Track & Field Continues Competition on the Second Day of the NCAA Championships
June 7, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa -
The University of Alabama track and field team continued competition during the second day of events at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with Kaylon Eppinger in the heptathlon and Tyler Campbell in the high jump Thursday at Drake Stadium.
Eppinger finished the first four events of the heptathlon in 14th place. However, her score of 3,303 points is just 121 points out of eighth place and a spot on the podium. Campbell finished 16th in the men's high jump with a clearance of 7-0.5.
"Overall, I have a positive attitude and the hurdles went pretty well at 13.6 and I'll take that any day to start off a multi-event," Eppinger said. "The high jump wasn't my best, but I was able to clear some heights and compete hard. I was up in the high 11 meters in the shot put but was still able to compete hard and the 200 meters was just off my PR."
The senior opened her day with the fifth fastest 100-meter hurdle time at 13.64 - into a slight headwind, followed by a height of 5-4.25 in the high jump. She then recorded a mark of 39-3 in the shot put and closed out competition with a strong 200-meter time of 25.47.
"She's probably not happy with all her events today, but that's what makes her a great competitor," UA head coach Dan Waters said. "We know she'll bring her `A' game tomorrow and really compete. She's a gutsy athlete and a crafty veteran. She does a very good job of individualizing each event so she'll compartmentalize this and look to make big jumps in the standings tomorrow."
She'll compete in the final three events of the heptathlon on Friday with the long jump, javelin and 800 meters.
Campbell easily cleared on his first two heights of the day before missing on his first attempt at 7-0.5. He cleared that height on his next attempt to push the bar to his personal best of 7-2.5. With the bar at 7-2.5, he missed on his first two attempts and appeared to have cleared on his final attempt, but just barely clipped the bar with his leg on the way down to end his season.
"It's frustrating because I've been jumping well all year," Campbell said. "I had good jumps and good attempts. I was going for my personal best and just didn't have it today. I think I could have been more aggressive and that's what it comes down to. If I'd been more aggressive, I think I could have cleared it."
Earlier this season, he cleared a season-high mark of 7-2.25, the sixth best height in school history, and earned a fifth-place finish at the Southeastern Conference Championships.
"If you take a look at his body of work, this has been his most consistent year of jumping he's ever had," Waters said. "He's been jumping right at his PR almost every week and his consistency has been there. When someone is as consistent as he's been, that next bar is always coming. We're sad he didn't get that next bar today, but it's going to happen for him."
Eppinger and the Tide return to action at the NCAA Championships on Friday with the heptathlon long jump starting at 3 p.m. followed by the javelin and 800 meters. The Tide's other remaining competitor, Krystle Schade, will compete in the women's high jump at 4:30 p.m. She will be aiming to improve upon her NCAA Indoor Runner-Up performance and add another All-America accolade to her resume.