Batson's Victory in Men's 100 Highlights Tide at the SEC Championships

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Robbie Farnham-Rose finished fourth in the 1,500 meters
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Robbie Farnham-Rose finished fourth in the 1,500 meters
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

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May 12, 2013

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Diondre Batson's SEC title in the 100 meters capped off a strong showing from The University of Alabama's track and field team Sunday in the final day of the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Missouri's Audrey J. Walton Stadium.

The Alabama men finished sixth with 52 points, the highest finish by the Crimson Tide men since 2006. The women placed 12th, with 20 points.

"I'm proud of the progression of this team," Alabama head coach Dan Waters said Sunday. "From last year to this year we've seen a lot of improvement and we are steadily building a program here to compete at the highest level. There were a lot of bright spots today - Diondre with the win in the 100 - and overall I think the team competed at a high level this weekend."

Batson captured the SEC crown with a time of 10.12, beating out a stacked field that included a 2012 Olympian and five of the top 12 100-meter sprinters of 2013.  Batson's time of 10.12 ranks as the fourth fastest time in Crimson Tide history and is the fastest time that an Alabama athlete has run at the SEC Outdoor Championships.

The native of Sacramento, Calif., joins a select group of Crimson Tide sprinters, as he becomes the third UA athlete to bring home an SEC Championship in the 100 meters. Batson joins the 2006 winner Chauncey Harris, who won the event with a time of 10.14, and Emmit King, whose 10.13 reigned supreme in 1982.

Less than an hour following the championship win, Batson was back out on the track for the 200-meter final. Having only competed in the 200 meters once this year prior to the SEC Championships, Batson finished third in a world-class field. The transfer from American River College was clocked at a 20.52, which is the fifth fastest time recorded by a Crimson Tide athlete all time.

Batson is the first male sprinter from Alabama to win the 100 meters and finish in the top three in the 200 meters at the SEC Championships. He will go into the NCAA Regionals as one of the favorites in the 100 meters.

Batson's day did not end with his performances in the individual events. He aided in a second-place finish in the men's 4x100 meter relay. The team of Alex Sanders, Batson, Akeem Haynes and Dushane Farrier put together a time of 39.08, which ranks as the fifth best time in Alabama history. The foursome earned eight points by finishing second behind LSU.

Freshman Justin Fondren saved his best performance of the year for when it mattered most. Fondren earned All-SEC honors by finishing second in the high jump, while in the process setting a new personal best by clearing a mark of 7-2 ¼ (2.19m), a mark that also tied for sixth on the UA all-time list.

"He's worked hard, he has never gotten down on himself and he's a great kid," jumps coach Dick Booth said. "I think he is going to have a great future with us. I'm really proud of him, I'm proud of the way he competed."

The Oxford, Miss. talent is the first All-SEC athlete in the high jump for Alabama since Tyler Boswell in 2007. 

Alabama placed two underclassmen in the top eight in the men's triple jump, with Jonathan Reid placing fifth and Imani Brown taking home seventh. Reid, a sophomore, jumped 51-1 ½ (15.58m), the tenth best mark in Alabama track and field lore. Brown, a native of Reading, Pa., placed seventh in his first SEC Outdoor Championships by recording a mark of 50-4 ½ (15.35m).

Freshman Robbie Farnham-Rose added to his stellar first year at the Capstone by finishing fourth in the men's 1,500 meters on Sunday. Farnham-Rose ran a 3:51.46 and contributed five points to the men's team overall total.

In the women's 800 meters, another newcomer made an impact. Junior transfer Yanique Malcolm finished seventh with a time of 2:08.30, a time that ranks eighth on the all-time Alabama list.

In the first event of the day, senior Bekah Hoppis ended her SEC career with an eighth place finish in the javelin throw. She recorded a mark of 139-4 (42.46m) and earned the women's team one point by placing eighth. The native Tuscaloosa, Ala., has earned points in each of her four finishes at the SEC Outdoor Championships.

The track and field teams will be back in action at the NCAA East Regional, May 23-25. For breaking news and updates, follow the official Twitter feed of the Crimson Tide Track and Field Team, @AlabamaTrack.


2013 SEC OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS - ALABAMA RESULTS

Sunday, May 12, 2013 

MEN

Triple Jump (Finals) -5. Jonathan Reid 51-1 ½ (15.58m); 7. Imani Brown 50-4 ½ (15.35m); DNS Kamal Fuller.
Discus (Finals) - 16. Taber Wanstall 155-11 (47.53m).
High Jump (Finals) - 2. Justin Fondren 7-2 ¼ (2.19m)
4x100 Meters Relay (Finals) - 2. Alabama [Sanders, Batson, Haynes, Farrier] 39.08.
1,500 Meters (Finals) - 4. Robbie Farnham-Rose 3:51.46.
100 Meters (Finals) - 1. Diondre Batson 10.12.
200 Meters (Finals) - 3. Diondre Batson 20.52.
5,000 Meters (Finals) - DNF Parker Deuel; DNF Gil Walton; DNS Austin Duckworth.
4x400 Meters Relay (Finals) - 6. Alabama [Lynch, Davis, Taylor, Smith] 3:06.36. 

WOMEN

Javelin (Finals) - 8. Bekah Hoppis 139-4 (42.46m); 15. Nia Barnes 136-2 (41.50m).
Shot Put (Finals) - 10. Wilamena Hopkins 50-4 (15.34m).
Triple Jump (Finals) - DNS Callie Ives.
1,500 Meters (Finals) - 10. Meropi Panagiotou 4:24.16.
800 Meters (Finals) - 7. Yanique Malcolm 2:08.30.
5,000 Meters (Finals) - 21. Katelyn Greenleaf 17:03.94; 29. Susie Kemper 17:19.64; 36. Rebecca Stover 17:30.72; DNS Meropi Panagiotou.
4x400 Meters Relay (Finals) - 9. Alabama [Chandler, Malcolm, Thomas, Mays] 3:44.58. 
 

Final Team Standings 

MEN

1.) Arkansas (152.50 points)
2.) Florida (123 points)
3.) Texas A&M (118 points)
4.) Louisiana State University (72.50 points)
5.) Georgia (56 points)
6.) Alabama (52 points)
7.) Kentucky (46 points)
8.) Mississippi (39 points)
t9.) Auburn (37 points)
t9.) Missouri (37 points)
t11.) Mississippi State (33 points)
t11.) Tennessee (33 points)
13.) South Carolina (16 points) 

WOMEN

1.) Texas A&M (117 points)
2.) Louisiana State University (112 points)
3.) Arkansas (109 points)
4.) Florida (106 points)
5.) Georgia (87 points)
6.) Missouri (49 points)
7.) Kentucky (46 points)
8.) South Carolina (41 points)
9.) Tennessee (38.50 points)
10.) Mississippi State (35 points)
11.) Auburn (32.50 points)
12.) Alabama (20 points)
13.) Vanderbilt (16 points)
14.) Mississippi (9 points) 

NOTES

*Alabama finished 12th on the women's side earning 20 points.
*The Alabama men finished sixth, the best finish since 2006.
*Diondre Batson was the first 100-meter winner from Alabama since Chauncey Harris in 2006.
*Batson's time of 10.12 is the fourth fastest time in Alabama's all time track records.
*Batson is the third 100-meter winner for Alabama in SEC Championships history. He joins Chauncey Harris (2006, 10.14) and Emmit King (1982, 10.13).
*Diondre Batson ran in the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 4x100 meter relay team on the final day of the championships, netting 24 points in for the men's team. 
*Nia Barnes recorded a season high throw of 136-2 (41.50m) in the javelin today.
*Bekah Hoppis finish eighth in the javelin today, ending her career at the SEC Championships with four finishes that earned points (2013: eighth; 2012: sixth; 2011: fifth; 2010: third).
*Meropi Panagiotou finished with a time of 4:24.16 in the 1,500 meters, the seventh fastest time in Crimson Tide history.
*Jonathan Reid 51-1 ½ (15.58m), tenth on the UA all time triple jump list.
*4x100 team ran a 39.08, fifth fastest time in UA history.
*Justin Fondren cleared a high jump of 7-2 ¼, setting a new personal best, tying for sixth on the all-time list at Alabama.
*The 20.52 time that Batson recorded in the 200 meters final today was the fastest 200 time of the year for him, and ranks fifth in Alabama history.
*All three women's runners in the 5,000 meters set personal bests in the event: Katelyn Greenleaf (17:03.94), Susie Kemper (17:19.64) and Rebecca Stover (17:30.72). 

QUOTES

Jumps Coach Dick Booth

On freshman Justin Fondren:

"Justin had a great high school career and he had a lot of pressure on him coming in. When a freshman comes to The University of Alabama, he has no idea what the workload is going to be. He can imagine, he has heard about it, but until you do it. We do crazy hard stuff with these days in mind. We stay in somewhat a state of fatigue, especially mental. It's easy to get a little down in the dumps because you're not jumping like you did in high school. The method to our madness is let's get ready for the ones that really matter and obviously this is the first one - then we have the regionals and the nationals, and I think he will do better each time.  He's worked hard, he has never gotten down on himself and he's a great kid. I think he is going to have a great future with us. I'm really proud of him, I'm proud of the way he competed. He hurt his knee on one of the jumps and I didn't know if he was going to be able to continue - he's kind of a warrior."

Head Coach Dan Waters

"I'm proud of the progression of this team. From last year to this year we've seen a lot of improvement and we are steadily building a program here to compete at the highest level. There were a lot of bright spots today - Diondre with the win in the 100 - and overall I think the team competed at a high level this weekend."