ALABAMA TRACK & FIELD ADDS 12 TO ROSTER WITH 2013 RECRUITING CLASS

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Feb. 6, 2013

ALABAMA ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
2013 TRACK & FIELD SIGNEES

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - University of Alabama head coach Dan Watersannounced Wednesday that 12 student-athletes will join the Crimson Tide track and field program for the 2013-14 season. Among the signees were six recruits on the women's side and six newcomers to the men's squad.

Four of the signees are currently ranked among the top 10 nationally in their events: women's pole vaulter Lakan Taylor (2nd), men's distance runner Payton Ballard (5th in the 1,600), men's triple jumper Jeremiah Green (2nd), and triple jumper Quanesha Burks (7th).

"This is a very good group for us to add to our roster as it not only touches on all facets of our team but also provides quality talent across the board," Waters said. "The competitiveness and talent that this class adds to our team will pay dividends through the fall, competing with our current roster and helping us develop into the team we want to build at Alabama."

The men's class features several of the nation's top field-event athletes led by triple jumper Jeremiah Green who is currently leads the nation in the event; distance runner Payton Ballard is the state of Alabama's top distance runner; and 2012 Arkansas state Class 5A discus and shot put champion Mark Guffin.

The women's class features Quanesha Burks of Hartselle, Ala., a seven-time Alabama state champion in the jumps and sprints; Allison Gregg of Cedar Falls, Iowa, one of the nation's top cross country runners; Olivia Ortiz, one of the nation's top distance runners from Bradenton, Fla.; Hilary Stafford, the top-ranked prep distance runner in Canada; and pole vault standout Lakan Taylor from Fort Worth, Texas, the state record holder in that event.

"I am very proud of our coaching staff for putting together a very balance and very talented class," Waters said. "This group is an excellent next step in our talent upgrade. We'll be excited to have them join us this fall. Combined with the five student-athletes we brought in last month, this staff has done a tremendous job of evaluating prospects and working to get them on campus."

2013 Alabama Track & Field Signees

Men

Athlete Event(s) Hometown High School/College
Anthony Averett............................ Jumps.................. Woodbury, N.J. .............................. Woodbury HS
Payton Ballard................................ Distances........... Mountain Brook, Ala. .................. Mountain Brook HS
Jeremiah Green............................... Jumps.................. Tampa, Fla. ...................................... Hillsborough HS
Mark Guffin...................................... Throws............... Little Rock, Ark. ............................. American Christian
Grant Hill........................................... Throws............... Huntsville, Ala. ............................... Huntsville HS
Conner Thompson........................ Distances........... Murfreesboro, Tenn. ................... Oakland HS

Women

Athlete Event(s) Hometown High School/College
Ramona Burchell........................... Sprints................ Westmoreland, Jamaica ............ Herbert Morrison HS/Butler County JC
Quanesha Burks............................. Jumps.................. Hartselle, Ala. .................................. Hartselle HS
Allison Gregg.................................... Distances........... Cedar Falls, Iowa ........................... Cedar Falls HS
Olivia Ortiz....................................... Distances........... Bradenton, Fla. ............................... Lakewood Ranch HS
Hilary Stafford............................... Distances........... London, Ontario, Canada ........... St. Thomas Aquinas
Lakan Taylor................................... Pole Vault.......... Fort Worth, Texas ........................ Boswell HS

Following are bios on the athletes who signed with Alabama track and field.


Anthony Averett

Hometown: Woodbury, N.J.
High School: Woodbury
Events: Jumps

Personal Bests
Long Jump - 25-2 ½
High Jump - 6-6
100 Meters - 10.80
200 Meters - 22.63
55 Meters - 6.46

A football signee by Alabama and the nation's top prep long jumper ... in football as a defensive back/athlete, he was ranked among the national top 150 players overall while ranking as the nation's No. 10 athlete by Tom Lemming's MaxPreps magazine ... in 2012, Averett had a long jump best of 25-2 ½ at the Woodbury Relays on April 21, 2012, was the longest jump in the nation last year and the second longest in New Jersey state history ... also an excellent sprinter, he has a personal best in the 100 meters of 10.80 set on May 11, 2012, at the Gloucester County Championships ... has a PR of 6-6 in the high jump, set at the NJSIAA Indoor Group Championships on February 18, 2012 ... finished second in the 2012 Penn Relays in the long jump with a leap of 24-0 1/4 ... won the long jump at the 2012 Eastern States Championships with a leap of 23-7 3/4 ... the 2012 NJSIAA Sectional champion in the 100, 200, high jump and long jump.


Payton Ballard

Hometown: Mountain Brook, Ala.
High School: Mountain Brook
Events: Distances

Personal Bests

800 Meters - 1:53.44
1,000 Meters - 2:33.96
1,600 Meters - 4:19.98
3,200 Meters - 9:27.95
5,000 Meters - 15:44.98

The 2013 AHSAA state indoor champion in the 1,600 meters (4:24.32) and the 3,200 meters (in a personal best time of 9:27.95) ... placed second in the 800 meters at the 2013 AHSAA state indoor championships in 1:57.11 .. set a new PR of 4:19.98 in the 1,600 meters at the Ice Breaker Invitational on December 29, 2012 ... achieved a PR of 1:53.44 in the 800 meters at the Indoor Alumni Group Invitational on Dec. 15, 2012 ... was second in the 5,000 meters at the 2012 AHSAA State Cross Country Championships (5k - 15:44.98 ... won the 2012 AHSAA Sectional Cross Country Championships (5k -15:55.64) ... won the 2012 Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic (5k - 16:24.59) ... was third in the 800 (1:56.22) and second in the 1,600 (4:23.87) at the 2012 AHSAA Outdoor Championships ... posted a then-PR time of 4:20.35 in the 1,600 at the Volunteer Track Classic on April 14, 2012 ... the 2012 AHSAA indoor state champion in the 800 (1:54.84) ... was second in the 1,600 at the 2012 AHSAA Indoor Championships in 4:21.36 ... place third in the 2011 AHSAA Cross Country Championships (5k - 16:08.05) ... coached by Greg Echols at Mountain Brook High School ... son of Rob and Sandy Ballard ... born November 15, 1994.

"The top distance runner in Alabama this year, Payton really showed who he is as a runner and team player with his performances this past weekend at the Alabama state meet. He has great versatility and range from cross country to the 800 to the 3,200. At the University of Alabama it was important for us to get the best distance runner from Alabama."

- Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distances)


Remona Burchell

Hometown: Westmoreland, Jamaica
High School: Herbert Morrison
Junior College: Butler County CC
Events: Sprints

Personal Bests

55 Meters - 6.85
60 Meters - 7.34
100 Meters - 11.42
200 Meters - 23.63 (outdoors)/24.18 (indoors)

Won the 200 meters at the 2013 Jayhawk Classic in 24.35 ... ran a 2013 seasonal best of 6.90 in the 55 meters while placing third at the Masked Rider Open ... ran a 2013 seasonal best of 24.18 in the 200 at the Masked Rider Open while finishing second ... won the 60 at the Herm Wilson Invitational on January 10, 2013, in a personal best time of 7.34 ... was sixth in the 100 at the 2012 NJCAA Outdoor Championships in 11.68 after running 11.55 in the prelims ... placed fourth in the 200 at the 2012 NJCAA Outdoor Championships in 24.44 after running 24.41 in the prelims ... set her personal best in the 100 of 11.42 while winning at the 2012 Region VI/Jayhawk Conference Championships ... also won the 200 at the 2012 Region VI/Jayhawk Conference Championships with a time of 24.22 ... set a personal best of 23.63 in the 200 during the prelims ... coached by Claude Grant at Herbert Morrison High School and James White at Butler County CC ... daughter of Devin and Naomi Burchell ... born September 15, 1991.

"Remona is a very talented athlete that brings a lot of experience to our women's sprint group. We feel she can come into the SEC as an instant contributor. She competes with great passion and has tremendous potential."

- Matt Kane, Assistant Coach (Sprints)


Quanesha Burks

Hometown: Hartselle, Ala.
High School: Hartselle
Events: Jumps

Personal Bests

Long Jump - 20-1 1/4
Triple Jump - 39-8
60 Meters - 7.71
100 Meters - 11.95
200 Meters - 24.88

A seven-time Alabama state champion in the jumps and sprints ... won three events at the 2013 AHSAA Indoor Class 1A-5A Championships (60 meters, long jump and triple jump) ... won the triple jump with a leap of 38-6 1/5, took the long jump with an effort of 18-1 and won the 60-meter dash in 7.73 ... set a personal best in the 60 of 7.71 on January 5, 2013, at the Ice Breaker Invitational ... was the 2012 AHSAA state outdoor champion in the 100 (12.11) and the 200 (24.88) while placing second in both the long jump (17-10 3/4) and triple jump (38-9 1/2) ... won four events (100, 200, LJ and TJ) at the 2012 AHSAA 5A Section 3 meet ... set a PR in the triple jump with a leap of 39-8 at the 2012 Mobile Challenge of Champions on the way to a victory ... was the 2011 AHSAA 4A-6A state outdoor champion in the long jump (18-9 1/4) and 100 (12.19) ... also placed second in the triple jump at the 2011 AHSAA 4A-6A state meet with a leap of 37-6 3/4 ... coached by Kenny Lopez at Hartselle High School.

"Quanesha has the talent and the skill to be an excellent jumper in the SEC. We are excited about her potential."

- Dan Waters, Head Coach


Jeremiah Green

Hometown: Tampa, Fla.
High School: Hillsborough
Events: Jumps

Personal Bests

Triple Jump - 50-10 ¼
Long Jump - 23-9

The nation's top-ranked prep triple jumper ... a consistent contender in the biggest meets ... the reigning Florida Class 3A triple jump champion (50-3 ½) ... notched his personal-best effort in the triple jump of 50-10 ¼ en route to winning at the 2012 New Balance Outdoor National Championships this summer ... also had marks of 50-8 ¼ and 50-6 in the series at the New Balance meet ... also placed seventh in the long jump at the New Balance meet with a mark of 23-0 ¾ ... in addition to his gold medal in the triple jump, he placed fifth in the long jump at the 2012 state meet, and ran a leg on the 4x400-meter relay team that placed eighth ... won the triple jump at the Jimmy Carnes Indoor Youth Meet on January 27, 2013, with a leap of 50-6 ¼ ... won the triple jump (49-3 3/4) and long jump (23-0 ¾) at the 2012 Caribbean Scholastic Invitational outdoor meet ... won the triple jump/long jump double at the 2012 FHSAA Class 3A District 8 meet and the 2012 Hillsborough County Championships ... as a sophomore in 2011 he placed third in the triple jump at the FHSAA Class 3A Outdoor Championships with a jump of 47-9 ... was seventh in the long jump (22-7 ½) at the 2011 FHSAA Class 3A Outdoor Championships ... ran a personal best of 22.09 in the 200 meters at the 2011 FHSAA Class 3A District 9 meet ... also a football standout at Hillsborough who was one of the state's top cornerbacks ... his 2012 football statistics: rushed for 548 yards and eight touchdowns on 56 carries and had 49 tackles with one interception.

"Jeremiah Green is a tremendous competitor and has been a leader on his teams. What stands out most about Jeremiah is his personal character. He has the potential to be one of the top athletes in the nation in his event."

- Dan Waters, Head Coach


Allison Gregg

Hometown: Cedar Falls, Iowa
High School: Cedar Falls
Events: Distances

Personal Bests

800 Meters - 2:26.11
1,500 Meters - 4:43.99
3,000 Meters - 10:03.81
4,000 Meters - 14:01.00 (XC)
5,000 Meters - 19:09.81 (XC)

An accomplished distance and cross country runner ... the 2012 Class 4A Iowa state champion in the 3,000 meters (10:19.81) ... ran a PR of 19:09.81 in the 5,000 meters at Nike Cross Country Nationals Heartland Regional in November of 2012 ... was fifth at the 2012 at the Iowa State Cross Country Championships (4k), placing 5th in 14:15.00 ... placed second at the Class 4A District/Regional meet (4k - 14:44) ... ran a PR of 14:01 in the 4k at the MVC Valley Divisional Championships, placing second ... won the 4k at the 2012 Cedar Valley Metro Championships (14:12) ... was sixth in the 1,500 at the 2012 Iowa High School Outdoor Championships in 4:51.58 ... ran a PR of 10:03.81 in the 3,000 at 2012 Drake Relays, placing second ... coached by Don Williams at Cedar Falls High School ... daughter of Jeff and Luann Gregg ... born July 15, 1994.

"Allison is a great addition to the team and a great pickup from Iowa. She's a true long distance runner who will only improve as the race distances increase. She should be a great addition in cross country and in the 5k and 10k on the track. It's great to have Allison coming south to be a part of the Tide."

- Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distances)


Mark Guffin

Hometown: Little Rock, Ark.
High School: Little Rock Christian
Events: Throws

Personal Bests

Discus - 166-8 3/4
Shot Put - 54-6 1/4

Set a personal best in the discus of 166-8 3/4 (50.81 meters) at the 2012 AAU National Junior Olympics on the way to second-place finish ... the 2012 Arkansas Class 5A state champion in the discus with a toss of 156-7 (47.72m) ... the 2012 Arkansas Class 5A state champion in the shot put with a personal-best toss of 54-6 (16.61m) ... uncorked a discus effort of 160-5 (48.89m) to win at the Meet of Champs in May of 2012 ... posted an indoor shot put best of 47-4 1/2 (14.43m) while placing sixth at the 2012 Arkansas Class 5A-7A Indoor Championships ... coached in track and field by Johnny Watson at Little Rock Christian Academy.

"On paper, Mark would be considered a developmental athlete. However, through what we have seen of late we have a lot of optimism about his upside potential and we expect him to be a real find for us."

- Dan Waters, Head Coach


Grant Hill

Hometown: Huntsville, Ala.
High School: Huntsville
Events: Throws

Personal Bests

Discus - 184-4
Shot Put - 49-4

A football signee with the Crimson Tide that was consistently one of the top discus and shot put athletes in Alabama throughout his prep career ... finished fifth in the shot put at the 2012 AHSAA State Outdoor Championships with a toss of 49-4 (15.03 meters), his outdoor personal best mark ... has an indoor PR in the shot put of 53-10 (16.40m) set at the 2012 Ice Breaker Invitaitonal in Birmingham, Ala. ... won the discus at the 2012 Huntsville Panther Invitational with a throw of 177-11 (54.22m) ... qualified for the 2012 AHSAA State Championships in the discus, but did not get off a legal effort ... set his discus PR of 184-4 (56.18m) at the 2012 AHSAA Class 6A Section 4 meet ... had a 2011 seasonal best in the discus of 173-7 (52.90m) ... in football, he was one of the the top offensive guard prospects in the nation ... a member of the 2012 All-USA Football Team, chosen by USA Today ... a consensus four-star prospect that is rated as the nation's No. 1 offensive guard by ESPN ... a 2012 first-team All-State selection by the Alabama Sports Writers Association ... finalist for the 2012 ASWA 6A Lineman of the Year ... coached in track and field by his father, Bradley Hill, at Huntsville High School ... son of Bradley and Stacey Hill ... born January 29, 1995.

"Grant is a big time talent in both track and field and football. He comes from a track and field family and will likely make a significant impact. I have watched Grant since he was a sophomore and have been biding my time hoping for the opportunity to work with him."

- Doug Reynolds, Assistant Coach (Throws)


Olivia Ortiz

Hometown: Bradenton, Fla.
High School: Lakewood Ranch
Events: Distances

Personal Bests

1,600 Meters - 4:53.72
3,200 Meters -10:40.64
5,000 Meters - 17:13.00

The 2012 Sarasota Herald-Tribune Track Athlete of the Year ... the 2012 Bradenton Herald's All-Area Athlete of the Year ... Lakewood Ranch High School (LRHS) 2011-12 Scholar Athlete 4.0+ GPA Two Sport Recipient ... LRHS 2012 Track & Field Most Valuable Track Athlete ... LRHS 2012 Track & Field Team Leadership Award ... ran a leg on the FHSAA 2012 Class 3A State Champions 4x800 relay team ... was runner-up in the 1,600 at the 2012 FHSAA Class 3A State Championships ... a FHSAA 2012 Class 3A regional, district, and county champion at 1,600 meters ... the 2012 FHSAA Class 3A regional and district champion at 3,200 meters ... the 2011 ESPNHS Florida Cross Country Gatorade Runner of the Year ... placed 19th at the 2011 Footlocker National Championships ... placed fifth at the 2011 Footlocker South Region Championships ... the 2011 Sarasota Herald-Tribune Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year ... the 2011 Bradenton Herald All-Area Athlete of the Year for cross country ... the 2011 All Flrunners.com Girls Runner of the Year ... earned the LRHS 2011 Girls Cross Country Captain Award ... earned the 2011 LRHS Girls Cross Country MVP Award ... winner of the 2011 All-State Girls Cross Country Florida Dairy Farmers Award ... the 2011 FHSAA Class 3A Cross Country state champion (17:39) ... a FHSAA 2011 Class 3A regional, district and county champion ... the 2011 Golden South Classic girls 3,200 meters champion ... the 2011 Sarasota Herald-Tribune Track Athlete of the Year ... the 2011 Bradenton Herald's All-Area Athlete of the Year for track and field ... the 2011 LRHS Girls Track Most Valuable Track Athlete ... the 2011 LRHS Girls Track Most Valuable Distance Runner ... a LRHS 2010-11 Scholar Athlete 4.0+ GPA three sport recipient ... placed third in the 1,600 (4:58) at the 2011 FHSAA Championships ... a 2011 FHSAA Class 3A regional, district and county champion in the 1,600 ... placed third in the 3,2000 at the 2011 FHSAA State Championships ... a 2011 FHSAA Class 3A regional, district and county champion in the 3,200 ... ran on LRHS's state runner-up 4x800 relay team ... the 2010 Sarasota Herald-Tribune Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year ... the 2010 Bradenton/Lakewood Ranch Herald's All-Area Athlete of the Year for cross country ... earned the LRHS 2010 Girls Cross Country MVP Award ... coached by Mark Napier at Lakewood Ranch High School ... daughter of Michael & Joan Ortiz ... born August 1, 1995.

"One of the top distance runners in the nation, Olivia is a special athlete with all the intangibles needed to be great. Her talent, commitment, and passion for excellence really set her apart. She should have a tremendous impact on both the SEC and national level for Alabama. We're very glad to have her join the Tide."

- Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distances)


Hilary Stafford

Hometown: London, Ontario (Canada)
High School: St. Thomas Aquinas
Events: Distances

Personal Bests

1,500 Meters - 4:34.58
3,000 Meters - 10:03.44

One of the top prep distance runners in Canada ... was the top-ranked runner in Canada entering the 2012 Junior Women's Cross Country Nationals ... posted an impressive personal-best time in the 3,000 meters of 10:03.44 as a sophomore on the way to winning the 2011 Ontario OFSAA Championships ... ran a personal-best in the 1,500 of 4:34.58 while placing third at the 2012 OFSAA Championships ... in 2011 won in four successive weeks the 3,000 meters at four different meets: at the Thames Valley Championships (10:42.10), the Western Ontario Championships (10:30.36), the OFSAA West Regionals (10:30.06) and the aforementioned Ontario OFSAA Championships ... had a solid season in 2011 at 1,500 meters, winning at the Thames Valley Championships (4:52.97) and the Western Ontario Championships (4:48.15) while placing second at the OFSAA West Regionals (4:39.30) and the Ontario OFSAA Championships (4:37.41) ... as a freshman in 2010 she won the OFSAA West Regionals in a time of 10:38.71 and was second at the OFSAA Championships in 10:12.67 ... placed 15th (5k - 15:15.88) at the 2012 NACAC Cross Country Championships in Trinidad and Tobago competing against an international field ... coached by Barb Komer at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School ... daughter of Scott and Paula Stafford ... born September 22, 1995.

"Hilary is a versatile runner who is still very young from a training standpoint. She could end up being a middle or a long distance runner. She's managed each season to put a good performance on the board despite less than ideal conditions in Canada. We're excited to see how good she can be once she's here at Alabama."

- Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distances)


Lakan Taylor

Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
High School: Boswell
Events: Pole Vault

Personal Bests

Pole Vault - 13-6

One of the nation's top prep pole vaulters ... the 2012 Texas Class 4A state champion with a clearance of 13 feet, 3 inches (4.03 meters) ... holds the Texas state Class 4A record in the pole vault with a personal-best clearance of 13-6 (4.11m) set in January, 2013 ... cleared 13-5 (4.08m) to win at Pole Vault Explosion IV in early January, 2013 ... cleared 13-0 (3.96m) to win the 2012 Texas state Region 1-4A championship ... was second at the 2012 Texas Relays with a 12-9 1/4 clearance (3.89m) ... coached by Dave Daus at Boswell High School.

"With Alexis Painegraduating after this year we really wanted to get a good vaulter and we definitely did so in Lakan. She has proven her talent and is capable of competing in the SEC and will be a major factor in continuing to develop our vault program here."

- Dan Waters, Head Coach


Conner Thompson

Hometown: Murfreesboro, Tenn.
High School: Oakland
Events: Distances

Personal Bests

1,600 Meters - 4:24.81
3,200 Meters - 9:26.99
5,000 Meters - 15:15.00

One of the region's top cross country runners who also has potential to contribute on the track ... was 13th at the 2012 Foot Locker South Regional Cross Country Championships (5k - 15:15.00) while setting a new personal best ... finished sixth at the 2012 Tennessee TSSAA State Cross Country Meet in a time of 16:09.81 (5) ... won the 2012 TSSAA Region 4 Cross Country title in a time of 16:00.87 (5k) ... was second at the 2012 MSCCA High School Championships in a 5k time of 15:49.41 ... was third at the 2012 Tennessee Classic in a 5k time of 16:27.51 ... placed 15th on the track in the 3,200 meters at the 2012 New Balance Outdoor Nationals in a personal-best time of 9:33.36 ... posted a PR in the mile of 4:24.81 at the 2012 Music City Distance Carnival ... was fifth in the 3,200 meters at the 2012 Tennessee TSSAA State Outdoor Track and Field Championships in a time of 9:26.99, setting a new personal best in the event ... won the 3,200 meters at the 2012 Wildcat Class in 9:57.80 ... was eight in the 3,200 meters at the 2011 Tennessee TSSAA State Outdoor Track and Field Championships in a time of 9:30.96 ... was seventh in the 2010 Tennessee TSSAA State Cross Country Championships in a time of 16:19.28 (5k) ... coached by Jason Wooten at Oakland High School ... son of Bret and Robyn Thompson ... born September 6, 1994.

"Conner was overshadowed a bit in Tennessee, but he showed a great indicator of what's to come with his performance at the Footlocker South race this year. He's very dedicated and really eager to see how good he can be. He should be a great help to cross country and in the long distance races on the track. It's great to have one of the best runners from Tennessee choosing the Tide."

- Adam Tribble, Assistant Coach (Distances)

-UA-


 

 

     
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