Track & Field Signs Stellar Recruiting Class Crimson Tide signs 27 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent
The UA coaching staff inked a very strong class for 2012
Feb. 1, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
University of Alabama first-year head coach Dan Waters announced Wednesday that 27 student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Crimson Tide track and field program next season.
The signees span the spectrum of event as Waters and his staff assembled a group that appears primed to transform the program. The class features 16 signees on the men's side and 11 newcomers to the women's squad. Of the 27 who signed, 11 are currently ranked in the top 25 nationally in their respective events while 19 have won at least one state championship.
"There's quite a few student-athletes we signed that I feel are future pillars of the program and can develop into multiple point scorers in the future," Waters said. "I believe we really stuck close to the vision of the program and the direction we want to head. This group of talented student-athletes is big step forward in our overall plan to bring Alabama track and field to a position of prominence in the SEC and nationally."
The men's class features six sprinters including one of the country's top 200-meter runners in Jermaine Authorlee who is currently ranked third in the event and James Harrington who is one of the top sprinters in Iowa high school history. The group of incoming sprinters is bolstered by Alabamian and 400-meter state champion Quincy Smith.
The Tide also signed one of the country's best high jumpers in Justin Fondren who was the bronze medalist at the World Youth Championships and the champion at the New Balance National Championships. In the horizontal jumps, the men's team added Imani Brown, the fifth ranked triple jumper in the 2012 class.
The men's class also features four throwers, including Hayden Reed who is ranked in the top 10 nationally in both the discus and shot put.
The women's class includes Sydney Conley, the daughter of Olympic gold medalist and world champion Mike Conley. She is currently the top-ranked long jumper in the class and is also ranked in the top 10 in the 60 meters. In the sprints, the Tide signed two of the top in-state talents in Joy Maneice-Marbury and Lacey Dent from Hoover and Mobile, Ala., respectively. Florida 400-meter state champion Kyri Tabor also joins the talented influx of sprinters.
The bulk of the women's class is comprised of distance runners, including Kimberly Ficenec who claimed the New Balance Nationals 800-meter title last year and Taylor Hatfield who was the Ohio state champion and state record holder in the 800 meters.
"The coaching staff did a great job working hard all fall and into the winter months to put together a very talented group," Waters said. "I'm very pleased with the overall class and our ability to fill our needs."
Set a personal best in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters as a runner-up in both events at the Maryland 4A State Track & Field Championships his junior year with times of 4:20.05 and 9:22.98, respectively.
"The runner-up in both the 1600 and 3200 in Maryland last year, he proved to be a championship runner running his best times when it mattered the most. He's a great addition to the cross country team and will be a great help to the long distances on the track." - Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distance)
Galena Park North Shore
Personal Bests 200 meters - 20.91 (w)
Is ranked third in the nation in the 200 meters in the Class of 2012 ... was the Texas 5A State Champion in the 200 meters with a then personal best of 21.00 ... that time was the 10th fastest high school time in the country.
"Anytime you can sign someone like Jermaine you feel fortunate because he can do so many things for the program. He is one of the top-ranked athletes in the 200 meters but also shows promise in both the 100 and the 400 meters. I am very excited about watching him develop at Alabama. He is one of the most talented high school athletes in the country and will come in with the potential to be one of the best sprinters in Alabama history." - Matt Kane, Assistant Coach (Sprints/Hurdles)
Personal Bests Triple Jump - 50-6.75 (w)
Competed at the IAAF Youth World Championships in Lille, France ... won the triple jump at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals ... also claimed the PIAA State Championship in the event in 2011 ... was ranked among the top 20 high school triple jumpers in 2011 and is ranked fifth during the 2012 indoor season.
"Imani is one of the top triple jumpers in the nation. He brings a lot of talent and enthusiasm to our jumps squad. He will immediately contribute to our team's improvement." - Dick Booth, Assistant Coach (Jumps)
Personal Bests Triple jump - 38-11 Long jump - 20-3.5 60 meters - 7.54
The daughter of Olympic gold medalist, world champion and USA Track Hall of Fame member Mike Conley who was coached by current UA jumps coach Dick Booth ... owns the top long jump mark this season in the Class of 2012 and won the state indoor title in the 60 meters with a state record of 7.63 ... also claimed the indoor title in the triple jump, long jump and high jump ... also won outdoor titles in the 100 meters and the long jump.
"Sydney is very talented, versatile and motivated. She is currently the No. 1 high school long jumper in the country and will help greatly in the triple jump and sprints as well." - Dick Booth, Assistant Coach (Jumps)
St. Paul's Episcopal
Personal Bests 60-meter hurdles - 8.99 100-meter hurdles - 14.23 300-meter hurdles - 45.18 200 meters - 25.10 Long Jump - 18-4 Triple Jump - 38-10 High Jump - 5-5
As a sophomore, she notched a personal best of 14.23 in the 100-meter hurdles to win the 2010 Class 5A State Championships ... named Alabama's Gatorade Track & Field Athlete of the Year for 2010-11 ... as a junior, won the heptathlon, 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles (45.18), long jump (19-0) at 2011 AHSAA Class 5A State Championships ... set an indoor high jump personal best of 5 feet, 5 inches at the 2012 Icebreaker Invitational ... won the long jump at the 2009 AHSAA Class 5A State Championships with a leap of 18-9.
"Lacey Dent is an all-around athlete who will come in and help the team not only as Multi-event athlete, but also in her individual events. Every team needs an athlete like Lacey on their team and we are excited to have her." -Matt Kane, Assistant Coach (Sprints/Hurdles)
Personal Bests 200 meters - 22.23 400 meters - 48.02
Is the 2011 Florida 2A state champion in the 400 meters with a personal best of 48.02 ... owns a personal best of 22.23 in the 200 meters set at the Hallandale Invitational.
"Dwight's strength and ability to finish his races is what really attracted us to him. He is a state champion in the state of Florida - which is known for great sprinters - and we feel like he will be able to step in and compete in the SEC right away and develop into one of the top quarter-milers in the country." - Matt Kane, Assistant Coach (Sprints/Hurdles)
Chippewa Falls, Wisc.
Personal Bests 3,200 meters - 9:34 5,000 meters - 16:13.80
Placed 14th at the 2011 Wisconsin State Cross Country Championships ... won the 3,200 meters at the 2011 Big Rivers Conference Championship ... a consistent qualifier for the State meet in both cross country and on the track during his prep career.
"Andrew is a good out-of-state pickup who is passionate about Alabama and where the program is headed. He'll help the cross team in the fall and focus on the long distance races on the track." - Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distance)
Personal Bests Discus - 185-11 Javelin - 191-9 Shot Put - 59-5
One of the top throws prospects who has consistently been nationally competitive in all three implements during his prep career ... his personal best shot put of 59 feet, 5 inches earned him a victory at the 2012 Franklin & Marshall Indoor Invitational ... has won three of his four competitions thus far during the 2012 indoor season ... also won shot put competitions at the Kutztown Invitational (59-2) ... won the 2011 Pennsylvania Class 3A District title with a toss of 59-3 ½, his best outdoor shot of the season ... placed fourth in the discus at the 2011 Penn Relays with a throw of 178 feet, 9 inches ... finished second in the event at the state championships with a throw of 178-4
"Kyle brings an incredible level of athletic diversity to our team. With the ability to contribute in three or more events, his addition to the team gives us the ability to score two or more throwers in every event. His natural athletic abilities are impressive, and with continued development and refinement of those abilities, Kyle's potential is limitless." - Doug Reynolds, Assistant Coach (Throws)
Is currently ranked ninth nationally in the mile indoors with a time of 4:55.68 ... was the national champion in the 800 meters at the New Balance Outdoor National Championships ... was the runner-up in both the 800 and 1,600 meters at the 2011 VHSL Group AAA State Championships with personal best times of 2:09.83 and 4:53.70.
"Kim was a huge pickup for us this fall. Not only is she the national outdoor 800 meter champion, she has great range all over the track and on the cross country course. She's a very versatile runner with great tools and a great work ethic." - Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distance)
Personal Bests High Jump - 7-2.25
Was a bronze medalist in the IAAF World Youth Championships in Lille, France in 2011 ... National Champion at the New Balance Nationals and a high school All-American his junior year ... was the winner of the USA World Youth Trials in 2011 ... co-holder of the Freshman National Record in the high jump with a mark of 7-0 ... Oxford High School Record holder with a mark of 7-2.25 in the high jump ... state champion in the high jump in 2010 and 2011 ... finished second with a high jump of 7-0 at the 2009 State Championships.
"It's a great day for the Crimson Tide when we land the No. 1 high jumper in the country. Justin is the top high school high jumper at the country, has cleared 7-2.5 and will be a real difference maker for our team." - Dick Booth, Assistant Coach (Jumps)
Personal Bests Pole Vault - 16-0.25
Won the Alabama Sports Festival in the pole vault with a mark of 15-0 his junior year ... took first place in the pole vault with a mark of 15-7 at the 2011 Louisiana Governor's Games ... the 2011 MSHAA 3A State Champion in pole vault ... also placed first in the MSHAA South State 3A Championships in pole vault that year ... 2010 MSHAA 3A State Champion in pole vault ... placed seventh in pole vault at the 2010 AAU Junior Olympic National Championship.
"Conner brings great quality to our pole vault squad that we can build upon. He's currently ranked as the fifth best high school vaulter in the country." - Dick Booth, Assistant Coach (Jumps)
One of the top distance runners in the state of Florida ... placed third in the 2011 Florida Class A State Cross Country Championships in a time of 18:33.86 ... placed fourth at the 2010 Florida Class A State Championships in the 3,200 meters with her personal best time of 11:07.93 ... place fourth in the 800 meters in the 2011 Florida Class A Outdoor State Championships in a time of 2:19.51.
"Another great addition to the team, Katelyn will be a good addition to the cross country team and will be primarily a long distance runner on the track. She possesses a great work ethic and a very coachable spirit. We're very excited to have her on board." - Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distance)
Personal Bests Pole Vault - 12-6
Finished 10th at the USATF National Junior Olympic Outdoor Track and Field Championships ... won the Georgia Games Track & Field Championship in the pole vault with a mark of 11-6 ... placed first in pole vault with a mark of 11-9 at 2011 GISA State Meet her junior year ...set a personal best of 15-6 in long jump at GISA State Meet as well.
"Reed is a real important addition to our pole vault squad. She has been a solid commitment since her visit and will bring lots of enthusiasm to our team." - Dick Booth, Assistant Coach (Jumps)
Was the 2011 Iowa state champion in the 100, 200, 4x100 and 4x200 meters ... also ran a personal best of 21.16 in the 200 meters at the Iowa State High School Track & Field Championships in 2011 which is the overall class record in the State of Iowa ... owns a personal best of 7.02 in the 60 meters with a first-place finish at the Dickinson Iowa Indoor Track & Field Meet ... State Champion in the 200 meters his sophomore year at 2010 Iowa Track and Field State Championships.
"James is a special athlete. As a junior he is already a five-time state champion and has recorded the fastest 200 meters in Iowa history. He is a guy comes that we feel can develop into one of the premier sprinters in college." - Matt Kane, Assistant Coach (Sprints/Hurdles)
A two-time Alabama Class 5A state champion (2010 and 2011) ... the 2011 Alabama Class 5A state champion in the 800 meters with a time of 1:54.93 ... has the top 800-meter indoor time this season in Alabama with a 1:54.11 clocking set January 28 at the Last Chance Invitational at the Crossplex in Birmingham ... finished second in the 1,600 meters at the Class 5A State Championships in a time 4:26.52 ... placed 15th in the 800 (1:55.62) at the 2011 New Balance Outdoor Nationals.
"Andrew is one of if not the top middle distance runner in the state and a guy with tremendous upside. He's great addition to the team who will be a key part in the rebuilding of the men's distance squad going into the future." - Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distance)
Personal Bests 800 meters - 2:08.91 5,000 meters - 18:24.81
Ran a season best time of 18:30.15 in the 5,000m at the 2011 OHSAA Ohio State Cross Country Championship her senior year ... was the Division II State Champion in the 800 meters with a personal best time of 2:08.91 ... state runner-up in the 800 meters at the Division II Indoor State Championships ... was the Division II state cross country runner-up in 2009.
"Taylor has great range being the 2010 Ohio state champion in the 800 with a state record of 2:08.91 and finishing third this season in cross country. She has the ability to be successful in a variety of events and will be a huge addition to the team." - Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distances)
Personal Bests Long Jump - 19-1.5 Triple Jump - 39-7
Was the Texas 3A state champion in the long jump as a freshman and a sophomore and finished fourth in the triple jump both seasons … was named the 3A Female Athlete of the Year in 2010 … was hampered by injuries her junior season that prevented her from potentially winning a third straight long jump state title … was also the MVP of her volleyball and softball teams.
“The thing I like about Callie is that she’s extremely excited to come to Alabama and join our program. I’m really excited about her potential and she will definitely bolster our horizontal jumps crew. She was injured most of last year and didn’t compete the way she wanted to, so I’m looking forward to seeing her compete and have a successful senior season.” - Dick Booth, Assistant Coach (Jumps)
An accomplished cross country runner who also is a versatile performer on the track ... won the 2011 Class 3A Texas State Cross Country Championship with a time of 11:42.27 ... won the 2011 Class 3A Texas State Championship in the 1,600 meters as a junior with a time of 5:01.34 ... placed second in the 800 meters at the 2011 Class 3A Texas State Championships with a time of 2:15.56 ... as a junior, was second in the 2010 Class 3A Texas State Cross Country Championships with a time of 11:42.07 ... As a sophomore in 2010, placed third in the 800 meters at the Class 3A Texas State Championships in 2:18.53 ... placed fifth as a freshman in the 2009 Class 3A Texas State Cross Country Championships with a time of 11:57.49.
"A Class 3A Texas state champion in both cross country and track, Susie has proven herself to be a winner in championship races. She has a competitive spirit and a great work ethic, we're extremely glad to have her signing with us." - Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distances)
Set a personal best and won the 60 meters with a time of 7.65 at 2012 Last Chance Indoor Invitational at the Birmingham Crossplex on January 28 ... also won the 400 meters in a personal best of 57.00 at the same meet ... as a junior, was the Class 6A state champion in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes at the 2011 AHSAA State Track and Field 4A-6A Championships ... won the 100 in 12.26 after setting a personal best of 12.01 in the preliminaries ... won the 200 in a personal best of 24.86 after posting a non-wind aided 24.92 in the prelims.
"Joy is the top all-around sprinter in the state of Alabama. She is the type of person that you are just really happy that you have in your program. She can sprint and run on our long relay. The type of athletic ability and range that she shows generally translates to great running in college." -Matt Kane, Assistant Coach (Sprints/Hurdles)
American Christian Academy
Personal Bests 1,600 meters - 5:22.89 3,200 meters - 11:37.65
Was the 2010 and 2011 Alabama State Cross Country Champion ... led her high school team to back-to-back state titles both seasons ... was named all-state in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters in 2011 ... was second in all three events at the 2011 state championships ... was a member of the state championship 4x800-meter relay team.
"The two-time Alabama state champion in cross country, Analisa is a local athletes who we're excited to have be a part of the Crimson Tide." - Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distance)
Personal Bests Discus - 186-3 Shot Put - 63-5.25
Is ranked fourth in the nation in the shot put and ninth in the discus in the Class of 2012 ... won the Texas 4A State Championship in the discus and the shot put ... won the discus title with a personal best throw of 186-3 and claimed top honors in the shot put with a throw of 62-8.75 ... tossed a personal best shot put mark of 63-5.25 at the state district meet ... won the high school discus competition at the prestigious Texas Relays.
"Hayden brings an incredible level of natural athleticism and his top 10 ranking in both the shot and discus shows this. What it doesn't show is the incredible work ethic and team spirit Hayden brings to Alabama. From the day he committed to Alabama, Hayden has shown that he can help us lead this young group into a new era of Alabama track and field." - Doug Reynolds, Assistant Coach (Throws)
Finished third at the 2011 NJCAA Championship in the 55 meters with a time of 6.32 ... is currently ranked No. 1 in the junior college ranks in the 60 meters and third in the 200 meters.
"Alex is a guy who, as the top returning short sprinter in junior college, brings a lot of experience at the collegiate level. Alex is very explosive, and has a good potential to continue to improve in the sprints." - Matt Kane, Assistant Coach (Sprints/Hurdles)
Vestavia Hills, Ala.
Personal Bests Javelin - 192-1
Threw a personal best of 192-1 in the javelin at 2011 AHSAA State Track and Field 4A-6A Championships to finish second.
"Kevin is a talented multi-sport athlete who has succeeded in every sport. As the top returning javelin thrower in Alabama, he, along with the other signees, will bring a new dimension to Alabama track and field. With the ability to focus on one sport, Kevin will quickly become one of the elite throwers in the SEC." - Doug Reynolds, Assistant Coach (Throws)
Ran a season-best time of 49.04 in the 400 meters to place first at the Holiday Invitational in his senior year... set a personal best of 47.49 in the 400 meters at New Balance Outdoor Nationals his junior season ... won the 400 meters at the 2011 AHSAA State Track and Field 4A-6A Championships
"Quincy is a diamond in the rough and the type of guy that could fly under people's radar because he just wins. He is the top 400-meter runner in the state of Alabama, and we feel like he will really progress as the talent level he faces increases. He has the build and the ability to come in and help us right away." - Matt Kane, Assistant Coach (Sprints/Hurdles)
Personal Bests Pole Vault - 15-0
Finished second in the pole vault at the 2011 Alabama State Championships ... cleared 15-0 last month at the Ice Breaker Invitational which currently tied for the top mark in the state.
"Johnny is a very promising young vaulter who will give quality depth to our team. We're always excited to sign the top athletes in the state of Alabama and he is currently the top vaulter in the state." - Dick Booth, Assistant Coach (Jumps)
Was a full-time soccer player in high school ... placed second in the 1,600 meters with a time of 5:04.98 at the 2011 TSSAA Class AAA State Championships her junior year ... also finished third at State Championships that season in the 800 meters with a time of 2:18.77 ... 2010 TSSAA Class AAA 1,600 meter State Champion and runner-up in the 800 meters at state championships her sophomore season
"Rebecca was a soccer player who ran track in high school, but she still managed to win a state title and put up good marks in spite of the limited time she spent on track. It'll be exciting to see how she excels in college being strictly a track athlete now that her focus is on track." - Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distances)
A versatile sprinter who has excelled at distances ranging from 100 to 400 meters .... ran a 400-meter personal best of 55.69 while winning the 2011 Florida Class 2A FHSAA state title as a junior ... did not run at 400 meters until her junior season in 2011 ... placed second in the 100 meters with a time of 12.26 at 2011 FHSAA 2A Outdoor State Championships ... timed a personal best of 11.76 in the 100 meters while winning the 2011 FHSAA 2A Region 4 Championship ... also won the Region 4 Championship in the 400 (56.14).
"Kyri is someone that we are really excited about. She was the 400-meter state champion in just her first year running the event. We feel like she has all the tools to be a great SEC quarter-miler." -Matt Kane, Assistant Coach (Sprints/Hurdles)
Personal Bests Discus - 185-1 Shot Put – 58-5
Was the 2010 and 2011 Alabama 6A Boys state champion in the discus … was also the state champion in the shot put in 2011 recently won the 2012 Alabama Indoor state championship in the shot put with a personal best of 58-5… Gatorade Alabama Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year in 2010-2011.
“Joe is a very talented athlete who is as technically focused and mentally disciplined as any I’ve seen. His work ethic is unparalleled and his success as a multiple time Alabama state champion in the shot put and discus has proven that he will be a great contributor at every level to our team for many years.” – Doug Reynolds, Assistant Coach (Throws)
Finished third at the VHSL Group AAA State Championships in 2011 with a PR in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:16.27.
"Nic is a miler with great range all over the track who will be able to help both on the cross country team in the fall and a key part of the middle distance squad on the track." - Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distance)