4 Victories For Crimson Tide On Final Day Of John Mitchell Alabama Relays



March 22, 2014

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -University of Alabama track and field athletes won four events to close out a strong performance on Saturday afternoon on the final day of competition at the John Mitchell Alabama Relays at the Sam Bailey Track Complex on the UA campus. Over the course of the three-day meet, Crimson Tide athletes picked up victories in eight events (five individual events, three relay races) and set numerous personal bests while breaking one school record.

"From the throws on Thursday to the relays today, it was a good meet," said head coach Dan Waters. "This was a great way to start the outdoor season. For some of our athletes that hadn't competed in a few weeks, it was a great opportunity to shake off some rust. For others, it was a great chance to get some developmental work. To be able to win some events is an added bonus and gives us something to build upon moving forward."

Alabama picked up victories in three relay races on Saturday, winning the women's 4x100-meter relay, taking first in the men's distance medley relay (DMR) and getting a victory in the women's DMR. Justin Fondren continued an outstanding field events showing by the Tide with a win in the men's high jump.

"Today was great," said Fondren, whose best mark of 7 feet, 1.5 inches on Saturday is tied for ninth in school history. "I've still got a lot of things to improve. I'm glad to have the support of my family and friends, who were here giving me a clap. My mark today was much better than my first outdoor jump last year, so I can only expect to improvement from that."

In the women's 4x100, the Alabama quartet of Quanesha Burks, Dominique Kimpel, Sarah Thomas and Brianna Sims looked sharp, winning handily by 0.56 ahead of second-place Tennessee State. Alabama broke the tape in 45.02, the 10th-fastest time in Crimson Tide history, with TSU second in 45.58. Alabama's baton exchanges were solid, playing a big factor in the win in the outdoor season debut for the relay.

In the men's DMR, Alabama posted another dominant victory, with the quartet of Parker Deuel, Payton Ballard, Jeff Edmondson and Andrew Harris breaking the tape in 10:02.90, well ahead of runner-up Tennessee-Chattanooga (10:08.54). The Tide women completed a sweep of the DMR events as the foursome of Kimberley Ficenec, Katelyn Greenleaf, Hannah Waggoner and Meropi Panagiotou broke the tape in 11:47.04, a full 2.47 seconds ahead of second-place Tennessee-Chattanooga (11:49.57).

Fondren became Alabama's fifth field-event winner at this year's relays by clearing 2.17 meters (7 feet, 1.50 inches). Fondren cleared the first four heights in the competition without a miss, starting out at 1.95 meters (6 feet, 4.75 inches), and subsequently clearing 2.00 (6-6.75), 2.05 (6-8.75) and 2.10 (6-10) flawlessly. He took two attempts to clear 2.14 (7-0.25), his winning height, edging Southeast Missouri's Reginald Miller Jr., who also cleared 2.14. Fondren won the competition ahead of Miller by virtue of clearing 2.17 on his first attempt while Miller failed to clear it on three attempts.

Here's a summary of Saturday's events for Alabama athletes:



100 meters: Senior Alex Sanders clocked a time of 10.46 to finish fourth in the men's invitational 100-meter dash. Georgia's Johnathan Smith won the event with a time of 10.25.

800 meters: Georgia Tech's Shawn Roberts ran a 1:48.45 to win the 800-meter run. Alabama sophomore Alex Jenkins recorded a personal best of 1:53.90 in the 800-meter run to finish 13th overall, while sophomore Eric Sivill finished 20th with a time of 1:55.76.

4x400-meter relay: Stephen F. Austin finished the 4x400-meter relay in 3:07.38 to win the event. Alabama's team of Bryan Arthur, Ken Taylor, Andrew Harris and Brennan Parks placed 10th with a time of 3:15.32.

Distance Medley Relay: Alabama won the men's distance medley relay with a time of 10:02.90. Parker Deuel ran the opening leg of 1200 meters in 3:00.54. Peyton Ballard ran the 400-meter second leg in 49.42. Jeff Edmondson completed the third leg (800 meters) with a time of 1:55.17. In the anchor leg, Andrew Harris ran 1,600 meters in 4:17.78.


100 meters: Freshman Quanesha Burks was the top collegiate finisher in the women's invitational 100-meter dash. Burks recorded a personal record of 11.52, the 10th-best time in school history.

800 meters: Mississippi State's Rhianwedd Price won the women's 800-meter run with a time of 2:08.18. Alabama's Aubrielle Wright, a senior, placed fourth with a time of 2:12.10 and Anna Leinheiser, a freshman, clocked a 2:19.44 to finish 22nd.

100-meter hurdles: Freshman Passion Gamble finished 19th in the women's 100-meter hurdles after clocking a time of 14.93.

4x100-meter relay: Alabama's team of Quanesha Burks, Dominique Kimpel, Sarah Thomas and Brianna Sims won the women's 4x100-meter relay after crossing the finish line in 45.02--the 10th-best time in school history.

4x400-meter relay: Alabama finished runner-up to Stephen F. Austin in the women's 4x400-meter relay. Stephen F. Austin recorded a time of 3:38.12, while Alabama's quartet of Alex Gholston, Kyri Tabor, Shani Chandler and Dominique Kimpel ran a time of 3:41.11, which ranks eighth in school history.

Distance Medley Relay: Alabama won the women's distance medley relay with a time of 11:47.04. Freshman Hannah Waggoner ran the opening leg of 1,200 meters in 3:42.90. Sophomore Kimberley Ficenec (400 meters) ran the second leg in 58.17. Sophomore Meropi Panagiotou (800) clocked a time of 2:11.98 in the third leg, and sophomore Katelyn Greenleaf (1,600) completed the final leg of the relay in 4:53.99.



High Jump: Alabama's Justin Fondren cleared 2.17 meters (7 feet, 1.5 inches) to win the men's high jump. Fondren's mark is tied for ninth in school history.

Long Jump: Stephen F. Austin's Jamal Peden won the men's long jump after he jumped 7.55 meters (24 feet, 9.25 inches) on his final attempt of the day to edge Georgia sophomore Jamario Calhoun (7.48 meters/24-6.50). Alabama's Josh McCullan jumped 7.11 meters (23-4) on his third attempt of the day to qualify for the finals, but the sophomore fouled on his final three attempts and finished ninth in the event. Sophomore Nathan Vardaman jumped 6.88 meters (22-7) to place 13th.

Discus: After winning the men's shot put Friday night, Alabama redshirt freshman Hayden Reed took home a second-place finish in the men's discus Saturday. Reed's mark of 58.73 meters (192-08) ranks fifth in school history but was not enough to top Tennessee junior Tavis Bailey's mark of 61.72 meters (202-06). Three other members of the Crimson Tide placed in the top 16. Redshirt freshman Joe Williams finished fourth with a mark of 57.38 meters (188 feet, 3 inches), the seventh-best mark in school history. Redshirt freshman Kyle Felpel threw 48.87 meters (160-04) to finish 13th, and senior Taber Wanstall came in 16th with a mark of 46.69 meters (153-02).


Long Jump: Georgia's Chanice Porter won the women's long jump with a mark of 6.53 meters (21 feet, 5.25 inches). Alabama's Merilyn Uudmae placed 12th with a mark of 5.56 meters (18 feet, 3 inches).

Pole Vault: Neal Tisher of UAB won the women's pole vault with a clearance of 4.07 meters (13 feet, 4.25 inches). Alabama freshman Lakan Taylor cleared 3.97 meters (13-0.25) to finish second, edging Tennessee's Erin Champion due to total misses. Sophomore Anna Rawles placed fifth for the Crimson Tide after clearing 3.87 meters (12 feet, 8.25 inches). Alabama freshman Britainy Smith cleared 3.72 meters (12 feet, 2.5 inches) to place 11th, and sophomore Autumn Conn (3.57 meters/11 feet, 8.50 inches) tied for 15th.

Discus: Rachel Polk of Southern Miss won the women's discus with a mark of 50.68 meters (166 feet, 3 inches). Alabama junior Candicea Bernard's mark of 42.66 meters (139 feet, 11 inches) was good for 13th.

John Mitchell Alabama Relays
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Alabama Results

Invitational 100 Meters - 4. Alex Sanders, 10.46.
800 Meters - 13. Alex Jenkins, 1:53.90; 20. Eric Sivill, 1:55.76.
4x400-Meter Relay - 10. (Ken Taylor, Andrew Harris, Bryan Arthur, Dwight Davis), 3:15.32.
Distance Medley Relay - 1. (Parker Deuel, Payton Ballard, Jeff Edmondson, Andrew Harris), 10:02.90.
High Jump - 1. Justin Fondren, 2.17m (7-1.50).
Long Jump - 9. Josh McCullan, 7.11m (23-4); 13. Nathan Vardaman, 6.88m (22-7); Ryan Glosson, No Mark.
Discus - 2. Hayden Reed, 58.73m (192-8); 4. Joe Williams, 57.38m (188-3); 13. Kyle Felpel, 48.87m (160-4); 16. Taber Wanstall, 46.69m (153-2).

Invitational 100 Meters - 2. Quanesha Burks, 11.52.
800 Meters - 4. Aubrielle Wright, 2:12.10; 22. Anna Leinheiser, 2:19.44.
100-Meter Hurdles - 19. Passion Gamble, 14.93.
4x100-Meter Relay - 1. (Quanesha Burks, Dominique Kimpel, Sarah Thomas, Brianna Sims), 45.02.
4x400-Meter Relay - 2. (Alex Gholston, Kyri Tabor, Shani Chandler, Dominique Kimpel), 3:41.11.
Distance Medley Relay - 1. (Kimberley Ficenec, Katelyn Greenleaf, Hannah Waggoner, Meropi Panagiotou), 11:47.04.
Long Jump - 12. Merilyn Uudmae, 5.56m (18-3).
Pole Vault - 2. Lakan Taylor, 3.97m (13-0.25); 5. Anna Rawles, 3.87m (12-8.25); 11. Britainy Smith, 3.72m (12-2.50); t-15. Autumn Conn, 3.57m (11-8.50).
Discus - 13. Candicea Bernard, 42.66m (139-11); Berta Amelinaite, No Mark.

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