Feb. 4, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama men's track & field team jumped seven spots to No. 10 in the second regular-season edition of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Team Computer Rankings released Tuesday. It marks the second consecutive week that the Crimson Tide has made the largest leap in the rankings as Alabama began 24th in the preseason rankings before moving to 17th last week, then up to 10th in this week's survey.
Alabama's rise from its preseason rank of 24th has been precipitated by excellent early-season performances in all facets of the sport and has the Crimson Tide moving quickly into prominence in the third year of head coach Dan Waters' rebuilding of the program. The Tide men maintained their No. 3 spot in this week's South Region rankings while the Alabama women held firm at No. 4 in the South Region team survey.
The national team rankings are compiled by mathematical formulae based on national descending order lists and data taken from previous seasons. For the preseason ranking and early-season rankings, data will be taken from previous seasons as well as the current season. The purpose and methodology of the rankings is to create an index that showcases the teams that have the best potential of achieving the top spots in the national team race. Rankings points do not equate with NCAA Championships team points. A full description of the rankings can be found here. The USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings should not be referred to as a "poll" as no voting occurs during the process.
Alabama track athletes won eight events, set 15 personal bests and broke one school record at last weekend's Indiana Relays in Bloomington, Ind. Senior sprinter Diondre Batson won the men's 60 meters a personal-best time of 6.61, which ranks third in school history. Each of Batson's three 60-meter runs in Bloomington landed on Alabama's all-time top 10. Junior Ramona Burchell ran a PR of 7.33, fourth-fastest in UA history to win the women's 60 final. Junior Charodd Richardson set a school record in the men's weight throw with a mark of 21.22 meters (69 feet, 7.5 inches). Redshirt freshman Kyle Felpel became the first Alabama shot putter since 1980 to throw over 60 feet when his best effort landed at 18.46m (60 feet, 6.5 inches) . Senior Alexis Paine won a jump-off to earn a victory in women's pole vault with a mark of 4.15 meters (13 feet, 7.25 inches). Sophomore Justin Fondren won the high jump with a personal best of 2.18m (7 feet, 1.75 inches). Freshman Jeremiah Green (15.92m/52 feet, 2.75 inches) won the men's triple jump and senior Ken Taylor clocked a 1:18.56 to take first place in the invitational 600 meters.
While the Crimson Tide takes this weekend off as a team, women's pole vaulters Alexis Paine and Lakan Taylor will be competing at the Samford Invitational in Birmingham, Ala., this Saturday while the Tide will field distance medley relay foursomes in both the men's and women's divisions at the New Balance Armory Collegiate Invitational on Friday-Saturday in New York City.
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.