The Crimson Tide qualified 17 – 8 women and 9 men – to the NCAA Championships over the three days of the NCAA East Preliminary
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The University of Alabama track and field team qualified four individuals in three events and three relays for the NCAA Outdoor Championships on the final day of the NCAA East Preliminary meet, bringing the Crimson Tide’s total number of qualifiers to 17 (8 women, 9 men).
“This was a good meet for us overall,” UA head coach Dan Waters said. “We had some really great performances and athletes across the board stepped up to get the job done. I felt like every athlete who traveled to this meet had an opportunity to qualify for the NCAA meet and I am proud of everyone who competed this weekend. We are ready to head home and start preparing for the NCAA Championships.”
In the first event of the day, senior Nia Barnes and freshman Danielle McConnell finished in the top 12 in the women’s hammer to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The duo competed in the third and final flight of the event. Barnes threw 190 feet, 10 inches on her final throw of the day to move into ninth place. McConnell recorded a 190-foot toss in the second round of competition and the mark stood up for a 12th finish to nab the last ticket to the NCAA meet in Eugene, Ore.
Junior Ahmed Ali qualified for the NCAA Championships in the men’s 200-meter dash. Ali ran in the first of three heats in the event in lane eight. He was the fourth finisher in the heat, missing an automatic qualification for the next round of the event to be run in Eugene. At the completion of the event, Ali had the fastest non-automatic qualifying time of the day, earning a berth into the NCAA meet in the event.
Sophomore Jeremiah Green finished fourth in the men’s triple jump to advance to the NCAA Championships. Green posted a mark of 50 feet, nine and one-fourth inches on his first jump of the day and improved in each subsequent attempt. On his second jump, Green leapt 52 feet, four inches. On his third and final jump, Green posted a mark of 52 feet, five and one-fourth inches to claim fourth place.
Both the men’s and the women’s 4×100-meter relays punched tickets to the NCAA Championships. The women’s quartet ran in lane two in the second heat of the race. The team successfully passed the baton three times around the track and crossed the line in 44.35. That time was the fourth-fastest in heat two, missing the automatic qualification garnered by a finish in the top-three in the heat. Alabama’s time was the second-fastest of the non-automatic qualifying times, earning a berth in the event at the NCAA meet. The men’s 4×100-meter relay squad made its way around the track in a time of 39.47. That was the second-fastest time in heat one of the event and the fourth-fastest time of the day.
The Tide men’s 4×400-meter relay rounded out Alabama’s NCAA Championships qualifiers. The quartet of juniors Steven Gayle and Cameron Hudson, sophomore Jacopo Lahbi and senior Alex Amankwah ran in the third heat of the competition, holding onto third for much of the race. The Tide crossed the finish in 3:04.81 to finish fourth in its heat with the sixth-fastest time of the day. The relay team was able to qualify for the NCAA meet on time.
Next up, the Tide will travel to the NCAA Championships June 10-13 in Eugene, Ore.
EVENT SUMMARIES FROM SATURDAY
200 METERS – Junior Ahmed Ali automatically advanced to the semifinals of the men’s 200 meters to be run at the NCAA Championships. Ali ran in lane eight in the first heat of the event and crossed the finish line in 20.54, the fourth-fastest in the heat, missing the final automatic qualifying spot for the race. However, Ali was able to qualify on time, with the sixth-fastest mark of the day.
110-METER HURDLES – Sophomore Tony Brown ran in the second heat of the 110-meter hurdles. Running in lane nine, Brown finished the race in 14.02 to claim sixth place in the heat. Brown was 18th overall among the field of 24 athletes.
SHOT PUT – Sophomore Kyle Felpel threw in the second flight of the men’s shot put. Felpel’s best toss of the day came in the first round of throws when he recorded a mark of 57-10 1/2 (17.64m). In the second round of throws, Felpel threw 57-4 3/4 (17.49m) before fouling his third throw. After the first two flights of the shot put, Felpel was sixth. At the completion of the event, Felpel was 28th among the field of 48 athletes. Alabama Series: Kyle Felpel: 57-10 1/2 (17.64m); 57-4 3/4 (17.49m); FOUL
TRIPLE JUMP – Sophomore Jeremiah Green competed in the fourth flight of the triple jump. In his first jump of the day, Green posted a mark of 50-9 1/4 (15.47m). Green jumped 52-4 (15.95m) on his second jump before leaping 52-5 1/4 (15.98m). Ultimately, Green finished fourth overall to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the event.
4×100-METER RELAY – The men’s 4×100-meter relay team qualified for the NCAA Championships, finishing second in the first heat of the event. The quartet ran in lane nine and made it around the track with three clean hand offs. Junior Cameron Hudson led off for the Tide, handing the baton to junior Steven Gayle who was Alabama’s second leg. Gayle passed the baton to junior Ahmed Ali who appeared to have the Tide battling for second around the second curve. Junior Tadashi Pinder sprinted to the finish, crossing the line in 39.47. That was the fourth-fastest time of the day. With the second-place finish, Alabama automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships.
4×400-METER RELAY – Gayle led off the 4×400-meter relay quartet, which ran in the third heat of the event. He handed off to Hudson who maintained the Tide’s place in the lead pack of teams. Hudson handed off the baton to sophomore Jacopo Lahbi who ran a strong race, putting the Tide in third through the third leg. Lahbi handed off to senior Alex Amankwah who maintained the team’s third-place spot through 300 meters. Amankwah crossed the line fourth, posting a time of 3:04.81 and qualifying for the NCAA Championships on time.
1,500 METERS- Junior Meropi Panagiotou ran in the second heat of the quarterfinals of the women’s 1,500 meters, finishing in a time of 4:23.21. Panagiotou qualified for the race after running a personal record 4:20.35 in the preliminaries of the event on Thursday. Her time was the seventh-fastest in heat two and 15th overall.
TRIPLE JUMP – Senior Merilyn Uudmae was the sole Tide representative in the women’s triple jump. Competing in flight two of the event, Uudmae posted a mark of 40-4 1/4 (12.30m) on her first jump in the competition. She returned to better her mark on each subsequent attempt, jumping 41-1 1/2 (12.53m) in the second round and 41-7 (12.67m) in the third round. Uudmae was fourth after the first two flights of competition. She finished 16th overall.
HAMMER THROW – Senior Nia Barnes and freshman Danielle McConnell both threw in the third flight of the women’s hammer throw. Barnes’s day began slowly with a left sector foul on her first throw. She was able to throw a legal mark in the second round, posting a 189-1 (57.64m) toss. Moving into the third round of throws, Barnes was sitting in 12th. With her last throw, Barnes moved up the list with a toss of 190-10 (58.18m). She ended the competition in ninth place. McConnell threw 186-6 (56.84m) in the first round of throws in the competition. She improved her mark in the second round with a toss of 190-0 (57.92m). Her final throw of the day was a 188-4 (57.40m) effort. She finished 12th. Both throwers clenched spots in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the event. Alabama Series: Nia Barnes: FOUL; 189-1 (57.64m); 190-10 (58.18m); Danielle McConnell: 186-6 (56.84m); 190-0 (57.92m); 188-4 (57.40m).
4×100-METER RELAY – The Alabama women’s 4×100-meter relay squad ran in lane two of heat two in the competition. Senior Dominique Kimpel led off for the Tide. There was a slight bobble during the handoff between Kimpel and the second leg, sophomore Quanesha Burks. Burks made up ground along the backstretch, handing the baton off to sophomore Alex Gholston. At the end of the third leg of the event, the Tide appeared to be in second coming off of the final curve of the race. Gholston handed off to senior Sarah Thomas who crossed the line behind Michigan State, Purdue and Kentucky in 44.35. The top three teams in each heat automatically qualified for the semifinals at the NCAA meet with the next three fastest non-automatic qualifying times overall also qualifying. Alabama had the second-fastest non-qualifying time of the day to earn a berth into the NCAA Championships.