Georgia track and field teams pull McGarity’s nuts out of the proverbial fire.
As Georgia waited anxiously for the final race Saturday night that could have given it the NCAA women’s track and field championship, Greg McGarity was back in Athens pacing at his home and getting updates via text like he had during the meet.
The Bulldogs athletic director didn’t make the trip to Eugene, Ore., because sixth-ranked Georgia wasn’t expected to be in the position to make a run at the national title.
It didn’t happen because favorite Oregon won the final race, the 4×400-meter relay, but the Bulldogs’ best-ever runner-up finish in the meet along with a sixth-place finish from men’s track helped Georgia move up in the Directors’ Cup Standings to its current spot of No. 13.
Georgia has crunched the numbers and believes it will finish No. 15 in the final all-sports standings because Texas A&M and Florida State would move past it after baseball’s College World Series is completed.
That’s in the same ballpark Georgia has been the past four years: No. 15 in 2016, No. 14 in 2015 and No. 16 in 2014. Georgia was No. 10 in 2013, nailing the top-10 finish it shoots for annually.
“I think the narrative early on was we were not going to have a very good year,” McGarity said. “You never make that assumption until all the sports have concluded.”
That the AD was anxious about how things turned out and the athletic department has already done the math on the Directors’ Cup race ought to give you some indication of B-M’s awareness of the criticism it’s facing about the overall recent performance of its programs.
It’s nice to know that a fifteenth-place finish constitutes “a very good year” in Athens these days. That should make for a congratulatory next edition of “The First Word”.