EUGENE, Ore. – The Alabama men’s track & field team opened competition at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Wednesday with school all-time best finishes in the 10,000 meters and hammer throw at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Juniors Vincent Kiprop and Gilbert Kigen finished second and seventh, respectively, in the 10,000 meters. Kiprop crossed the line in 28:34.99 and Kigen finished in 28:55.66. Kiprop’s finish is the first in the top two in the event for Alabama at the NCAA Championships and the two top-eight finishes in the 10,000 at the same NCAA meet is also a program first for the Tide.
In the first final of the day, junior Daniel Haugh finished fifth in the hammer throw with a mark of 238-7 (72.72m), which ranks No. 2 in school history and is Haugh’s career best at the NCAA Championships. The finish is also the first top five placing in the men’s hammer at the NCAA meet in school history.
“It was a little rough at first,” Haugh said. “But I just kept trying to execute my throw and stay focused on the inside of the circle and not let everything going on around me distract me. We built through the series and I pulled it out on my third throw to sneak into the finals and get three more throws. I knew I was capable of more but you can’t be mad when you throw 72 meters, the second-best of my life and get points for the team.”
In the only other field event final involving Alabama on Wednesday, junior Kord Ferguson finished 13th in the shot put with an effort of 63-7 ½ (19.43m), the mark ranks No. 6 in school history.
In semifinal action on the track on Wednesday, junior Ruebin Walters posted the fastest time in the semifinals of the 110-meter hurdles to easily advance to Friday’s final. The time is the seventh-fastest in school history. Junior Keitavious Walter finished third in his heat of the 200 meters in 20.54 and just missed qualifying for the finals by 7/100ths of a second.
The Alabama women will open competition at the NCAA Championships on Thursday. Junior Portious Warren and senior Britainy Smith will be in action in the finals of the women’s shot put and pole vault, respectively while freshman Tamara Clark will run in the semifinals of the 100 and 200 meters. The Tide 4×100- and 4×400-meter relays will also be involved in semifinal action. The 4×100 relay will open the day for the Tide at 6:10 pm CT.