Tide Opens Outdoor Season With Memorable Day at Alabama Relays



March 23, 2013

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -Freshman Elias Hakanssonshattered a school record in the men's hammer throw to lead the University of Alabama track and field team on the first day of competition at the 2013 John Mitchell Alabama Relays at Sam Bailey Track Stadium on the UA campus. That victory was one of three individual event wins and two relay victories for the Crimson Tide on Friday.

Hakansson obliterated a 15-year-old record in the hammer, eclipsing the previous school mark of 195 feet, 4 inches set by Derrick Jones in 1998. He did so on his first attempt in a series of five attempts in which all three of his legal throws exceeded Jones' mark. Hakansson finished the day with a best of 210-0 (64.01 meters) and ended the day owning the three best throws in UA history. His first effort traveled 209-5 (63.83m) and his other legal attempt traveled 203-10 (62.14m).

The native of Halmstad, Sweden, now owns the indoor weight throw school record and the outdoor hammer throw mark in his first season at the Capstone.

Charodd Richardsonalso had a strong day in the hammer, placing fifth with a best of 184-2 (56.14m), the eight-best throw in UA history. He also had solid efforts of 170-3 (51.91m) and 177-8 (54.15m) in his series. All of those exceeded his career best entering the meet.

Alabama also picked up victories in the women's 1,500 meters as Kimberley Ficenec posted a time of 4 minutes, 28.23 seconds to win convincingly ahead of Indiana's Samantha Ginther (4:31.98). Meropi Panagiotouwas fourth in 4:34.82. Sarah Thomas earned a victory in the women's 100-meter dash with a time of 12.36.

The Crimson Tide swept the men's and women's 1,600-meter sprint medley relays. The women's quartet of Sarah Thomas, Joy Maneice-Marbury, Dacia Mays and Yanique Malcolm won the event in a time of 3:56.53 ahead of Iowa (3:58.72). The men's relay team of Dwight Davis, Joel Lynch, Quincy Smith and Ken Taylorwon their race in 3:20.52 to beat Indiana (3:23.47) and Iowa (3:24.25).

Alabama had a strong showing in the men's triple jump as Tide athletes took three of the top eight places in the event. Imani Brown led the way with a personal-best performance of 49 feet, 10 1/2 inches (15.20m) to place second behind Georgia Tech's Jonathan Gardner (51-11 3/4 - 15.84m). Alabama's Jonathan Reid was third at 49-10 (15.19m) with George Freibergereighth at 46-9 (14.25m).

Austin Duckworth destroyed his personal best in the 5,000 meters by more than 30 seconds on the way to a victory in a time of 14 minutes, 32.42 seconds, more than five seconds ahead of Cincinnati's Kevin Fink who finished second in 14:37.96. Katelyn Greenleafwas fourth in the women's 5k in a time of 17:16.74.