TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama's Wilamena Hopkins and Krystle Schade will travel to College Station, Texas this weekend to compete in the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
This weekend will be Hopkins' second time competing at the NCAA Championships. She will compete in the shot put and is listed as the 16th seed with a mark of 54-7 ½, to qualify based on performance.
Hopkins hit that mark at the SEC Indoor Championships, earning her an SEC title, personal best and the second spot on the Alabama all-time list. The sophomore from Archer, Fla. competed at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last year, where she finished 22nd in the shot put with a throw of 50-6.
"I'm pretty excited." Hopkins said. "I feel like I'm more prepared, calm and ready to compete as opposed to last year at nationals. I was kind of overwhelmed by everything. I feel like I'm more mature and able to really focus.
Schade is the seventh seed in the high jump at 6-0 ¾, her personal best from her performance at the SEC Indoor Championships, where she finished second and automatically qualified for the NCAA meet. That jump also placed her second on Alabama's all-time list. The junior from Sunrise, Fla., finished seventh at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships and tied for eighth at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships, earning All-America honors both times.
"I'm excited," UA head coach Sandy Fowler said. "Krystle is ranked pretty high and I truly believe that she could do very well in the meet. Not only is she coming off a seasonal best, but a personal best. Wilamena is coming off her first NCAA Championships last year in the outdoor season as a freshman, which says volumes. I think she's more experienced this year."
The high jump competition is slated to begin Friday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. CST while the shot put will begin Saturday at 3:45 p.m.