April 25, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The University of Alabama track and field team is set to compete in the 103rd edition of the Drake Relays, April 26-28, in Des Moines, Iowa.
One of the largest and most prestigious meets in the nation, the Drake Relays will feature more than 7,000 athletes from various levels across the country to provide the Tide with one of the most talented fields it will see all season. Traditionally, the Tide has enjoyed success at the relays with the men's team earning four top-10 finishes last season while the women earned five including a relay title.
The women will open competition for Alabama at the meet on Thursday as part of the evening Distance Carnival with Leigh Gilmore, Katlyn Will, Elsbeth Denton and Sarah Gilmore forming the 4x1600-meter relay starting at 4:40 p.m. CDT. The day will conclude with Austin Duckworth and Nathan Corder competing in the men's 5,000 meters at 9:05 p.m.
Field events will begin on Friday at 1:00 p.m. with the high jump, long jump and javelin and continue throughout the afternoon. Action on the track starts at 9:30 a.m. with the 4x100-meter relay teams and continues until 7:45 p.m.
The relays will wrap on Saturday with the men's triple jump commencing at 11:45 a.m. The last two events of the day will be the men's and women's 4x400-meter relay team. All told, UA will have 31 athletes competing in 26 different events.
The Tide travels to Iowa following strong weekend at Auburn War Eagle Invitational last weekend. One of the highlights of the weekend was the Crimson Tide's 1,500-meter runners on Friday night as Gary Bradbury won the men's invitational section with a time of 3:44.51, just shy of his personal best and nearly cracking the top-10 list at UA. The women had equal success in their race as Leigh Gilmore finished as the top collegiate runner and third overall in 4:30.95. The field events continued to yield solid results for the Tide as Brittany Hines won the javelin on Friday with a throw of 139-5 while Alexis Paine cleared 12-7.5 to win the pole vault on Saturday morning.
To date, the Crimson Tide has recorded 40 personal bests this outdoor season as it enters the final stretch of the 2011-12 campaign under first-year head coach Dan Waters.