May 28, 2014
THE MEET: The Alabama track and field team will send 16 individuals from the men’s side and 14 from the women’s side along with four relay teams to Jacksonville, Florida, for the NCAA East Region Preliminary, this Thursday-Saturday, May 29-31. The East Region Preliminary features the top 48 qualifiers for each event in both the men’s and women’s competition. The top 12 finishers in each event will join the top 12 performers from the West Region to advance to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 11-14 in Eugene, Oregon.
THE VENUE: The 2014 NCAA East Region Preliminary will be hosted at Hodges Stadium on the campus of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla. Opened in 2004 and renovated in 2008, Hodges Stadium features a Mondo surface track with full markings for all NCAA and IAAF events, including the ability to run directional events in either direction on either straightaway. The stadium includes four horizontal jump pits, eight pole vault locations and multiple areas for each throwing event.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION: Follow results of the NCAA East Preliminary in real-time via flashresults.com and via social media by following @AlabamaTrack on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found @UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.
LAST TIME OUT: Alabama competed at the SEC Outdoor Championships May 15-18 at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. Alabama finished eighth in the women’s standings with 36 points, while the Tide finished ninth in the men’s standings with 34 points. Senior Yanique Malcolm captured the title in the women’s 800 meters.
PROJECTING WELL: The Alabama men’s team is projected by Track & Field News magazine to place 13th at the NCAA Outdoor meet in the magazine’s sixth NCAA Formchart released May 24. Diondre Batson is projected to finish second in the 100 meters, while the men’s 4x100-meter relay team is projected to place fourth. Other projected high finishers by the magazine are Elias Hakansson in the hammer (sixth), Kamal Fuller in the long jump (seventh), and Hayden Reed in the discus (eighth). Overall the men’s team is forecasted to score 19 points. The Alabama women’s team is projected to finish 14th with 14 points. Yanique Malcolm is projected to finish second in the 800 meters, while Remona Burchell is projected to finish fourth in the 100. The women’s 4x100-meter relay team is predicted to finish eighth.
MALCOLM WINS 800 AT SEC: Senior Yanique Malcolm enters the East Regionals as the top seed in the women’s 800 meters after winning the event at the SEC Outdoor Championships on May 18 with a personal-best time of 2:03.28, which ranks second in school history. Last weekend, the Kingston, Jamaica, native ran on her home country’s 4x800-meter relay team at the inaugural IAAF World Relays in Nassau, The Bahamas, on May 25.
BATSON BACK AT IT: Senior sprinter Diondre Batson notched event victories in each of his first four meets of the outdoor season. The 200-meter indoor national champion won the men’s 100 meters at the Jace Lacoste Invitational on May 3 by clocking a wind-legal 10.04, the third-fastest time in school history and second-best wind-legal time in the nation. Two weeks earlier, Batson won the men’s elite 100-meter dash at the Mt. SAC Relays with a wind-legal time of 10.06. Batson won the 100 meters at the Border Clash on April 12 with a wind-aided time of 10.01, which is tied for second among all collegiate times this season. Batson also won the men’s 200-meter dash at the Crimson Tide Invitational with a wind-legal 20.49, which ranks sixth in school history and 10th among wind-legal performances nationally.
HAKANSSON SEEDED SECOND IN HAMMER: Elias Hakansson re-set the UA hammer throw record on March 20 at the John Mitchell Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa. Hakansson’s mark of 234-2 currently ranks first in the SEC and fourth in Division I. The Swedish sophomore is seeded second in the event at regionals, behind Kent State’s Matthias Tayala.
FONDREN SOARS TO NEW HEIGHTS: Sophomore Justin Fondren set a new PR in the high jump at the Crimson Tide Invitational by clearing 7-3 (2.21 meters) to win the event. The mark is tied for ninth in the nation and ranks third in the SEC behind Mississippi’s Ricky Robertson (7-6, 2.29 meters) and Arkansas’s Anthony May (7-3 3/4, 2.23 meters). Since then, Fondren picked up his fourth win of the year at the Border Clash and finished second at the Mt. SAC Relays, clearing 7-0 1/4 at both meets. Fondren was also the top collegiate finisher in the high jump at the Jace Memorial Invitational on May 3 with a clearance of 7-2 1/2.
REED ON A ROLL: Redshirt freshman Hayden Reed uncorked a personal-best throw of 63.74 meters (209 feet, 1 inch) to finish runner-up in the discus competition at the SEC Outdoor Championships on May 17, and the Texas native will enter regionals seeded fourth. Reed’s top mark ranks second in school history and was an improvement of 10 feet over his previous personal best. Reed was named the SEC Track and Field Men’s Freshman of the Week on April 15, after carding a pair of marks at the Border Clash in Tuscaloosa on Friday, April 11, that make him the top-ranked freshman in Division I in both the men’s discus and the men’s shot put. Reed won both events at the Border Clash. He posted a mark of 60.68 meters (199 feet, 1 inch) to win the discus event, and his winning effort in the shot put ranks sixth all-time in Alabama history at 18.68m (61-3.50). In total, Reed has seven wins on the year (four discus titles, three shot put titles).
BURKS MAKING HER MARK: Freshman Quanesha Burks was the top collegiate finisher in the women’s long jump at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 18. Burks’ mark, a personal record of 20 feet, 4.25 inches, is tied for sixth-best in school history. Burks won the women’s long jump at the Crimson Tide Invitational on April 5 by jumping 19-11, and her mark of 6.19 meters (20-3.75) at the Yellow Jacket Invitational is tied for seventh-best in school history.
BURCHELL ON BOWERMAN LIST: Junior sprinter Remona Burchell was named as one of 10 elite women’s track and field student-athletes recognized on The Bowerman Trophy Women’s Preseason Watch List, announced at the start of the outdoor season. Burchell, a native of Montego Bay, Jamaica, has burst into prominence in her first year at Alabama after a standout career at Barton County Community College in Kansas. On March 15 she won the national title at 60 meters in a 2014 collegiate-best 7.11 at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships by .01 over rival Watch List member Dezerea Bryant of Kentucky, moving her up to No. 3 on the all-time collegiate performers list and equal to No. 8 on the 2014 world list. Burchell finished second in the 100 meters at the SEC Outdoor Championships on May 18 with a PR of 11.12, which ranks second in UA history.
10 INDOOR ALL-AMERICANS: Ten University of Alabama track and field athletes who competed at the 2014 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships earned All-America honors based on their performances, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced. The 10 athletes combined for a total of 11 All-America citations overall, including five first-team honors by four athletes led by sprinter Diondre Batson earning first-team honors both for his victory in the 200 meters and his third-place finish in the 60-meter dash. Other first-team honorees included women’s 60-meter dash national champion Remona Burchell, Jeremiah Green (men’s triple jump) and Elias Hakansson (men’s weight throw). Six athletes earned second-team All-America honors: Kyle Felpel (men’s shot put), Kamal Fuller (men’s long jump), Jacopo Lahbi (men’s 800 meters), Yanique Malcolm (women’s 800 meters), Alexis Paine (women’s pole vault) and Charodd Richardson (men’s weight throw). First-team honors were given to those who placed in the championships’ top eight in an event or were a member of an eight-person final. Second-team honors were earned by those who finished between ninth and 16th place. Overall, the Southeastern Conference led the way in total first-team honorees both in the men’s (39) and women’s (65) competitions, with the Pac-12 both second in both with 38 and 31 respectively.
GREEN NAMED SEC FRESHMAN FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Freshman triple jumper Jeremiah Green (Tampa, Fla.) is the 2014 Southeastern Conference Men’s Freshman Field Athlete of the Year for indoor track by virtue of a vote of the league’s head coaches. Green is the first Alabama athlete to be voted the SEC’s Freshman Field Athlete of the Year. At the SEC Indoor Championships, Green was one of three Alabama athletes to win SEC titles in individual events as he won the triple jump with a personal-best mark of 16.29 meters (53 feet, 5.5 inches), an improvement of 11 inches over his previous personal career best. In doing so, Green became Alabama’s first SEC indoor triple jump champion since 1978 and only the second in Alabama history.
BATSON RACKS UP THE HONORS: Prior to the 2014 outdoor season, Batson had already made quite an impact on the Alabama track and field program. In the 2014 indoor season, Batson captured an SEC title in the 60 meter sprint, and then took home an NCAA championship in the 200 meters, by running the fastest time in the nation. Batson holds four of the top 10 marks in UA history in the 60 meters indoors, and eight of the top 10 marks in the indoor 200 meters. Batson also has produced seven of the top 10 marks in Tide history in the 100 meters and four of the top 10 marks in the 200 meters. Batson finished 2013 ranked as the USA’s eighth-ranked 100-meters sprinter according to Track & Field News magazine’s January 2014 issue. The list included all athletes regardless for classification or professional status. Joining Batson in the top 10 was Crimson Tide volunteer assistant coach Mookie Salaam, who ranked sixth.
WRAPPING UP INDOORS: The Crimson Tide finished off the 2014 indoor season in style at the NCAA Indoor Championships, as the men finished sixth and the women tied for 19th. Diondre Batson broke two school records (60 meters, 6.54, and 200 meters, 20.32) and captured an NCAA championship in the 200 meters, running the fastest collegiate time in 2014. On the women’s side, junior college transfer Remona Burchell clocked the fastest UA 60-meter time in history and won Alabama’s first women’s title in the 60 meters. Alabama’s men racked up 20 points in the meet to tie Oklahoma State for sixth in the team standings, the best by an Alabama men’s team since 2002, when the Tide finished fourth, and the seventh men’s top 10 finish at the indoor championships in school history. Burchell picked up all 10 points for the Alabama women’s team, propelling the Tide to a 19th-place team finish and its first top 20 finish on the women’s side since 1995.
TIDE ADDS 19 WITH 2014 SIGNING CLASS: Head coach Dan Waters announced on Feb. 6 that 19 student-athletes will join the Crimson Tide track and field program for 2014-15. Among the signees were nine recruits on the women’s side and 10 newcomers to the men’s squad. Ten of the signees are currently considered among the national leaders in their events and the class includes student-athletes across the full spectrum of disciplines: eight distance runners, six sprinters (three of whom are also hurdlers), four throwers and one pole vaulter. Signees come from eight states (Texas - 4, Alabama - 3, Florida - 3, New York - 1, Georgia - 1, Louisiana - 1, Utah - 1, Tennessee - 1) and one foreign country (Australia - 1). During the early signing period, UA signed Tony Brown II, Dominique Kimpel and Jacopo Lahbi, all three of whom are currently competing for the Crimson Tide.