Tide Men and Women Capture Alabama Relays Crowns

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Brian Rohrer

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By Chris Woodfin

Tuscaloosa, Ala. — The University of Alabama men’s and women’s track teams capped off successful weekends at the Sam Bailey Track Stadium by capturing the Alabama Relays titles.  Harvey Glance’s men’s team has now won the event for six straight years while Sandy Fowler’s women’s team won for the second consecutive year.

While the Alabama men were able to cruise to their title, capturing the crown before the last event, the women won in dramatic fashion, defeating Western Michigan on the final leg of the final event, the 1600 meter relay, as Beau Walker was able to pull away down the stretch to capture the Relays title for the Tide women as the Broncos had to settle for second place.

Fowler said the victory was a testament to her team’s resiliency.

“For us to be able to come into the event, knowing we had to beat Western Michigan to win, it says a lot about the character and resiliency of this team after having run the sprints and the distances,” Fowler said.

The women also won the 440 shuttle hurdle relay coming from behind on the strength Tasha Pharr’s anchor leg.  UA also won the 800 meter relay as well as finishing second in the four by 1,600 meter event.

The Alabama men clinched their victory by winning the distance medley relay with a time of 10:11.21, nearly four seconds better than second place Chattanooga.  The Tide set the tone for the day with a win in the first event, the 440 meter shuttle hurdle relay.  Led by Chauncey Harris and Peter Etoot, the Tide also took the 1,600 meter sprint medley relay. 

Glance was extremely pleased to win the event for the sixth straight year.

“I am extremely, extremely happy,” Glance said.  “These young guys did one heck of a job.  They’re focused.  They knew the task at hand.  We are here with a lot of young people and a lot of new people and they represent that uniform like they are supposed to.  I’m extremely proud of them.  Hopefully it is a good sign for years to come and if we get some good help in here, we can hopefully go for seven.”

In the field events for the Tide women, sophomore Beth Mallory crushed the school, meet and stadium record in the hammer throw, posting a career best effort of 195 feet and 8 inches, outdistancing second place by 11 feet. Pharr continued her standout meet and season, winning the triple jump by over two feet, landing at 41-03.25.

Coach Fowler believes Mallory’s efforts for the weekend are only a sign of things to come.

“I know I said it the other day, opening up where you left off from the year before is usually a very good sign,” Fowler said.  “Opening up with a personal best is even bigger than that.  She will have one of the best throws in the nation this year in the hammer.”

For the Alabama men, junior Brian Rohrer won the pole vault invitational with a 16-00.75 leap. Freshman Stephen Boozer posted a throw of 177-10 in the discus to take second place. Boozer also finaled in the shot put, taking fifth place with a 50-03.50 throw. Competing unattached, former Alabama All-American Andrew Owusu won the triple jump with a leap of 54 feet. Gabe Warren tied for second in the high jump with a 6-06.75 mark.

Both the men’s and the women’s teams will take next weekend off.  The Tide men will return to action in two weeks, traveling to Tampa, Florida to participate in the South Florida Invitational.  The Alabama women will play host to the Crimson Tide Classic on Saturday, April 3.

Men’s Team Standings

1.  Alabama               57 points
2.  Miss. State           46
3.  MTSU                  37
4.  Troy State            23
5.  Jackson State         21

Women’s Team Standings

1.  Alabama               54 points
2.  Western Michigan      52
3.  UAB                   42
4.  Southern Miss         23
5.  MTSU                  21