June 10, 2014
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THE MEET: The Alabama track and field team will send 19 athletes--eight individuals from the men's side and five from the women's side along with two relay teams--to Eugene, Oregon, for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 11-14.
THE VENUE: The 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be hosted at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. The stadium boasts a capacity of 10,500, and has undergone significant improvements in recent history, including a new track surface, permanent lights, a video board and newly configured infield.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION: Follow results of the NCAA Outdoor Championships 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.
REYNOLDS NAMED SOUTH ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR: Throws coach Doug Reynolds was named the South Region Assistant Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on June 9. Winners were determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches. In his third season as the throws coach at Alabama, Reynolds coached five athletes (four men, one woman) who qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, including a pair of throwers who finished runner-up at the SEC Outdoor Championships. Matt Kane, Alabama’s assistant coach in charge of sprints and hurdles, won the award in 2013.
LAST TIME OUT: Nineteen individuals in 14 events and a total of 15 entries performed well enough at the NCAA East Region Preliminary to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Remona Burchellbroke the school record in the women's 100 meters with a time of 11.03.
BURCHELL BREAKING OUT: Junior sprinter Remona Burchell, a native of Montego Bay, Jamaica, will enter the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships as the top seed in the women's 100 meters. Burchell has burst into prominence in her first year at Alabama after a standout career at Barton County Community College in Kansas. At the NCAA East Preliminary, Burchell broke the school record in the 100 meters with a wind-legal 11.03 to advance to the NCAA Championships. Her time is the best by a collegian and second best in the world for 2014. Two weeks earlier, Burchell finished second in the 100 meters at the SEC Outdoor Championships with a time of 11.12. Burchell's dominant outdoor season comes on the heels of a stellar indoor season. 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, besting Bowerman Watch List member Dezerea Bryant of Kentucky by .01 and moving the junior up to No. 3 on the all-time collegiate performers list and equal to No. 8 on the 2014 world list.
MALCOLM WINS 800 AT SEC: Senior Yanique Malcolmenters the NCAA Championships as the No. 8 seed in the women's 800 meters. Malcolm was the top seed at the NCAA East Regional Prelim, where she ran 2:04.26 and finished sixth. Malcolm won the 800 meters at the SEC Outdoor Championships on May 18 with a personal-best time of 2:03.28, which ranks second in school history. The following weekend, the Kingston, Jamaica native ran on her home country's 4x800-meter relay team at the inaugural IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas, on May 25.@
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 followed with a fifth-place finish and a mark of 202-0 at regionals. 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 winning the discus and shot put titles at the Border Clash in Tuscaloosa onFriday, April 11. 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). He enters the NCAA Championships as the top-ranked freshman and the No. 7 seed overall.
HAKANSSON 5th NATIONALLY IN HAMMER: Elias Hakanssonre-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 fifth in Division I. The Swedish sophomore placed sixth in the NCAA East Peliminary and seventh at the Mt. SAC Relays.
FONDREN SOARS TO NEW HEIGHTS: Sophomore Justin Fondrenset 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. He was the top finisher at the NCAA East Region Preliminary clearing 7-1 1/2 and each of his four clearances coming on his first attempt.
BATSON BACK AT IT: Senior sprinter Diondre BatsonBatson 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.
BURKS MAKING HER MARK: Freshman Quanesha Burksqualified for the NCAA Championships with a personal-best mark of 20-8 to finish fourth in the long jump at the NCAA East Preliminary. Burks' mark is tied for third in school history. The Hartselle, Ala., native was also the top collegiate finisher in the women's long jump at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 18 with a mark of 20-4 1/4. 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.
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 Burchellclocked 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.