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

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Team preps for Drake Relays

By Zackary Al-Khateeb

The University of Alabama men’s track and field team will start competition today at the prestigious Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

This will be the first competition for the Tide to compete in since the Sea Ray Relays in early April. According to head coach Harvey Glance, however, the rest should do the team well. Since the beginning of the outdoor season, the Tide had yet to have a week off from competition.

“We actually needed the rest,” Glance said. “It was very much needed. We should do well [now].”

The Tide is coming off a very strong performance in the Sea Ray Relays as well. Many athletes turned in career best performances and a plethora of first place finishes.

Juniors Julius Bor and Joel Rop finished 1st and 4th, respectively, in the 800m. Bor also finished with the ninth fastest time in the nation this year and tenth best at Alabama, with a time of 1:49.11. Rop finished at 1:50.22, besting his old time by two seconds. Sophomore Tyler Campbell had a season best 7-1 in the high jump to win the event.

In the distance medley relay, juniors Joel Rop, Fred Samoei, senior Matt Watson and sophomore Aaron Stockstell finished first with a time of 9:44.32. Junior Andrew Kirwa also had a personal best time of 9:12.19 in the 3000m steeple chase to claim the title. With their performances, Julius Bor, Moses Kiptoo and Tyler Campbell all ranked in the top 10 nationally in the 800 m, 10,000 m and high jump, respectively.

The Drake Relays, however, should provide a much tougher challenge, hosting some of the best track and field teams in the nation. Glance, however, has experience with these relays.

“We’ve gone to the Drake Relays for the past 12 years,” he said. “This’ll be my thirteenth year going. Historically, we’ve done well [there]. Certainly, we want to compete. There will be some places we will compete. Of course, anything we’ve talked about is consistency, and that’s what we’ll try to get out of [the races].”

Stockstell also noted the prestigious nature of the Drake Relays.

“It’s a big honor, especially going to a different part of the country,” Stockstell said. “It’s just a huge honor. I think it’s going to be a great meet for the team.”

Apart from being one of the most prestigious races in the nation, the Drake Relays will also serve as a sort of homecoming for Stockstell, who hails from Iowa City.

“Going back is great,” Stockstell said. It’s definitely exciting, going back. It’s definitely a homecoming. There’ll still be people cheering for me [there].”

Despite this, Stockstell said he still has his mind on the competition.

“I think the most important thing is to do what’s expected and come out [of the race] injury free,” he said. “The rest will take care of itself.”

According to coach Glance, those expectations are high.

“I think we’re a very confident team,” he said. “But I expect everybody to perform well. I’m hoping we can continue to win championships. We want people around the country to know we actually delivered. We expect greater things down the road.”

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