Track & Field Finishes Alabama Relays With Strong Performances

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Leigh Gilmore helped the women's team finish second in the distance medley relay.
Leigh Gilmore helped the women's team finish second in the distance medley relay.

March 24, 2012

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The University of Alabama track and field team closed out the 2012 Alabama Relays with a strong second day of performances at the Sam Bailey Track Stadium. The men’s team won five of the six events it competed in while the women’s team had nine top-5 performances.

“This was a fun meet and we had a great time out here under the lights,” UA head coach Dan Waters said. “I think the athletes and the fans can appreciate the atmosphere we’re trying to create and this is the start of what we hope becomes something pretty special. I’m very happy with our performances in some of the events today. The relays were good today for the men and we had some really good splits on in the women’s relays that I’m very pleased with.”

The men opened the afternoon field events with a pair of wins from Tyler Campbell and Warrick Campbell in the high jump and triple jump, respectively. Tyler Campbell cleared 7-0.25 with his outdoor season best while Warrick Campbell recorded a jump of 49-2.25.

“Today was just an extension of my training for me,” Warrick Campbell said following his first-place jump. “It’s my first year in this program and I’m working to use everything Coach Booth has taught me and keep making progress with every jump I make.”

The men also earned a pair of first-place finishes in the relays under the lights on the oval as the 4x100-meter team of Kyle Hester, Dushane Farrier, Dwayne Extol and Joel Lynch finished in a dead heat with Stillman at 40.96. In the next-to-last men’s collegiate race of the evening, the men’s distance medley relay team won in a time of 10:12.61 thanks to the efforts of Matt Joyner, Terrell Mickens, Nicholas Hayes and Gary Bradbury.

“It was good, especially for a guy like Terrell [Mickens] who has had a busy weekend with a lot of races,” Bradbury, who took the baton in second place led UA to the win, said. “I still went off too hard for a mile and should have gradually closed the gap down, but it was still good to get the win.”

The men’s sprinters also finished the meet strong, winning the final event of the meet with a time of 3:13.13 in the 4x400-meter relay.

“Our motto going in was to protect our track and we had a few bumps in the road, but we recovered,” said Joel Lynch who led off the relay and gave the Tide a big lead. “I put my team in front and credit my three teammates for doing what they needed to do to win the race for our fans.”

Those teammates included Dwayne Extol, Kyle Hester and Dushane Farrier who helped the Tide win the race by nearly three seconds.

The hurdlers were the highlight for the Tide’s women’s team on the track as Kaylon Eppinger and Audra Frimpong finished first and second in the 100-meter hurdles with times of 13.62 and 13.76, respectively. Those two finishes came on the heels of last weekend’s performance that saw them in a similar position before stumbling over the final hurdles.

“Last week in Tampa we were 1-2 as well but both fell, so It was good to come out on our home track and redeem myself with win,” Eppinger said. “To sweep it with Audra at my last Alabama Relays meant a lot for me to be able to represent for Alabama that way.”

UA’s women also got three second-place finishes in the relays (4x100, 4x400 and DMR) with runners turning in strong split times in each race as Waters noted.

In the afternoon field events Alabama’s women continued their strong season with three top-10 throws in the javelin led by Brittany Hines’ mark of 139-6. In the triple jump, all three of UA’s jumpers also finished in the top 10 with freshman Merilyn Uudmae adding more than a foot to her season-opening jump by jumping 40-7.

“This was another positive step for us as continue to learn as a team about ourselves and competing every week,” Waters added of his team’s continue progress.

The team will look to make another step forward next weekend at the Ole Miss Invitational in Oxford, Miss.

One of the additional highlights on Saturday was four world-class sprinters competing in the invitational sections of the 100 meters at the Sam Bailey Track Stadium. The women’s 100 meters featured professionals Tiffany Townsend, Porscha Lucas and Muna Lee. That trio has accumulated a total of two Olympic appearances, 11 NCAA titles and 56 All-America honors. In the star-studded field, Townsend pulled ahead to win with a time of 11.38 followed by Lucas in 11.45.

“I just wanted to come out, execute and run well,” Townsend said of her season-opening race. “This been a great competition and it was great to run with these ladies tonight. I’m looking forward to running again and this will help me going forward to build my confidence and get a race under my belt that I know I’ll need.”

The men’s 100 meters was equally outstanding with four-time Olympian and World Champion Kim Collins in the field. Collins won the race in 10.32 and was pleased with his first race of the season despite not turning in as fast of a time as he had hoped for.

“I was happy to give the guys a good run and hopefully pull them along to give them a good experience to take with them in their seasons,” Collins said after his first race in Tuscaloosa. “I wanted to go out a lot better today, but I’m still happy to run well and I think it was a good performance. It was a great experience for me and you always want to be able to experience new places.”

Alabama Men’s Results
800 Meters
13. Terrell Mickens, 1:57.90

4x100-Meter Relay
T1. Kyle Hester, Dushane Farrier, Dwayne Extol, Joel Lynch, 40.96

4x400-Meter Relay
1. Joel Lynch, Dwayne Extol, Kyle Hester, Dushane Farrier, 3:13.13

Distance Medley Relay
1. Matt Joyner, Terrell Mickens, Nicholas Hayes, Gary Bradbury, 10:12.61

High Jump
1. Tyler Campbell, 7-0.25

Triple Jump
1. Warrick Campbell, 49-2.25

Alabama Women’s Results
800 Meters
9. Aubrielle Wright, 2:22.50

100-Meter Hurdles
1. Kaylon Eppinger, 13.62
2. Audra Frimpong, 13.76

4x100-Meter Relay
2. Audra Frimpong, Camilla Armstead, Sarah Thomas, Shani Chandler, 46.19

4x400-Meter Relay
2. Dacia Mays, Shani Chandler, Sarah Thomas, Camilla Armstead, 3:45.69

Distance Medley Relay
2. Katlyn Will, Dacia Mays, Elsbeth Denton, Leigh Gilmore, 11:56.66

Triple Jump
3. Merilyn Uudmae, 40-7
4. Chloe Hetherton, 40-4.25
8. Sarah Buschmann, 37-1.25

2. Brittany Hines, 139-6
4. Bekah Hoppis, 134-2
6. Nia Barnes, 120-10