May 15, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
Alabama junior Nia Barnes set a new personal record en route to a third-place finish in the women's hammer throw on Thursday, the first day of the SEC Track and Field Outdoor Championships at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. Barnes' top mark of 60.26 meters (197 feet, 8 inches) ranks second in Alabama history.
"It's always great to see new personal records set at the SEC Championships," Alabama head coach Dan Waters said. "Hopefully Nia's performance today set the tone for the team as we head into the weekend."
Barnes, who entered the day with the fourth-best mark in the SEC (196-1), fouled on her first attempt and threw 59.66 meters (195 feet, 9 inches) on the second throw. Barnes set a PR on her third throw, which spanned 60.04 meter (197-0), and advanced to the finals of the competition. Barnes launched her fourth throw of the day - and first of the finals - a new personal-best distance of 60.26 meters (197 feet, 8 inches) to move to second on the school's all-time list, passing Angelica Howard's mark of 197-5 set on April 17, 2009. Barnes threw 59.54 meters (195-4) on her fifth attempt before fouling on her sixth attempt and finished third behind Georgia's Elizabeth Tepe (64.18m/210-7) and LSU's Denise Hinton (63.21m/207-4). Barnes' third-place finish netted the women's team six points in the team standings.
The women's hammer throw was the only completed event on Thursday but was not the only action on the first day. The women's heptathlon began with four events on Thursday and wraps up with the final three events on Friday afternoon. Through the first four events of the women's heptathlon, Alabama's Lacey Dent tallied 3,033 points, putting her in ninth place. Dent clocked a 14.45 in the 100-meter hurdles for 916 points and cleared 5-1 3/4 in the high jump for 701 points. In her final two events of the day, Dent threw 36-2 1/4 in the shot put to pick up 597 points, and the sophomore netted 819 points with a 25.75 in the 200 meters.
Action continues Friday with the men's hammer throw, the 800 meters, the 200 meters, the 400-meter hurdles and the 10,000 meters, along with the completion of the multi-events.
Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaTrack on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.