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

Track and Field team looks to improve scores

The University of Alabama’s track and field team will look to improve on last year’s scores as it travels to College Station, Texas, for the SEC Indoor Championships on Thursday.

At last year’s championship meet, the men’s team finished seventh and the women’s team finished 10th.

With last year’s rosters filled with younger athletes, Alabama coach Dan Waters said he believes this year’s team has the chance to show how much it has improved.

“We’re in a different place competitively, both mentally and performance-wise, from where we were a year ago,” Waters said. “Most of our people have been through this before, so that part of it is not as much of a concern. It’s more of an opportunity now because we know what to expect, both as coaches and athletes. So I think there’s more positive anticipation than before because of that, as well as the success we’ve been having, the improvements everyone has been making.”

(See also “Softball team defeats UAB, continues winning streak“)

Both teams have seen significant success leading up to this week’s event. The men’s team is currently ranked No. 12 nationally by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association and ranked No. 2 in the South Region, while the women’s team has moved up to No. 5 in the South Region.

Several members of both teams have broken school records this season, including those who extended the lead on their own record. Senior Alexis Paine has already improved her school record in pole vault that she set at last year’s SEC Indoor Championships (4.25 meters) with a mark of 4.35 meters earlier this season. Sophomore Elias Hakansson began the season by breaking his own school record for weight throw with a distance of 20.67 meters, but that record fell again this season when junior Charodd Richardson set the new mark with 21.22 meters.

(See also “Hakansson has sights set on nationals“)

“I think we’ve set ourselves up for success at this meet,” Waters said “It’s what we’ve been working toward, and we are excited. We’ve improved with each meet this season, across the board in everything.”

This will be the first time Texas A&M will host the SEC Indoor Championships since joining the conference two years ago, and Waters said he is thrilled for the team to compete at its stadium.

“Indoor track can be a little different due to the vagaries of indoor facilities, but this is an outstanding facility we are going to compete in this week, maybe the best in the nation for producing good performances,” Waters said. “We are excited and ready to go.”

This year’s SEC Indoor Championships look promising to the Crimson Tide with more experience on its side, a team full of record holders and the right venue.

“We have a chance to do some great things this weekend, some things we haven’t done here in a while,” Waters said.

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