Track & Field Wins Three Events on First Day of the Alabama Relays
March 23, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The University of Alabama track and field team opened competition at the annual Alabama Relays with three first-place performances Friday at the Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium.
Senior Amethyst Holmes started the day off strong for the Tide in the Relays’ first event by finishing second – but first among collegiate competitors – in the women’s hammer throw. The senior recorded a personal best throw of 186-9 to better her previous best, set last weekend, by nearly seven feet to earn the sixth-best throw in UA history.
“The technique that coach [Doug] Reynolds has given us has done wonders as far as the line and entry on our throws,” Holmes said of her throw and training to date. “This is a good indicator of what’s to come. The PR, I was happy with it, but I’m not looking at the distance so much as the technique and getting better each week.”
Angelica Howard was third in the event at 174-7 while Suesanna Williams, competing unattached, won the event at 187-9.
All-American Kamal Fuller earned the other top finish in the field events for the Tide during the early afternoon session with a jump of 24-8.5 in the long jump.
In the early evening events, Krystle Schade, the NCAA indoor women’s high jump runner-up, continued her stellar season by matching her outdoor personal best of 6-0 to win the competition.
“I got a big jump out of this meet to put me in position for the regional meet later this season,” Schade said. “The indoor season really jumpstarted my outdoor performances and coach wants me to aim for being undefeated this season and hopefully win at nationals.”
Schade’s jump also ranks fifth all-time at UA and is currently the best in the nation.
“We’ve been a pretty good field team all year and those performers have been consistent all season,” UA head coach Dan Waters said. “Krystle, Kamal, Amethyst and all the women’s hammer throwers have done a fantastic job and continue to improve and get better.”
Under the lights on the track, Shani Chandler won the women’s 400-meter hurdles for the second week in a row with a time of 59.72 while the competitors in the men’s and women’s 5,000-meter races combined to record six personal bests. Austin Duckworth was the top finisher for the men in seventh place at 14:50.93 to shatter his previous best by nearly 14 seconds while Kelsey Johnson led the women in fourth at 17:06.94. Four other UA runners, Katlyn Will, Andrea Torske, Claire Turner and Sarah Gilmore, all followed her into the top 10 of the women’s race.
“I was happy to see some big PRs in the 5,000 meters,” Waters said. “And in the sprint medley relays we got some really nice splits from Dacia Mays and Sarah Thomas on the women’s team and Joel Lynch for the men.”
The second day of the Alabama Relays begins Saturday at noon with the men’s javelin followed by other field events in the afternoon. At 6 p.m., the track events start with the 4x100-meter relays. Tickets for Saturday evening are $10 and also include admittance to the Taste of Tuscaloosa held directly adjacent to the stadium. There, nearly 20 teams from Men Who Cook will prepare their finest dishes for fans to sample and vote on the ‘Best of the Best’ from 5-7 p.m.
Alabama Relays Day One