The University of Alabama men's track and field team travels to Athens, Ga., this week for the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships. The Crimson Tide aims to improve upon its impressive fourth-place finish during March's indoor championship and begin its outdoor championship season with a solid showing in Athens.
"I certainly hope that we can put together some good performances, UA head coach Harvey Glance said. "This has not been an easy transition with the devastation in town the last few weeks, but our student-athletes are eager to get out there, compete and restore some sense of normalcy for the weekend. I hope that each and every one will be focused enough to compete at the level they can and I think we will."
The championships get underway on Thursday with decathlon as Michael Hughes, who is currently ranked sixth in the SEC standings, competes in the first five events of the 10-discipline event. The decathlon wraps up on Friday along with preliminary events on the track.
The bulk of the meet will be staged on Saturday and Sunday with events beginning at 11 a.m. CDT on both days. ESPN3 will offer live streaming of both days' events beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. CDT and on Sunday at 1 p.m. CDT.
The Tide enters the meet with 12 performances this season that rank in the top 10 in the SEC with All-Americans Kirani James and Fred Samoei's times in the 400m and 800m, respectively leading the league. In addition to leading the SEC, James' mark of 45.12 is third in the nation while Samoei's time of 1:45.52 is second.
Glance also anticipates being able to run his top 4x400m relay team for the first time this season and hopes to surprise the field in the final event of the championships on Sunday.
In the hurdles, Glance expects a pair of Jamaican freshmen to potentially score as both Kamal Fuller and Dwayne Extol rank in the top 10 in the 110m and 400m hurdles, respectively.
Following the four-day league championship, the team will have a week off from competition to prepare for the NCAA East Region Championship on May 26-28.