UGA's Lawrence off to strong start

Lawrence set a collegiate world record with his 32:32 run at the Hokie Invitational on Friday of last week.

The next day, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association confirmed that the Georgia sprinter had indeed broken the record.

The previous best was 32.67, set by Mississippi State’s Lorenzo Daniel at Florida on March 1, 1987. Lawrence’s time is also the fifth-fastest time in the world, and the fastest time in the world this year, threatening Wallace Spearmon’s world-record time of 31.88 set in 2005.

“It was an incredible performance considering the training situation we have had, the fact that there were no starting blocks for the race and that there were only a couple people in the crowd to cheer them on during the race,” said Bulldogs sprint coach Jon Stuart.

It still hasn’t fully set in for Lawrence.

“I didn’t know I had run the kind of time that I had until I crossed the finish line," he said. "I looked at the clock and saw 32.32 and kind of said, ‘Oh man,’ to myself. I had all of the nervousness and excitement and the heart pounding for this race like normal, even though this race is not one that will be run at the NCAA Championships. But Coach Stuart has us running 300s all of the time for training so I felt comfortable running it.”

Lawrence and Tommy Barrineau were awarded SEC weekly awards. Barrineau was honored as the SEC male field athlete of the week after shattering his own school record by winning his first collegiate heptathlon (at the Razorback Invitational on Saturday) with an NCAA provisional qualifying score of 5,608 points. This topped the school record he set last year by 277 points. Lawrence was named the SEC male runner of the week.

Softball

The Georgia softball team is ranked No. 8 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 preseason poll released this week.

Juniors Alisa Goler and Taylor Schlopy were on the top 50 watch list for the 2010 USA Softball collegiate player of the year.

Goler, of Frankfort, Ill., was a top-10 finalist for the 2009 USA softball collegiate player of the year award, and she earned various 2009 first-team All-America honors. Schlopy, of West Hills, Calif., was recently selected as an alternate for the 2010 USA Softball women's national team and also earned 2009 first-team All-America honors.

Gymnastics

The Georgia gymnastics team (1-2) is ranked No. 8, despite its record. Using its highest total score of the season, the team moved up two spots to No. 8 in the GymInfo rankings released Monday. That comes after the Gym Dogs spent the previous two weeks at No. 10. They started the season at No. 1 in the preseason poll.

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