April 27, 2013
Des Moines, Iowa- Highlighted by a victory in the men's 4x100 meter relay, the Alabama track and field team had a successful closing day at the 104th edition of the Drake Relays. In addition to the 4x100 victory, the Crimson Tide brought home five top-five finishes on Saturday, the final day of the prestigious meet.
"We had focus and determination today," said head coach Dan Waters. "We executed our competition plans and were able to post some outstanding marks. I am very happy with this team's ability to compete on a big stage. This was another step forward for us with SECs just two weeks away."
In a day filled with positives, the stamp on Alabama's finish to the Drake Relays was the men's 4x100 meter relay team that put together a near record-breaking performance in the finals, missing the Drake Relays record by one-tenth of a second. Alex Sanders, Diondre Batson, Akeem Haynes and Dushane Farriernow own the third-best 4x100 time in Alabama history with a clocking of 38.97, the first sub-39 second time by a Tide relay unit since 1983. The mark represents the second fastest time in the nation this year, trailing only Texas A&M's 38.64. Earlier in the year the foursome put up the Crimson Tide's fifth-best time ever at the Crimson Tide Invitational.
Both the men's sprint medley relay and women's distance medley teams had success on Saturday. The women's distance medley team set a school record while finishing runner-up to Minnesota's 11:06.47. The quartet of Susie Kemper, Dacia Mays, Yanique Malcolm and Kimberley Ficenec put together a remarkable race, beating SEC foe Georgia and nationally ranked teams Illinois and Iowa State. James Harrington, Joel Lynch, Quincy Smith and Ken Taylorcombined to run the fastest time of the year for the Crimson Tide men, finishing fifth with a time of 3:19.70.
Freshman jumper Justin Fondrenadded to his memorable first year at the Capstone, adding his fifth top-five finish of the outdoor campaign. Fondren finished third in the high jump with a mark of 6-11½.
In the triple jump, junior Jonathan Reid finished sixth, registering a jump of 50-4 ¾, while freshman teammate Imani Brownadded another top-10 finish by finishing ninth with a 50-2 ¾ effort. Brown now has six top-10 finishes this season
Adding to the success in the relays, the men's 4x400 relay team added a top-five finish in the afternoon session. The group of Joel Lynch, Dwight Davis, Quincy Smith and Ken Taylorran their fastest time of the year with a 3:06.04 to place fourth. The Crimson Tide will be back in action May 9, as the men and women travel to Columbia, Mo., for the 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships. For live and up-to-the-minute results and breaking news make sure to follow the Alabama Track & Field Official Twitter at @AlabamaTrack.
Alabama Results at the Drake Relays
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Sprint Medley Relay - 5. Alabama (Harrington, Lynch, Smith, Taylor), 3:19.70.
4x100 Meter Relay - 1. Alabama (Sanders, Batson, Haynes, Farrier), 38.97.
4x400 Meter Relay - 4. Alabama (Lynch, Davis, Smith, Taylor) 3:06.04.
High Jump - t3. Justin Fondren, 6-11 ½ (2.12m).
Triple Jump - 6. Jonathan Reid, 50-4 ¾ (15.36m); 9. Imani Brown, 50-2 ¾ (15.31m).
400 Meter Hurdles - 12. Shani Chandler, 60.07.
Distance Medley - 2. Kemper, Mays, Malcolm, Ficenec, 11:09.50.