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

Tide poised for National Championships

As the University of Alabama’s men’s track and field squad heads into the NCAA Championships, they faced stiff competition at the Alex Wilson Invitational, held at the University of Notre Dame March 4-5.

During the event, several members of the Crimson Tide bolstered their rankings for the NCAA Championships and solidified their spot to compete alongside other great athletes.

Continuing his stellar freshman season, long jumper Kamal Fuller became one of only three freshmen to qualify in the field of 16 for the long jump category during the National Championships.

He set a new personal best and recorded the best jump since 2002 and fourth best jump in Alabama history, with his leap of 25-6.25.

Fuller recorded this critical jump on his last chance, which further enhances his standing with head coach Harvey Glance, who relishes in his ability to succeed early in his college career.

“He hit his best jump at a time when he’s trying to get to the National Championship, that says a lot about his character.” Glance said. “He showed poise and got up on his final jump, whether he’d get to the Championship and he nailed it. We like that, it gives us hope that we can trust him in the future and he could do great things.”

The distance medley relay squad nabbed the 12th and final spot for the National Championship as they ran to a fifth-place finish.

The quartet of sophomore Kirani James and seniors Joel Rop, Emmanuel Bor and Fred Samoei ran to a time of 9:33.77, which ranks as the third fastest in school history.

Although the squad ran the fastest time of the season, the Tide dealt with losing a leadoff runner who fell ill before the race. Despite the effort, Glance points out that there is always room for improvement.

“I don’t think we were really in top of our game even though our time indicated we ran fast, we still have great room for improvement,” he said.

Individually the Tide’s relay squad is comprised of runners who can run alongside any athletes in the nation. Two of the four members, James and Samoei, have qualified for individual events at the National Championship.

However, in a sport where players often battle themselves individually, the Tide comes together to form a team that ranks as one of the best in the nation.

“Track and field is an individual sport, but there are some things that bring you together as a unit.” Glance said. “The relays make you understand that we’re also a team. When they get it together in the relays what I think they end up doing is fighting for each other. You can throw the selfishness away, you don’t feel sorry for yourself at any point in time. You fight for the next person that has Alabama across their chest and that what makes this thing so wonderful.”

Along with Fuller and the rest of the relay team, James will compete in the 400-meter and Samoei will compete in the 800-meter during the National Championships.

Going into the National Championships and competing against several of the best runners in the world, the acceptable margin of error is slim. The talent field is even, and as Glance points out, there things that they must do in order to be successful.

“The most important thing because the talent level is so level, we not only have to, we must be able to run in traffic, because that traffic will be there,” he said. “If we can execute like we’re capable of executing from start to finish, we’ll get some positive result. If we do not, the talent is too good for us to make mistakes.”

The National Championships will be held in College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A&M University, March 11-12.


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