As a graduate and former student-athlete of The University of Alabama, I would like to send my congratulations to the Crimson Tide’s track and field team for representing the institution at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon last week. This was the NCAA’s first year running the meet in a new format in which men and women compete on different days. Overall, it seemed like the format was a success, as many of the athletes were pleased with an additional day of rest. It proved well as many athletes turned in some of the top performances in the world this year.
University of Alabama sophomore Quanesha Burks leaped to a personal best to win the women’s long jump. She was against stiff competition with the University of Oregon’s superstar athlete Jenni Prandini. Burks led the competition early, but fell behind to Prandini after the third round. Burks showed poise and confidence in the fifth round of competition, leaping to a staggering 22 feet, 8 inches, which would have been a school record if not for the small margin of wind over the allowable limit.
Quanesha is the Crimson Tide’s first women’s NCAA champion in a jumping event since 1989. Her hometown is Hartselle, Alabama and was an 11-time Alabama High School state champion at Hartselle High School. She also competed in the 4×100 meter relay last week with teammates Dominique Kimpel, Alex Gholston, and Sarah Thomas. The team ran well in the preliminary round, but failed to make the finals.
The men’s team also had great performances with Steven Gayle and Jeremiah Green becoming NCAA All-Americans in the 400 meters and triple jump, respectively. Gayle also led the men’s 4×100 meter relay to great performances in the prelims and finals. Member of the men’s 4×100 meter relay team who competed at nationals were Tony Brown II, Steve Gayle, Ahmed Ali, and Tadashi Pinder.
Again, congratulations to all the athletes, coaches, and support personnel on a job well done in Eugene, Oregon.
Roll Tide Roll!
Dr. Brandon Spradley is the Director of Continuing Education at the United States Sports Academy. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.