Alabama track and field concludes indoor regular season, sets several records

Adam Baranovsky, Contributing Writer

The Alabama track and field team represented the University across the country this weekend in multi-day meets in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Nashville, Tennessee, and Boston, Massachusetts.  

Boston’s David Hemery Valentine Invitational and Albuquerque’s Don Kirby Invitational saw two Alabama racers break all-time UA records and four different student-athletes move into the school’s all-time top-10 list, in the final indoor regular season meet of the 2023 season.  

Friday, Feb. 10 

Albuquerque, Don Kirby Invitational 

For the men, to start was freshman John Landers who finished in the top-six in the men’s pole vault with a15 foot, 6 1/2-inch mark.  

Sophomore Tarsis Orogot recorded an impressive 20.20 run to break UA’s record in the 200-meter. With this performance, Orogot became the seventh-fastest competitor to reach this mark in collegiate history.  

Junior Clayton Elder placed fifth in the men’s 400, clocking in at 47.84. Senior Bobby Colantonio Jr. and freshman Ruben Banks finished first and fourth respectively in men’s weight throw.  

For the women, sophomore Na’Taja Ballard, sophomore Milan Fields and junior Amara Obi finished first, fifth and 10th in the women’s 200.  

Junior Samantha Kunza and graduate students Taylor Gorum and Chelsea Igberaese finished fourth, sixth and seventh in the women’s weight throw, respectively. 

Boston, David Hemery Valentine Invitational 

Freshman Hilda Olemomoi set a new Crimson Tide record in the women’s 3,000, clocking in at 8:45.50 to claim first place in the event. Her historic run also became the third-fastest collegiate performance of all time.  

Junior Flomena Asekol posted a top-20 finish in the women’s mile. 

Nashville, Music City Challenge  

For the women, sophomore Macy Schelp broke her personal record in the women’s mile, clocking in at 4:52.36. 

For the men, freshman Kai Connor clocked 1:22.93 for a top-20 finish in the men’s 600, and junior Jack Hawes and sophomore Gavin Saacke both recorded top-20 finishes in the men’s 5,000.  

Saturday, Feb. 11 

Albuquerque, Don Kirby Invitational 

The men opened with a bang in the 400 as junior Khaleb McRae’s finish of 45.96 is now the third-fastest in program history, while sophomore Chris Robinson now holds the seventh-fastest time after clocking at 46.12. 

Senior Christian Edwards claimed the title for Alabama in the men’s triple jump.  

The women also started off hot with Fields advancing to the 60-meter final. Fields clocked in at 7.30 to finish fifth overall. 

Igberaese’s fourth-place finish in the women’s shot put is now the fourth-farthest throw in UA history.  

Nashville, Music City Challenge  

Freshman Kai Crawford and senior Grady Shiflet both set new PRs in the men’s 800, while freshman Will Pinson set a new PR in the men’s 3,000. 

For the women’s 800m, sophomores Schelp and Keaton Morrison both clocked top-25 finishes. 

“What a great weekend for the Crimson Tide as we had multiple athletes competing across the country. We started the weekend with athletes breaking into the all-time collegiate list and breaking school records and concluded the day with solid performances across all three meets,” said head coach Dan Waters. “It’s exciting to see the progression we’ve had so far, and we look forward to heading into SECs with some momentum.” 

Alabama will have a week off after a busy weekend before beginning their much-anticipated postseason play in Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the SEC Championships on Feb. 24-25.