Schade, Taylor Win as Track and Field Begins Indoor Season

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Kamal Fuller took second place with a leap of 24 feet, 11 1/4 inches (7.60 meters).
Kamal Fuller took second place with a leap of 24 feet, 11 1/4 inches (7.60 meters).

Jan. 12, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Two individual victories and the debuts of a bevy of newcomers highlighted action for University of Alabama track and field athletes as the Crimson Tide Track & Field team opened the 2013 indoor season by hosting the Crimson Tide Indoor Opener at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

"I'll give it mixed reviews," said Alabama head coach Dan Waters. "We have a lot of new people, including a lot of freshmen, but today is the last day we will call them freshmen. We need them to step up and perform like veterans and we expect them to. We has some bright spots and some concerns, too.

"We have some people that were on the shelf unavailable today that could've added some momentum, so I look forward to getting them into action. We'll be fine and it's a start. We just need to take what we did today and build from it. That's the challenge for us as coaches and for the kids as athletes."

The Crimson Tide won one individual event in both the men's and women's divisions. There was no team scoring at the event.

In the women's high jump, Alabama's all-America high jumper Krystle Schadewas the lone event winner for the Tide women. Schade cleared 6-0 (1.83m) to take the victory ahead of four competitors that cleared 5-10 3/4 (1.80m). Schade opened up with a miss at 5-7 (1.70m) before clearing that height, and clearing 5-8 3/4 (1.75m) and 5-10 3/4. She made her winning height on her third attempt at 6-0 to clinch the victory.

Newcomer Chavis Ken Taylor, running for the first time in an Alabama uniform, was Alabama's lone event winner on the men's side as he took first place in the men's 800 meters in a time of 1:52.94, beating out Florida's Ryan Schnulle (1:53.32) and Juan Sanchez of Mississippi State (1:53.77). Taylor, a transfer from Benedict College, was the 2012 NCAA Division II Men's Track Athlete of the Year for the South Region before joining the Tide.

The men's 3,000 meters was a duel between Eric Powers or Georgia Tech and Alabama's Austin Duckworth, who battled down the final stretch with Powers taking a close victory in 8:24.32. Duckworth ran a personal-best time of 8:25.17 while finishing second. Yanique Malcolmmade her Alabama debut in the women's 800-meter dash and placed third in a time of 2:11.49. Malcolm, a Jamaican who transferred to Alabama from Essex County Community College in Newark, N.J., was just .03 off her personal best in the event. Florida's Cory McGee won the race in 2:09.01.

In the women's weight throw, Alabama's Nia Barnes and Lee Stowerscombined to produce personal-best efforts on four of their throws in the competition. Barnes ended up sixth with a best of 56 feet, 5 and 1/4 inches (17.20 meters) while Stowers was seventh with a best of 56-3 (17.14m). LSU's Denise Hinton won the event with a throw of 64-8 (19.71m).

In the men's weight throw, Sweden native Elias Hakansson made his Crimson Tide debut and placed seventh with a best of 56-9 1/2 (17.31m). Tide teammate Charodd Richardson was ninth at 56-4 1/2 (17.18m). South Florida's Jared Thomas won the event with a toss of 62-9 1/2 (19.14m). In the men's long jump, Alabama's Kamal Fullertook second place with a leap of 24 feet, 11 1/4 inches (7.60 meters). Marquis Dendy of Florida won the event with a mark of 25-5 1/4 (7.75m).

In the women's pole vault, the Crimson Tide's Alexis Paine finished third due to misses despite clearing the same 12-11 1/2 (3.95m) height as event winner Merrit Van Meter of Tulane and runner-up Kaitlin Petrillose of Texas. Alabama newcomer Autumn Connwas tied for eighth with a clearance of 11-7 3/4 (3.55m).

Justin Fondren cleared 6-8 3/4 (2.05m) to tie for second in the men's high jump in the Oxford, Miss., freshman's Alabama debut. Freshman Quincy Smithof Phenix City and Smiths Station High School debuted in the men's 400 with a sixth-place finish in a time of 48.75.

The Crimson Tide competed against a field that included some of the top programs in the nation led by two top 10 teams - Florida's men (No. 2) and women (No. 5) and LSU's men (No. 10) and women (No. 4). Other teams in the rankings that competed included Auburn's men (No. 11) and women (No. 24), Texas' women (No. 14), Florida State's men (No. 16 and Mississippi State's men (No. 20). Georgia Tech, Hinds Community College, Samford, South Florida, Southern Mississippi and Tulane (women's team only) also competed.

Both Alabama's men's and women's squads will return to the CrossPlex at Birmingham to participate in the Auburn Invitational on Saturday, January 19.