In a performance that was worth the wait, Alabama track and field rookie Eliud Kipsang shattered the school record in the 1,500m on the way to the seventh-fastest time in NCAA history. This was achieved on day two of the Crimson Tide Invitational being held at the Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium this weekend.
Both the men’s and women’s 1,500m race were delayed due to inclement weather in the area, getting underway just before 9 p.m. The meet was interrupted by the threat of storms, pushing all the events outside of the heptathlon, decathlon and men’s and women’s 1,500 meters to Saturday. The 2021 Crimson Tide Invitational, presented by Beynon Sports.
After staying with the front of the pack for the first two laps, Kipsang exploded to a commanding lead at the halfway point. He ran away from the field to cross the line in 3:36.00, shattering the school record, the Sam Bailey Track & Field Stadium record and winning the race by more than 10 seconds.
Kipsang’s time was nearly three seconds better than David Kimani’s 2001 school record of 3:38.74 and six seconds better than Sammy Nyamongo’s 1999 stadium mark of 3:41.02.
The delayed night session started with Amaris Tyynismaa’s wire-to-wire win in the women’s 1,500 meters. She ran a 4:12.72 to finish more than six seconds ahead of the field. Her time is the second-fastest in Alabama history, behind Evelyn Adiru’s 4:09.61 school record. She also downed the Sam Bailey Track & Field Stadium record, breaking Dacia Barr’s 2007 mark of 4:14.97.
Earlier in the day, Jake Spotswood picked up Alabama’s first gold medal of the meet, taking top honours in the first decathlon of his collegiate career. He picked up the victory with a PR of 7,259 points, more than 400 better than his high-school best. He finished more than 100 points ahead of the rest of the fields. In addition to winning the overall decathlon, Spotswood posted the top mark in the long jump, high jump, discus and pole vault.
Both Kipsang and Tyynismaa lead the nation with their respective 1,500-meter marks, while Spotswood’s score in the decathlon ranks fourth coming into the weekend.
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