By Andrew Ford
Special to The Tuscaloosa News
The SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships are here and the Crimson Tide isn’t interested in making a nice showing — it wants to win the whole thing.
The regular season is a battle in itself, and now the Crimson Tide will look to use that preparation to reach new heights in the postseason.
“We have spectacular talent on this team,” Alabama coach Dan Waters said. “We just need to focus on doing the best that we can as a team.”
For the championships, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Crimson Tide has the athletes to accomplish its goal of winning it all, particularly in the throwing category.
“We know how much our team is capable of,” said senior Portious Warren, who holds the Alabama record for indoor and outdoor shot put. “We just need to play to the best of our abilities.”
Warren, a native of Trinidad and Tobago finished first in the shot put at the Bob Pollock Invitational earlier this season.
Preparation has played a major role in the Crimson Tide’s success this season and athletes having a disciplined work ethic has affected the team in a positively.
“Our athletes came back in shape and mentally ready,” said throwing coach Derek Yush. “We have had our eyes on the prize from the beginning of the year.”
The Alabama sprinters have made a splash this season, posting record times and competing well in meets.
“Winning improves confidence, and confidence is huge in success,” sprinter Champion Allison said. “We had a great team last year, and we have an even better team this year.”
Allison has three top-five finishes, including a first-place finish in the 400 meters at the Bob Pollock Invitational with a time of 47.14. The Texas native was injured last year and feels he has come back stronger for his sophomore season.
Junior sprinter Takyera Roberson has two top-five finishes in the 400 meters at the Carolina Challenge with a time of 54.10, and in the 300 meters at the Blazer Invite with a time of 38.57.
“Having experience in the SEC Championships helps a ton,” Roberson said. “We have a stronger mindset heading in this year.”
Roberson holds school records in the 4×100 relay, as well as the indoor 4×400 relay.