May 27, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama women's track and field team is set to compete at the 2009 Mideast Regional Championships hosted by the University of Louisville at Cardinal Park Stadium. The women will be represented in 12 events, including relays.
In 2003, The NCAA went to a regional format for determining the field of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. There are four regions across the country (East, Mideast, West and Midwest). The Mideast region is the second largest region with 81 schools from 12 different states. Fields for the regional meets are composed of conference champions in each event and those who meet the regional qualifying standards. The top five finishers in each individual event and the top three teams in each relay event at the regional meets advance to the NCAA Championships. In addition, seven or eight at-large athletes for each event will be selected based on performances during the season. However, an athlete must compete in the regional to go to nationals, even as an at-large entrant. The decathlon, heptathlon and 10,000 meter events are exempt from regional competition and athletes in those events qualify for the NCAA Championships based on an automatic or provisional mark.
Sophomore thrower Angelica Howard made history for the Crimson Tide just two weeks ago when she won the SEC Championship in the hammer throw with a heave of 195-10. Howard not only became the first SEC Champion outdoors for the Alabama women since 2006, but she also became the first to ever win the hammer throw in school history. She is currently ranked second in school history and 16th in the nation in the hammer throw. Howard will also be throwing the shot put, an event she placed sixth in at the SEC Outdoor Championships.
Laing Down the Hurdles
Kim Laing, a junior from the island of Jamaica, will be competing in the 100m hurdles at this year's Mideast Region Championships. Laing is coming off a disappointing SEC Championships where she clipped one of the last hurdles while in second place before falling to the track and being disqualified for leaving her lane. Laing, a Drake Relays Champion earlier this year, has posted the 18th fastest time in the country of 13.28.
Owens Gaining Momentum
Talaya Owens returns to the Mideast Region Championships after earning All-Mideast Region honors in the 4x100m relay, but failing to make the final of the 400m hurdles in 2008. The junior has started to drop her time after bettering her previous season best by 1.7 seconds two weeks ago at the SEC Championships when she ran 58.20. That mark places her 18th in the nation in the event, however, Owens boasts a career best of 57.76.
Two of the Best in High Jump Field
True freshman Krystle Schade and junior Chealsea Taylor are two of the best high jumpers in the country as both are ranked among the top 14 in the nation, seventh and 14th, respectively. Schade has cleared 6-0 this year and has been ranked as high as second in the country. Taylor cleared her best height of 5-11 1/4 at the SEC Championships as part of the heptathlon competition. Even though the heptathlon is not a regional competition, Taylor has a full load this weekend as well with the 100m, 200m, high jump and 4x100m relay.
Fantastic Four Freshmen
The Crimson Tide will be traveling four freshman qualifiers to the Mideast Region Championships. High jumper Krystle Schade, hurdler Audra Frimpong (100m hurdles, 4x100m), sprinter Toni Graham (4x100m) and distance runner Kelsey Johnson (1,500m and 5,000m).