May 29, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The inaugural NCAA East Preliminary Round, hosted by North Carolina A&T State University at Irwin Belk Track, came to a close on Saturday evening with seven Alabama men advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships - just as many as last year's outdoor total and four more than indoors this year.
The top 12 finishers in each event, including field events and relays, will advance to the semifinal and final rounds at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, June 9-12, in Eugene, Ore.
The 4x100 meter relay squad of junior Brandon Spradley, freshman Kirani James, senior Ray Jadusingh and senior Matt Watson survived a scare after they clocked a time of 39.77, finishing fifth in their heat. The top three in each heat (three heats) and the next three fastest times advanced to nationals. The time would hold up through the next two heats, however, and the squad moved on to Eugene with the 12th-fastest time of the day.
In the 4x400 meter relay, the quartet of freshman Fabian Norgrove, sophomore Aaron Stockstell, James and Watson laid down a season-best and the eighth-fastest time in school history, 3:05.65, that included an unofficial 43.6-second split by James. The squad finished second in their heat behind the No. 1 relay team in the world, Florida, and the sixth-fastest time of the day to advance to Eugene.
“Anytime we’re top 10 in anything is great because we have an excellent record board from top to bottom here at Alabama,” head men’s track and field coach Harvey Glance said. “The mark we made tonight was pretty special and one of the best in the nation. I’m extremely proud of the guys. It’s just unbelievable to have that kind of a performance. It really represents Alabama in great fashion. This is the most we’ve had in a long time so I’m real proud of that. The guys did an outstanding job.”
The Tide will be represented by James (400 meters), junior Fred Samoei (800 meters), the 4x100 meter relay and the 4x400 meter relay at the national championships in two weeks.
Norgrove, Stockstell and Sameoi are making their first NCAA Championship appearance on the oval - Samoei competed at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Jadusingh, Watson and Spradley are making their second consecutive outdoor appearances. Jadusingh is making his third national championship appearance, indoor and outdoor combined, while James and Samoei are making the trip for the second time in their careers.
Alabama will have a week off from competition to prepare for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, June 9-12, at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Saturday’s Alabama Men’s Results
3,000 Meter Steeplechase Quarterfinal: 25. Andrew Kirwa – 9:01.70
4x100 Meter Relay Quarterfinal: 12. Spradley, James, Jadusingh, Watson – 39.77+
1,500 Meter Quarterfinal: 18. Julius Bor – 3:52.97
4x400 Meter Relay Quarterfinal: 6. Norgrove, Stockstell, James, Watson – 3:05.65*+
Alabama Men Advancing to Oregon (Top 12 Finishers – All Weekend)
400 Meters: 4. Kirani James – 45.17+
800 Meters: 5. Fred Samoei – 1:46.98!+
4x100 Meter Relay: 12. Spradley, James, Jadusingh, Watson – 39.77+
4x400 Meter Relay: 6. Norgrove, Stockstell, James, Watson – 3:05.65*+
! – Personal-best; * – Season-best; + – Advanced to next round; DQ – Disqualified; DNF – Did not finish; DNS – Did not start; NM – No mark; FS – False start; SR – School record