Welcome to the last week of the 2008-09 sports year for UGA. The final team still active is the track and field team, which will complete its season with the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., Wednesday through Saturday.
Georgia has the defending NCAA men’s champion in the javelin, Chris Hill, who will be trying to repeat. Call him UGA’s unknown national champion. I interviewed him last week for a story that ran in today’s paper. Click here for the story. I found particularly interesting his comments about how Georgia’s ultra-successful Olympics-sports teams support and motivate one another: ”The gymnasts and the swimmers and the tennis players — those are world-class athletes. Just being around them is really cool, and nobody gets too much of the big head because national champions are pretty common [among the group]. . . This type of atmosphere, where you’re expected to be on top, helps the mentality going into a meet. It’s like, ‘I’m supposed to win. That is why I was brought here.’”
Also on the radar this week:
– The baseball draft starts Tuesday, a long-awaited day for Georgia first baseman Rich Poythress among others. “It’s really starting to sink in this is going to happen in a couple of days,” Poythress told me over the weekend. “I’m real excited, but pretty at ease, really not that worried about it.” Various mock drafts have him going in the range of late first round, supplemental pick between the first and second rounds or early second round. “It’s been the best three years of my life,” he said of his UGA years. “The experiences of playing in the SEC for three years and being around great players for three years – I can’t put a price tag on that. It’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.”
– Also on Tuesday, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame holds an annual media event in Macon called the “Peach State Pigskin Preview.” Mark Richt and a couple of players (Vince Vance and Roderick Battle, I think) will represent Georgia there and answer questions from the media for a couple of hours. If you have questions you’d like answered, please pass them along here.