GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A win in the women’s distance medley relay four performances that rank among the all-time best in school history highlighted the University of Alabama’s final day of competition at the Pepsi Florida Relays on the campus of the University of Florida.
The Tide quartet of juniors Meropi Panagiotou and Kimberley Ficenec and freshmen Veronica Lyle and Emily Edwards ran 11:25.50 in the distance medley relay to defeat a total of eight other teams, including SEC competitors Mississippi State and Georgia. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide men’s team shined in the field events with several top-10 finishes over the course of the day.
Performances that rank in Alabama’s all-time top 10 were achieved in four events on Saturday – the men’s triple jump (Jeremiah Green, 53 feet even, No. 6 in UA history), the men’s 4×400-meter relay (3:05.66, 8th in UA history), the women’s shot put (Candicea Barnes, 51-5½, 10th) and the women’s triple jump (Merilyn Uudmae, 41-6½, 9th). All told on Saturday, Alabama athletes compiled top-10 finishes in 12 of the 13 events in which Crimson Tide athletes competed at the Relays which are widely considered one of collegiate tracks toughest competitions.
“It was a solid day for us and, overall, we had a very good weekend,” said Alabama head coach Dan Waters. “We were consistently in the mix today in every event across the board. We’re showing some depth on our team to a level we have been striving to reach. Our team took a very positive step this weekend.”
Over the course of the meet, Alabama athletes won two events and posted eight performances that rank among the top 10 in eight different events.
Sophomore Jeremiah Green led the way on Saturday with a season-best outing in the men’s triple jump with a leap of 53 feet. That distance was measured on the sophomore’s second jump of the day and held through the next four jumps. Green’s jump ranks sixth in Alabama history in the event and is a new personal best.
Tide junior Justin Fondren also had his best day of the season, clearing a height of seven feet, one inch and finishing third. The junior cleared six feet, nine inches on his first attempt before taking one attempt to clear six feet, 11 inches. Fondren needed three attempts when the bar moved to seven feet, one inch to clear the height.