Thursday   06/25/2010 22:24:43
Eric Harris Earns Runner-Up Honors At USA Championships
by UGA Sports Communications
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DES MOINES, Iowa --- Georgia freshman sprinter Eric Harris followed up his third-place finish in the 100-meter dash by taking second in the 200 at the USA Junior Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday.

After his performance in the 100 finals on Thursday, Harris shot to a second-place finish in the 200 finals of the Juniors competition. Harris clocked a time of 21.22 with a wind of -2.0. This clinches Harris’ spot at the World Junior Championships in Canada in July.

Harris advanced to the 200 finals after taking fifth overall in the prelims and second in his heat. His 21.53 was only five hundredths of a second behind finals winner Oliver Bradwell’s 21.48, which was the fastest finish during the prelims.

In the Juniors high jump, freshman Saniel Atkinson exploded for a career-best mark of 5 feet, 10 ¾ inches and finished third. This moved Atkinson from 10th to ninth on UGA’s all-time top-10 list and gave her a shot at advancing to the World Championships.

Slowed by two fouls, junior Aaron LaGarde took 17th in the triple jump after reaching a distance of 49-1.75.

Senior John Freeman also had a pair of fouls in the hammer throw, but finished 18th (207-3) on his third throw. His older brother Jake won the competition with a second throw of 251 while former Bulldog NCAA champion Lucais MacKay was 13th (221-9).

Freshman Jade Riebold as unable to start in the Juniors women’s pole vault because of back pain.

Hyleas Fountain (4,068 points), a 2008 Olympic silver medalist and a four-time NCAA champion for the Lady Bulldogs, jumped out to a 465-point lead over Bettie Wade (3,603) through the first four events.

She won her fourth straight event after crossing the 200 finish line in 23.28. This was only seven hundredths of a second from Fountain’s personal-best effort.

Fountain outscored her nearest opposition by 115 points in the high jump after reaching a personal-best height of 6-2.75. With a former career-best mark of 6-2.25, Fountain went over the bar on Friday at her new personal-best height on her second attempt.

Fountain jumpstarted her day by cruising to a victory in the 100 hurdles. Fountain was the only competitor to break 13 seconds after clocking a 12.93 in the second heat.

She won the shot put after opening with a throw of 45-0.50.

A pair of former Bulldog All-Americans took third and sixth in the 400 hurdle semifinals. Justin Gaymon sped to a third-place finish (49.36) and LaRon Bennett finished sixth in the finals with a time of 50.23.

Bulldog signee Justin Welch was the runner-up in the Juniors hammer throw with a personal-best effort on Friday. Despite four fouls, Welch unleashed a throw that measured 230-7 to be the top high school performer. Welch also locked down his spot at the World Junior Championships in Canada with his second-place finish.

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