Track & Field impresses at Joe Walker Invitational

Kenneth Jones, Contributing Writer

The two-day Joe Walker Invitational, held at Ole Miss from April 7-8, yielded promising results for the Alabama track and field team. 

On day one, the Crimson Tide swept the hammer throw events. Graduate student Chelsea Igberaese and senior Bobby Colantonio Jr., in his first outdoor competition of the season, both earned first-place finishes in the hammer throw. This was the third-straight event sweep to open an outdoor campaign for Alabama. Igberaese threw 61.21 meters (200-10) and Colantonio threw 70.47 meters (231-2). 

“Sweeping one event is an accomplishment in itself, but to have it happen again for the third-straight weekend, and in three different areas of our program, is remarkable,” head coach Dan Waters said. “We also won a couple of events and set a number of PRs again this weekend. Overall, I’m proud of the effort we’ve shown.” 

Junior Samantha Kunza later threw a 63.61-meter (208-8) rocket in the women’s hammer throw, which was the second-farthest mark in school history. 

In the men’s long jump, sophomore Julian Collins (7.29 meters, 23-11) and junior Quincy Scott (7.28 meters, 23-10.75) finished first and second respectively. Freshman Caelyn Harris finished fifth in the women’s long jump (6 meters, 19-8.25). 

Junior Karmen Williams finished the day with a sixth-place finish in the women’s javelin with 42.67 meters (140-0). The Crimson Tide had eight top-10 finishes on the day. 

On day two, Igberaese (16.12 meters, 52-10.75) and fellow graduate student Cherisse Murray (15.83 meters, 51-11.25) finished first and third in women’s shot put, respectively. Graduate student Taylor Gorum (14.53, 47-8) finished ninth. Igberaese also finished second in the women’s discus, with her 52.91-meter (173-7) throw being the eighth-farthest in Alabama history. 

Junior Clayton Elder won the men’s 400-meter hurdle title, clocking a 51.47. It was the second week in a row that the Crimson Tide won the event. 

Junior Alan de Falchi got first place in the men’s discus throw (56.42 meters, 185-1). In the men’s shot put, de Falchi finished eighth (16.53 meters, 54-2.75). 

Sophomore Antonio Crisco finished third in the 400-meter dash, clocking a 48.45. Patrick Daves finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles, while clocking a personal-best of 14.34. 

Head coach Dan Waters said the team seems to take a step forward every year and that the Crimson Tide was “knocking on the door” of a title.

“I’m very pleased with how we executed again this weekend, which speaks to how the staff prepared our student-athletes, making sure everyone remains ready for the next competition,” Waters said. “At the midway point of the season, it’s important that we continue our momentum as we begin to approach the postseason.” 

Alabama gets back to business on April 13 when the team travels to Torrance, California, for the Mt. SAC Relays. 

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]