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 sprinter hits world record


There are a lot of things people may not know about Kirani James. James is a sophomore, hails from the Caribbean nation of Grenada, is an All-American, and at the moment, he has the fastest 400-meter time in the world this year.

James came to the men’s track and field team last January; this is his first full season with the Crimson Tide. Though James has a lot of natural talent, the coaching staff was grateful to have a full season with James this year to cross train him with weights, hills and strength workouts.

Last week James ran a 45.47 in the 400 meter, earning an automatic bid to the indoor NCAA Championships in mid-March. This finish brings James’ total to two automatic bids to NCAAs in March. James also will be competing in the 200 meter race. But James would also like to see his two relays, the 4×400 meter and distance medley, qualify for NCAAs.

However, the indoor season is wrapping up, and there are only a few more opportunities to put up NCAA qualifying times.

“We’re running out of time, but at the same time I think we have a cushion with the last chance meet,” head coach Harvey Glance said. “We also have to go out this week and perform well.”

This weekend the men’s team will travel to Seattle, Wash., to compete in the Flotrack Husky Classic. The Flotrack Husky Classic will be the Tide’s last meet before the Southeastern Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.

“This is a real big meet for us because the competition will be there,” Glace said. “The level of depth that each and every one of these races has is unbelievable.”

Glace said the competition at this meet could rival that found at the NCAA meet.

“This meet could be as good as the NCAA Championships,” Glance said. “Once you get to the NCAA Championships, there is so much strategy involved at the meet. You’re probably going to get better results at this meet than the NCAA Championships because it’s pedal to the metal.”

Glance believes his distance squad can compete with the best of them out west. Last week, the Tide had four of its mile runners finish in the top 10 at the meet. Glance acknowledges over half the scholarships on the team are allocated to the distance squad. One distance event that Glance feels confident will get an automatic bid to the NCAAs is the distance medley, which consists of legs of 1200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters and 1600 meters.

“We’ll try to put together a distance medley relay,” Glance said. “I think we should have one of the top 10 relay teams in the country. We’re going to try to put it away early and get an automatic bid to the NCAAs.”

With James running a leg on this relay, the Tide’s chances of qualifying may be increased.

“He’s running extremely well and fast; we just got to make sure we keep him healthy,” Glance said. “Nothing’s guaranteed.”

James carries the same mentality and knows people are aiming to take his title of fastest 400-meter runner in the world.

“They’re just looking for the right time to strike; that’s how I see it,” James said. “A meet is a meet. If NCAAs were tomorrow I think I’d be ready for it.”

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