LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Alabama track and field team shattered more than a dozen personal records and rewrote the school’s history books Saturday in the final day of action at the Rod McCravy Memorial at the University of Kentucky.
“A lot of really, really great things happened today,” said Crimson Tide head coach Dan Waters. “I’m very pleased with where we are at this point. We expect some of the marks we earned today to be strong enough to qualify for NCAAs. We’ve gotten stronger in areas that we historically haven’t been that strong in. I am proud of the way we’ve progressed, the way we've responded technically and the way we’ve competed. This meet was a really big step in our process of trying to get better every week.”
A pair of performances in the 800 meters highlighted the day. Senior Yanique Malcolm recorded the nation’s second best time (2:06.58)—and third best in school history—while finishing runner-up to the nation’s fastest time. Junior Jacopo Lahbi finished runner-up in the men’s 800. His time of 1:48.71 ranks fourth in the nation and third in school history.
The Crimson Tide started the day with a strong showing in the 60-meter dash. On the women’s side, junior Remona Burchell earned a third-place finish with a 7.38, one of the top 10 times in school history. On the men’s side, senior Akeem Haynes ran a 6.76 to finish second, and freshman Tony Brown debuted with a 6.89, finishing fourth.
The Crimson Tide finished the meet with one of its strongest performances of the afternoon. The men’s 4×400 relay team of Dwight Davis, Alex Amankwah, Nick Efkamp and Quincy Smith took third place with a time of 3:08.53, the best time by an Alabama relay team since 2006 and the sixth fastest in school history.
In the field events, two freshmen threw their way into the school’s record book for shot put. Kyle Felpel threw a 59-9 3/4, which ranks sixth in school history, and Hayden Reed’s mark of 57-5 3/4 lands at ninth on UA’s all-time list.
Alabama broke more than 20 personal records, and 10 performances landed in the school’s history books this weekend at the Rod McCravy Memorial, which was named the “National Meet of the Week” by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The event earned the title “based on the outstanding sprints/hurdles match-ups and the concentration of top-10 and top-25 teams in both the men's and women's competitions.”
Here’s an event-by-event breakdown of Saturday’s Alabama competitors:
60 meters: Senior Akeem Haynes took runner-up in the white section with a time of 6.76, a new personal record. Freshman Tony Brown earned a fourth-place finish in the white section with a time of 6.89 in his Crimson Tide debut. Before advancing to the finals, Haynes won his preliminary heat with a time of 6.79, while Brown finished second in his preliminary heat.
400 meters: Sophomore Quincy Smith ran new personal best time of 47.72—the 10th-fastest time in school history—to take home a ninth-place finish. Junior Nick Efkamp (16th, 48.19), sophomore Dwight Davis (17th, 48.85) and freshman Bryan Arthur (22nd, 49.02) also competed for the Tide.
800 meters: Junior Jacopo Lahbi turned in a 1:48.77, the fourth fastest time in the nation this season and third best in school history. Junior Alex Amankwah ran a time of 1:51.51 to finish 11th. Sophomores Andrew Harris (1:51.87) and Alex Jenkins (1:54.30) finished 13th and 19th, respectively.
3,000 meters: Junior Matt Airola placed 12th with a new PR of 8:15.43. Sophomore Parker Deuel (8:33.13) also broke his previous PR and finished 28th.
4×400 relay: The Alabama "A" relay team (Dwight Davis, Alex Amankwah, Nick Efkamp and Quincy Smith) finished third with a time of 3:08.53, the sixth best performance in school history and the fastest Alabama time since 2006. The Alabama "B" team (Bryan Arthur, Jacopo Lahbi, Andrew Harris and Brennan Parks) finished first in its heat with a time of 3:15.64 to finish seventh overall.
60-meter hurdles: Freshman Passion Gamble placed fifth in her heat and ninth in her preliminary section with a time of 8.97.
60 meters: Junior Remona Burchell clocked a personal best 7.38 to place third in her section’s final. Burchell reached the finals after winning her preliminary heat with a 7.42. Freshman Quanesha Burks also set a personal record, finishing fifth with a time of 7.58. Junior Sarah Thomas recorded a 7.64 to finish seventh in the final after finishing second in her preliminary heat (7.61).
Mile: Sophomore Meropi Panagiotou clocked a 4:54.44, placing 10th. Rebecca Stover set a personal best of 4:55.89 to finish third in her section and 14th overall. Freshman Anna Leinheiser (5:11.10) placed seventh in her section and finished 28th overall.
400 meters: Freshman Alex Gholston set a PR of 55.69 to finish 13th. Senior Shani Chandler ran a 57.61, placing 24th. A pair of freshmen—Nicole Sassaman (28th, 58.21) and Brianna Sims (29th, 58.54)—set personal records in the competition.
800 meters: Yanique Malcolm finished runner-up with a time of 2:06.58, which is the second best time in the nation in 2014. The time was also Malcolm’s personal best and the third best time in Alabama history. Kimberley Ficenec turned in a 2:11.37 to finish seventh. Senior Aubrielle Wright clocked a 2:15.60, good for 12th place.
3,000 meters: Freshman Hilary Stafford turned in a 10th-place finish with a time of 9:44.05 in her 3,000 meters debut. Sophomore Susie Kemper (10:07.38) placed 21st.
4×400 relay: The relay team of Alex Gholston, Yanique Malcolm, Lacey Dent and Ramona Burchell—Alabama A—placed sixth with a time of 3:43.88. The team of Shani Chandler, Aubrielle Wright, Sarah Thomas, Nicole Sassaman—Alabama B—was clocked at 3:51.15 and finished 11th.
Pole Vault: Jonny Stiegler, Alabama’s only competitor, no-heighted and did not place.
Shot Put: Freshman Kyle Felpel set a personal record with a throw of 59-9 3/4, finishing sixth. Felpel’s mark ranks sixth in the school’s indoor history. Freshman Hayden Reed placed eighth with a throw of 57-5 3/4—the ninth best in school history and Reed’s best mark as a member of the Crimson Tide. Freshman Nathan Karr (47-11) placed 16th.
Triple Jump: Sophomore Imani Brown broke his previous personal record on his first jump of the day, registering a 49-7 3/4 (15.13 meters). Brown, whose previous best was 49-5 3/4, finished fifth overall.
Shot Put: Junior Candicea Bernard logged her best throw (14.66 meters/48-1 1/4) as a member of the Crimson Tide to earn a 10th-place finish. She threw three times, registering marks of 14.36m, 14.66m and 14.32m.
Triple Jump: Sophomore Merilyn Uudmae took sixth place with a jump of 39-8 3/4 (12.11m). After fouling in her first two attempts, Uudmae registered four consecutive legal marks (12.08m, 11.57m, 11.92m), but saved her best (12.11m) for her final jump.
Rod McCravy Memorial
Saturday, January 25, 2014
60 meters (white) – 2. Akeem Haynes, 6.76; 4. Tony Brown, 6.89.
400 meters – 9. Quincy Smith, 47.72; 16. Nick Efkamp, 48.19; 17. Dwight Davis, 48.85; 22. Bryan Arthur, 49.02.
800 meters – 2. Jacopo Lahbi, 1:48.77; 11. Alex Amankwah, 1:51.51; 13. Andrew Harris, 1:51.87; 19. Alex Jenkins, 1:54.30.
3,000 meters – 12. Matt Airola, 8:15.43; 28. Parker Deuel, 8:33.13
4×400 Relay – 3. Alabama A, 3:08.53; 7. Alabama B, 3:15.64
Pole Vault – DNP. Jonathan Stiegler, No Heighted.
Shot Put – 6. Kyle Felpel, 18.23m (59-09.75); 8. Hayden Reed, 17.52m (57-05.75); 16. Nathan Karr, 14.60m (47-11).
Triple Jump – 5. Imani Brown, 15.13m (49-07.75).
60 meters (White section) – 3. Remona Burchell, 7.38; 5. Quanesha Burks,7.58; 7. Sarah Thomas, 7.64, 12. Brianna Sims, 7.82p.
400 meters – 13. Alex Gholston, 55.69; 24. Shani Chandler, 57.61; 28. Nicole Sassaman, 58.21; 29. Brianna Sims, 58.54.
800 meters – 2. Yanique Malcolm, 2:06.58; 7. Kimberley Ficenec, 2:11.37; 12. Aubrielle Wright, 2:15.60.
3,000 meters – 10. Hilary Stafford, 9:44.05; 21. Susie Kemper, 10:07.38.
60-meter hurdles (Blue section) – 9. Passion Gamble, 8.97.
Mile – 10. Meropi Panagiotou, 4:54.44; 14. Rebecca Stover, 4:55.89; 28. Anna Leinheiser, 5:11.10.
4×400 relay – 6. Alabama A (Alex Gholston, Yanique Malcolm, Lacey Dent and Ramona Burchell), 3:43.88; 11. Alabama B , 3:51.15.
Shot Put – 10. Candicea Bernard, 14.66m (48-01.25).
Triple Jump – 6. Merilyn Uudmae, 12.11m (39-08.75).
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