Jan. 14, 2012
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -
Two individual victories and several strong field-event performances highlighted action for Alabama track and field athletes as the Crimson Tide Track & Field team opened the 2012 indoor season by hosting the Crimson Tide Indoor Opener at the CrossPlex Indoor Track.
The Birmingham CrossPlex, a state-of-the-art indoor track stadium holds seating for 4,000 fans, a 200-meter hydraulically banked Mondo Super X track, eight-lane sprint track and double runways and rings for all field events. Alabama hosted several of the nation's top teams in the first collegiate event held in the facility.
"We had some good performances today from several athletes," said Alabama head coach Dan Waters. "This was a good start for us against some excellent competition. I was really happy to be able to get several of the nation's top teams to come help us open us this phenomenal venue. This is an amazing facility that will help us continue to grow the sport in Alabama and the Southeast."
The Crimson Tide won individual events in both the men's and women's divisions with Austin Duckworth taking the men's 3,000 meters in a time of 8 minutes, 33.56 seconds to set a new personal best in the event. Alabama's other victory came in the women's high jump as Krystle Schade cleared 6 feet even to take the victory.
There was no team scoring at the event.
In the women's weight throw, senior Angelica Howard achieved a personal best with a throw of 61 feet, 1 1/2 inches to place third. The performance marked Howard's first competitive throw in several years after being hindered by a series of injuries over the last couple of seasons. Amethyst Holmes of Alabama was fifth with a throw of 60-9 1/2. In the women's shot put, Wilamena Hopkins of Alabama was second with a heave of 50 feet, 1-1/4 inches.
In the men's long jump, Alabama's Kamal Fuller took third place with a leap of 24 feet, 3 inches. Gray Horn of Florida won the event with a mark of 25-1 3/4.In the women's pole vault, Alexis Paine was third with a clearance of 12 feet, 7 1/2 inches. That performance ranks second in Alabama history for the indoor vault, behind only Lynda Cooper's 13-1 1/2 clearance in 2009. In the men's high jump, Alabama's Tyler Campbell cleared 7 feet, 1/4 inch to finish fourth. Marcus Jackson of Mississippi State won the event with a leap of 7-3 3/4.
Newcomer Dushane Ferrier posted a strong performance in the men's 200-meter dash, placing sixth in a time of 21.88 seconds. Mississippi State's Anthony Bynum won the race in 21.32.
The Crimson Tide competed against a field that included some of the top programs in the nation led by defending two-time NCAA men’s indoor champions and preseason No. 1-ranked Florida. Other top 10 teams included LSU’s men (No. 3) and women (No. 2), and Florida State whose men’s team is ranked sixth and women’s team is ninth. Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Samford, Southern Mississippi and Tulane also competed.
Both Alabama's men's and women's squads will have a week of training before returning to the CrossPlex at Birmingham to participate in the Auburn Invitational on Saturday, January 21.