June 8, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa -
Krystle Schade closed out her outstanding season by earning first team All-America honors with a fourth place finish in the high jump on Friday evening at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Schade cleared a season high and outdoor personal best of 6-1.5 to record the second highest outdoor jump in school history.
“I was estactic about my outdoor PR today,” Schade said. “I haven’t felt this good since the indoor season and I’m proud of myself. I tried to jump 1.90 meters (6-2.75), but just didn’t have it today and I’m happy where I placed today.”
Schade matched her previous season best of 6-0 on her third jump of the day and missed once at 6-1.5 before clearing on her next attempt to jump into second all-time at UA. With the bar at 6-2.75, she missed on her next three attempts but was one of just five competitors that even advanced to that height.
“She came out here and started firing away and getting over bars,” UA head coach Dan Waters said of Schade’s performance. “She cleared the highest bar she’s cleared outdoors and is an All-American so I’m very proud of what she was able to accomplish today.”
The Tide had one other competitor in action on Friday as Kaylon Eppinger lined up in the final three events of the seven-event heptathlon.
Eppinger finished the two-day event in 17th place with 5,359 points.
“Today was another day to go out and get some good marks in these three events,” Eppinger said. “But it just wasn’t my day. It’s a grind and a very tough event. You can’t go easy in any event because every event matters and you have to treat each one like it’s your last event.”
Eppinger started the day off strong with a season best jump of 18-7.25 in the long jump followed by a throw of 109-2 in the javelin. In the final event, the 800 meters, she recorded a time of 2:24.25.
“She competed very hard and put everything she had into each event,” Waters said. “I’m pleased with the effort she put forth and just like every other meet she’s competed in, she competed with tenacity and it’s something we’re very proud of in her last event with the Crimson Tide.”
Schade and Eppinger were the final two athletes scheduled to compete at the NCAA Championships as the Crimson Tide finishes its outdoor season with four athletes, Alexis Paine (women’s pole vault), Tyler Campbell (men’s high jump), Kamal Fuller (men’s long jump) and Schade all eligible to receive All-America honors.
“We had some extremely positive performances this week,” Waters said. “There’s a lot of things we can build on with people coming back and gaining experience here. The things we talk about, competing, following the process and listening to your coaches have been fantastic this week. That is something we’re going to take back to Tuscaloosa and build on.”