2 Alabama athletes win NCAA outdoor track and field titles - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

2 Alabama athletes win NCAA outdoor track and field titles

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Alabama junior Remona Burchell won the women's 100 in a wind-aided 11.25, becoming the first women to win an outdoor title for the Crimson Tide since 2005. (Alabama Athletics Photo) Alabama junior Remona Burchell won the women's 100 in a wind-aided 11.25, becoming the first women to win an outdoor title for the Crimson Tide since 2005. (Alabama Athletics Photo)
EUGENE, Oregon -- A championship day for the Alabama track and field team got even better when freshman Hayden Reed won the NCAA Discus Championship on his final throw, joining junior Remona Burchell, who won the 100-meter championship earlier in the day, atop the podium here at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships, being held at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus this week.

Reed, who redshirted his first season at Alabama, uncorked a throw of 205 feet and 10 inches (62.74 meters) on the last of six throws to beat two-time NCAA Champion and collegiate record holder Julian Wruck of UCLA by more than two and a half feet. It was the Orange, Texas native's second best throw of the season.

"That last one was a big one and that's when it needed to be done," Reed said. "After that throw, he (Wruck) still had one to go, that was the longest three minutes of my life."

Reed (shown left in UA Athletics photo) became just the second freshman in NCAA history to win the outdoor discus title, joining Gabor Mate in 1999. Reed is also the third thrower in Alabama men's history to win an NCAA championship.

In the women's 100-meter final, even running into the wind, Burchell raced away from the elite field to win the Crimson Tide's first women's NCAA 100-meter title.

"It was a good start," Burchell said. "I was ahead and just wanted to get to the finish line and stay ahead of the other girls. It was a tough competition and there were fast girls in the final, I was expecting everyone to be coming up from behind me, but I was able to stay in front."

Burchell overcame a strong headwind (3.4 meters per second) to clock a time of 11.25, well ahead of Texas sophomore Morolake Akinosun, who finished runner-up with a time of 11.33, and the rest of the field.

Burchell is the first Alabama woman to win an outdoor national title in any event since Beth Mallory won the discus title in 2005.

The Montego Bay, Jamaica, native adds the outdoor 100 meters title to her NCAA title in the 60 meters during indoor season, becoming the first Alabama sprinter to win indoor and outdoor titles in the same year.

Burchell has dropped almost three tenths of a second off her personal best in the 100 meters this year.

"I've been training hard, working on my block start and my technique and listening to what my coach has to say," Burchell said of her improvement this season.

Taking the headwind into consideration, Track Town USA calculated the adjustment to Burchell's winning time of 11.25, had there been no wind, to be a world-leading 10.96.

Sophomore Justin Fondren also made the podium, taking fifth place in the men's high jump with a leap of 7 feet, 2.5 inches (2.20 meters). The Oxford, Mississippi, native was 13th in the high jump as a rookie at last year's NCAA Championships.

TRACK EVENTS

Women's 100 meters:
Junior Remona Burchell became the first Alabama woman to win a national championship in the 100 meters when she cruised to victory against a loaded field. Burchell overcame a strong headwind (3.4 meters per second) to clock a time of 11.25, well ahead of Texas sophomore Morolake Akinosun, who finished runner-up with a time of 11.33. Burchell became the first Alabama woman to win an outdoor national title in any event since Beth Mallory won the discus title in 2005. Burchell adds the outdoor 100 meters title to her national title in the 60 meters during indoor season, and she becomes the first Alabama sprinter to ever win indoor and outdoor titles in the same year. A calculated adjustment of Burchell's winning time of 11.25 would have been a world-leading 10.96 had there been no wind.

FIELD EVENTS

Men's Discus:
Redshirt freshman Hayden Reed uncorked a throw of 62.74 meters (205 feet, 10 inches) on his sixth and final attempt in the men's discus competition, climbing from fourth-place to win the national championship. Reed surpassed 2011 and 2013 NCAA discus champion Julian Wruck of UCLA on the final throw to become the first man in Alabama history to win an NCAA discus title. The Orange, Texas native became just the second freshman in NCAA history to win the outdoor discus title, joining Gabor Mate in 1999. Reed is also the third thrower in Alabama men's history to win an NCAA championship.

Men's High Jump:
Sophomore Justin Fondren procured a fifth-place finish in the men's high jump with a final clearance of 2.20 meters (7 feet, 2.5 inches). The Oxford, Mississippi native prevented an early exit from the event by clearing 2.15 meters (7 feet, 0.5 inches) on his third and final attempt before clearing 2.20 meters on his second attempt. Fondren cleared 2.10 meters (6 feet, 10.75 inches) on his first attempt after passing the opening height of 2.05 meters (6 feet, 8.75 inches).

Women's Pole Vault:
Freshman Lakan Taylor finished 15th in the women's pole vault with a best clearance of 4.05 meters (13 feet, 3.5 inches). Taylor cleared the opening height of 3.90 meters (12 feet, 9.5 inches) on her second attempt and then missed 4.05 meters on her first attempt. She cleared 4.05 meters on her second try and exited the competition after three missed attempts at 4.15 meters (13 feet, 7.5 inches).

Source:  University of Alabama Athletics and rolltide.com

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