ATLANTA (May 22) — Georgia Tech senior Andria King saved her best for last as she hit the 1999 world-leading time in winning the 100 hurdles in 12.86 seconds at the Reebok Invitational Saturday at George C. Griffin Track. The Atlanta native also won the 200 meters with a time of 22.99 seconds in closing out her final collegiate track meet in Atlanta.
“The last two years at this meet, I haven’t run well , but I heard the crowd and my old coaches were here and I just rose to the occasion,” said the four-time all-America. “Winning here today will probably be my favorite track moment. I was tired before the final of the hurdles. Coach [Nat] Page told me to just keep driving and I did. In the final of the hurdles, I didn’t know how fast I was going, but I felt wild in the race. The NCAA Championships are my next meet and the goal there is to win the 100 hurdles and make the finals in the 200 meters, but my focus will definitely be on the hurdles.”
King’s top opponent in the 100 hurdles was Yolanda McCray of Miami, who also hit a 12.86 seconds in the preliminary round. However, King responded in the finals and the closest competitor was McCray, who only ran a 13.14. Both King and McCray are now tied for 100 hurdles’ leading time both in the USA Track & Field Magazine world leader board, as well as in the Trackwire.com American Collegiate ranking. Ellakisha Williamson of South Carolina, who formerly held the American standard at 12.97, turned in just a 13.25 in the finals. Tech’s Ayana Grant turned in a personal best 13.69 in finishing sixth.
Joining King with two victories was junior Becky Megesi, who won both the 800 and 1,500 meters with school record times. She ran a 2:04.63 in the 800 meters to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championship and she turned in a 4:20.17 Friday night in the 1,500 meters to set a new school standard, while moving into the top 20 nationally in that time standard. Senior Judy Johnson won the 5,000 meters in 17:12 as Tech’s only other female winner in the Invitational. Sophomore Sara Pardue had a personal best 2:08.38 in finishing 12th in the 800 meters.
Tech’s men’s 400 meter runners had an outstanding day in probably the day’s best field as senior Jonas Motiejunas had an NCAA provisional time of 45.75, junior Michael Johnson recorded a season-best 45.96 and freshman Bryan Swarn also hit a season-best time of 46.18 seconds. Motiejunas was second in the second flight, losing only to NCAA champion Ato Modibo of Clemson, and Johnson won the third flight.
Sophomore Clayton Porter was third in the long jump with a mark of 25-0, and senior Malcolm Leason was fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 50-0 to pace the men’s field events. Freshman Jennifer Ledbetter was fourth in the high jump with a season-best 5-8.5 and Shadana Patterson was 11th in the triple jump with a mark of 39-11 to lead the women’s field events.
Former Tech all-Americas also had prominent victories as Derek Mills won the first flight 400 meters, Angelo Taylor captured the 400 intermediate hurdles, Eric Bowers won the men’s long jump, and Mills, Taylor and Derrick Adkins helped the Atlanta Lightning Club win the 4×400 relay.
Tech’s athletes will next be in action June 2-5 in the NCAA Championships in Boise, Idaho.