The Crimson Tide shows up in Austin


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama hurdler Corde Long runs the 400m at NCAA Championships in Myers Stadium in Austin, TX on Friday Jun 9.

Jack Pate, Contributing Writer

This past week, June 7-10, the Alabama track and field team capped off the season with some incredible performances at the NCAA track and field championships in Austin, Texas.  

The men’s team snagged a top 10 spot as they rolled to eighth place in the country, with the women coming in 25th with many hard-fought battles. 

The highlight of the meet on the men’s side was the dynamic 400-meter hurdling duo consisting of sophomores Chris Robinson and Corde Long crossing the line in first and second for the Tide. Not only did both the men best their own personal records, but Robinson walked away with the school record (once again), the collegiate lead, and the facility record, which had stood since 2015. Robinson clocked a 48.12-second race with Long right on his heels at 48.53. 

“Getting out in the race, I felt pretty good,” Robinson said. “I got out of rhythm on hurdle three — I stood up a little bit — but I was able to get back into my rhythm. When I got to the 200-meter point, I said, ‘Ok, I’m feeling good. Time to kick it in and bring it home.’” 

Sophomore Tarsis Orogot also grabbed hold of his own All-American honors as he placed fifth in the men’s 200-meter dash with a time of 20.03. Only two days prior in the semifinals, Orogot had set a personal best of 19.94 to place third, putting himself in good standing for his finals. 

Along with Robinson, Long and Orogot, Crimson Tide teammate Khaleb McRae joined in on the fun as the four of them took home fourth place in the men’s 4×400 meter relay, which resulted in five more points to the team total.  

Track and field head coach Dan Waters had high praise for the performances. 

 “I’m very proud of both Chris and Corde for going one-two in the 400 hurdles. They fought incredibly hard,” Waters said. “For our guys to compete the way they did in the 4×400 meter relay, with little rest, speaks volumes about the efforts of Chris, Corde, Tarsis and Khaleb.” 

Thanks to the quick feet of these athletes, the men’s team scored 27 total points and brought home their own hardware to put on their shelves. 

The women’s 10,000-meter race did not disappoint for the Alabama pair of senior Mercy Chelangat and freshman Hilda Olemomoi. Chelangat ended her season with a third-place finish in the event as she put up a time of 32 minutes, 49 seconds with Olemomoi only nine seconds behind, placing fifth at 32:58. These two performances tacked on 10 points to help the team move up in the rankings. 

Graduate student Taylor Gorum fought hard in the women’s hammer throw to secure eighth place. Gorum left it all out there, as the field was stacked with talent. Not only did she throw a personal best of 66.60 meters (218 feet, 6 inches), but in order to beat her, four other girls in the top seven had to have a record-breaking day in the event as well.  

With the 10,000-meter duo and Gorum having incredible performances for the Tide, the women finished the meet with 11 points and other great memories to add to those already made throughout the season. 

“Overall, to bring home yet another top-10 finish at the NCAA Championships speaks to the standard we have established here at Alabama,” Waters said. “I’m proud of all our athletes and our coaching staff for the way they represented our program. We missed some opportunities this week that we’ll have to figure out how to better capitalize on moving forward, and better position ourselves for an even higher finish going forward.” 

The teams will take a break until cross country season starts in the fall as the Alabama Crimson Tide Cross Country program looks to capitalize on the SEC titles it brought home in the fall.