FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Gilbert Kigen capped Alabama track and field’s first night at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships with a win in the 10,000 meters, running away from the field over the last 200 meters.
“We’re really proud of Gilbert and the way he competed tonight,” UA head coach Dan Waters said. “He ran the race he needed to get the win. The way he finished, he wasn’t going to be denied.”
Sitting in fourth place at the midpoint of the race, the senior moved up into the lead over the next lap and stayed in the top three the rest of the way, powering to a substantial lead over the last lap and finishing three seconds ahead of a loaded field.
Kigen’s win came a year after he took third in the 10K and marked the third-consecutive season that an Alabama runner has taken the title in the race. Fellow senior Alfred Chelanga also scored in the 10,000, taking seventh in a time of 29.57.76.
Freshman Bobby Colantonio Jr. got the Crimson Tide’s day started by scoring in the hammer throw, taking sixth place with a career-best mark of 226-8. He was the only freshman to score in the hammer.
Sophomore Samantha Zelden got the scoring rolling for the Tide women with a fifth-place throw of 159-10 in the javelin.
Through three events, the Tide men are in fourth place with 15 points, while the women are sixth with four points.
In preliminaries action, senior Keitavious Walter won the second heat of the men’s 200 meters with a 20.67 to punch his ticket to Saturday’s championship final. Junior Mauricia Prieto and sophomore Tamara Clark both qualified for the finals of the women’s 200 meters. Prieto turned in a 23.05, while Clark posted a 23.11 to earn their way to Saturday.
Alabama returns to action on Friday with the women’s long jump, men’s high jump, women’s pole vault, men’s and women’s shot put and the men’s and women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. The Tide will also compete in the prelims of the men’s 110-meter hurdles and the men’s and women’s 1,500 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters on Friday.
The SEC Championships will be streamed live on SECN+ Friday at 6 p.m. The meet will air live on the SEC Network Saturday at 5 p.m.