trouble at (6-2.75), but ended up clearing the height.  It is encouraging
to see her doing this well this early in the season.  I think she is about
three inches ahead where she was at this time last year."
In addition to Spencer's quick start to the season, junior Justin Gaymon
finished first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.32 and second in the
60 hurdles (7.97).  Gaymon's qualifying time of 7.96 on Friday was just
five hundredths of a second from his personal best in the event and a
provisional time in the event.
Gaymon also teamed with junior Michael Proctor, sophomore Tommy Barrineau
and freshman Baron Brown to win the 4x400 relay with a time of 3:18.18.
"Justin went neck-and-neck with the defending outdoor national champion in
the hurdles (Auburn's Ty Akins) so I thought he did a great job this
weekend," Norton said.
Junior Julianne Toto took sole possession of the No. 6 spot in the school
record books after winning the pole vault with a mark of 12-5.50.  Toto
missed at least one attempt at all four of her heights, but held on to win
her event.
Two of Georgia's top signees in sprints continued to thrive during the
first meet of their college careers.  Odeika Bent sped to a second-place
finish in the 400 (56.88) and finished fifth in the 60 with a time of 7.59.
Fellow freshman Georgina Nembhard crossed the finish line in the 200 in
25.23 to take eighth and also advanced to the finals in the 60 and 60
Proctor, whose qualifying time in the 60 (6.80) tied for the seventh-best
finish in school history, finished seventh after clocking a 6.87 on
Saturday.  In addition, Proctor finished fourth in the 400 with a time of
48.77 and Brown, who was competing in his first collegiate meet, took
eighth (49.38).
In the high jump, sophomore Daniel Averso and junior Kevin Dickson each
cleared 6-8.25 and finished tied for second and sixth, respectively, since
Dickson missed a pair of attempts before successfully going over the bar.
Three Georgia throwers managed to score a combined 12 points in the shot
put.  Senior Kyle Helf led the way after registering a throw of 55-0.25 as
sophomore Geno Atkins finished fifth (54-4.75) and sophomore Israel
Machovec took sixth (51-10.50).
In the women's shot put, freshman Rachel Travis, who finished ninth in the
weight throw on Friday, took third with a mark of 43-5.75.
While senior Wes Fuller reached a height of 15-7 to finish third in the
pole vault and John Egan came away with fourth place (15-1), a pair of
Bulldogs also scored for Georgia in the triple jump.  After Georgia did not
compete in this event in 2007, Jamaal Parker finished fourth (48-10.75) and
Asaph Levy left Clemson with a sixth-place finish (48-0.75) during his
Sophomore Brittney Robbins and freshman Faith Middlebrooks also got
involved with the scoring for the Georgia women in the triple jump.  The
Lady Bulldog pair each soared 37-7.25 and tied for the eighth and final
scoring spot.
Georgia's returns to Clemson, S.C., for the JFR Multi-Event Challenge on
Friday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 26.  Full results for the Clemson
Invitational can be found at

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