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The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Multiple Alabama track and field athletes punch ticket to NCAA Championships

Courtesy of UA Athletics
From the left: Alabama track athletes Khaleb McRae, Matthew Weaver, Chris Robinson and Samuel Ogazi punch their tickets to the National Championships in Eugene during the NCAA Regionals at the UK Track and Field Complex in Lexington, KY on Friday, May 24.

Alabama had a strong showing at the NCAA East Preliminaries May 22-25 in Lexington, Kentucky. More than a dozen Crimson Tide athletes qualified for the NCAA Track and Field Championships to be held in Eugene, Oregon.

Junior Victor Kiprop was the first of many to secure a trip to Eugene, as he set a new facility record in the men’s 10,000 meters. His time of 29:06.56 brought him a first-place finish. A time of 29:21.45 propelled freshman Dennis Kipruto to the top 10 in this event. 

Sophomore Hilda Olemomoi persevered through the rain on the second day to grab a second-place finish (32:53.64) in the women’s 10,000 meters. 

Olemomoi returned to the track two days later and broke the NCAA East Preliminary record in the women’s 5,000. Her time of 15:19.57 punched the Crimson Tide’s second ticket to Eugene.

In women’s pole vault, graduate student Victoria Faber set a new personal best (4.30m) and now owns the third-best mark in program history.

Freshman Samuel Ogazi and senior Khaleb McRae finished in the top three in the men’s 400 meters. Ogazi finished first, with a new personal best time of 44.53 seconds, and McRae claimed third, finishing two-tenths of a second behind Ogazi.

After being named United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Men’s National Athlete of the Week, Junior Tarsis Orogot finished top five in the men’s 200-meter dash with a time of 20.00 seconds.

Ogazi, McRae, Orogot and senior Matthew Weaver became the Crimson Tide’s first relay squad to earn its way to the National Championships, as they finished in 39.03 seconds in the men’s 4×100 relay. 

Ogazi, McRae and Weaver competed in another relay alongside senior Chris Robinson. The squad broke the facility record, clocking a time of 3:00.63 in the men’s 4×400.

Robinson also broke the facility record in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, finishing in 48.77 seconds. Junior Corde Long (49.27) finished in third, and senior Clayton Elder earned a new personal best time of 50.48 seconds.

In the men’s 800 meters, sophomore Oussama El Bouchayby finished fourth (1:45.69) to earn a trip to the National Championships.

Freshman Doris Lemngole finished first in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:28.21, breaking the NCAA East Preliminary record and earning her spot on the National Championship stage.

Junior Na’Taja Ballard, freshman Ariike Elijah, junior Milan Fields and sophomore Caelyn Harris became the Crimson Tide’s third relay squad to advance to the NCAA National Championships by clocking a season-best time of 43.87 seconds.

“All of our goals are well within reach heading into Nationals after having advanced around 20 athletes across several events. Recovery for the National Championships starts right now,” head coach Dan Waters said.

Waters said that his team is well prepared for their next task.

“Competing in an elite conference like the SEC greatly prepared us for this weekend, and I’m proud of how we fought throughout these four days,” Waters said. “With that said, we will now shift our focus to Nationals, set ourselves up for a great week and finish this 2024 season on the right note.”

Alabama will take a week off to prepare for the NCAA Track and Field Championships hosted in Eugene, Oregon, from June 5-8. 20 Crimson Tide athletes will compete across 12 events at the meet.

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