May 31, 2008
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Alabama track and field team got a huge performance from senior Trish Bartholomew Saturday at the John McDonnell Field. Bartholomew won the 400 meter title to punch her ticket to Des Moines to join the Crimson Tide contingency to the NCAA National Championships.
Bartholomew, who just two weeks ago was marred with disappointment after a false start in the SEC 400 meter final, redeemed herself by claiming the NCAA Mideast Regional title. The senior clocked a personal best time of 51.58, nearly a half a second faster than the rest of the field to etch her name fourth all-time in the Alabama annals.
Just 45 minutes later in the evening Bartholomew came back in the 200 meters to qualify for nationals. The Grenada native placed fourth in the event with a time of 23.12, nearly equaling her personal best of 23.10 which she ran yesterday in the prelims.
The women's 4x100 relay team which featured Bartholomew on the second leg and the trio of Heather Matherson, Nicole Okolo and Talaya Owens finished sixth with a time of 45.64. The top three relay teams advanced to Des Moines.
Freshman Meghan Austin scored in her first NCAA regional appearance. The newcomer tossed the javelin 146-01 to finish eighth overall.
In the men's steeplechase the duo of Augustus Maiyo and Abraham Kutingala just missed qualifying out of the regional. Kutingala was the top Crimson Tide finisher by placing sixth with an 8:59.83 while the former Mideast regional record holder Maiyo crossed the line in ninth with a 9:01.09. Maiyo has clocked a fast enough time earlier in the season to most likely extend his outdoor campaign.
In the 1500 junior Tyson David was leading the field with 200 meters to go before he was shoved illegally which caused him to drop into eighth place with a time of 3:50.62. Arkansas' Andy McClary was disqualified from the competition. David will head to Des Moines with an automatic qualifying time in the 10,000 meters.
The seeding for the NCAA National Championships will be conducted Monday night. The meet will begin on June 11 in Des Moines, Iowa.