Alabama’s Ruebin Walters will be the first to tell you he was not happy with his indoor season.
One of his goals was to reach the finals at the NCAA championships. He didn’t succeed.
Luckily for him, he had the outdoor season to redeem himself.
So far, he’s done just that, winning the 110-meter hurdles at the Samford Invitational in his lone appearance entering this weekend.
On Saturday at the Crimson Tide Invitational at the Sam Bailey Track and Field Complex, Walters made it two wins in two appearances in the 110-meter hurdles.
“This is me working hard and forgetting about what happened in indoors,” Walters said. “It motivates me a lot, because after that, people called me out after indoors. I’m just trying to make a statement and show everybody that I’m still here.”
Walters smoked his competition, clocking in at 13.51 seconds, which tied his season high and put him at fourth in the country in the 110-meter hurdles. No one came close to catching Walters at the finish line Saturday.
“I’m kind of like used to pulling away coming to the end, because it’s the stronger part of my race,” Walters said.
Walters said his time was more impressive than the one at Samford because of the conditions. Walters captured his victory Saturday in 47-degree temperatures with a light drizzle and 12 miles per hour winds.
“He ran 13.51 today, and he’s practicing at 13.30,” Alabama track and field coach Dan Waters said. “That’s an indication of the weather we had today…Once we see some little better weather and a little better competition I think he’s going to do some really special things.”
Walters’ performance wasn’t the only first-place finish for Alabama at the invitational.
Freshman Tamara Clark won the women’s 100-meters with a time of 11.33 seconds. Alabama won both pole vault competitions, with Britainy Smith taking the women’s title and Will Herrescher taking the men’s title.
High jumper Shelby McEwen won on his final jump of the day with a 2.17-meter jump to name a few.
“(The home crowd) was a big motivation, because I had a lot of support,” McEwen said. “I had a lot of family and friends that came down to see me. A lot of people came out to watch.”
Alabama had 27 top-four finishes in its lone home appearance of the outdoor season and 12 first-place finishes on Saturday.
Overall, Waters felt like Walters, McEwen and the rest of the team gave the home crowd a good showing.
“We did the best we could with what we had,” Waters said. “I was really thankful that Oklahoma came and Clemson, Louisville and Mississippi State put on a lot of great performances that made the meet even better.”