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

UA sprinters win national titles

Junior Remona Burchell did everything she could not to cry when she saw her 60-meter dash time of 7.11 seconds.

“I jumped so high,” Burchell said. “I screamed. I was almost crying, but I didn’t want to cry. Everyone would stare at me. ‘Why is she crying?’ But it would be tears of joy, but I didn’t cry. I almost did.”

It wasn’t just the winning time at the NCAA Indoor Championships; it’s the second fastest time in NCAA history for the women’s 60-meter dash. It’s the fastest time at Alabama.

“When we recruited her and brought her here, we knew that she was a very special athlete, but to actually run the second fastest time for the 60 in NCAA history – there’s only been one other person who’s run it faster than her – that’s a pretty amazing standard and a tremendous performance,” head coach Dan Waters said.

Burchell’s finish was only one hundredth of a second faster than the second-place finisher, Kentucky’s Dezerea Bryant. The two had previously met in the SEC Indoor Championships where Bryant and Burchell finished first and second, respectively.

“It was very close,” Burchell said. “I thought that the other girl [Kentucky’s] Dezerea [Bryant] got it over me, but when I crossed the line, I heard the commentator say, ‘Burchell from lane two’ so I was like, ‘I probably did,’ but I was just waiting to see if I really did. So I was really happy. I screamed so loud.”

(See also “Track and Field team looks to improve scores“)

It’s been 25 years since the last national indoor title by an Alabama woman. Burchell is the first to win one in the 60-meter dash.

“Never knew I could do it, never knew I could run this fast my first year here, but I did, so there’s much more to come,” Burchell said.

Senior Diondre Batson didn’t have time to celebrate his 200-meter dash title with a time of 20.32 seconds, a school record. He didn’t have time to celebrate putting up the sixth fastest time in NCAA history and the fastest time in the world in 2014. He had to prepare for the men’s 60-meter dash.

(See also Alabama track and field teams see success“)

He placed third in the 60-meter dash after putting up the then-best collegiate time in the nation 6.54 seconds in the preliminaries.

“So 60-200 double is a very challenging double for a sprinter, and to be able to run the fastest time in the nation for the 200 meters and then run the second fastest time in the nation for the 60 is pretty amazing stuff,” Waters said.

It isn’t enough to just be fast.

It takes hard work and technique to win a national title at the NCAA Indoor Championships. And that’s just what Batson and Burchell had.

“Felt like part of their goals were achieved,” Waters said. “Not all of them, but one of their main goals was achieved. That feels really good.”

Their titles helped propel the men’s and women’s track and field teams to sixth and 19th place finishes, respectively. The men’s finish is the highest since 2002, when it placed fourth. The women’s team’s 19th place finish is its first top-20 finish since 1995.

Alabama begins its outdoor season this weekend with the John Mitchell Alabama Relays on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

(See also “Track and field star records fastest time of season“)


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