Tide freshman named Freshman of the Week

University of Alabama freshman Elias Hakansson of Halmstad, Sweden, was named the Southeastern Conference Men’s Track and Field Freshman of the Week on Tuesday, the SEC Office announced. Hakansson broke a 15-year-old school record in the men’s weight throw last Saturday as Alabama finished second in the men’s standings at the Mark Colligan Memorial in Lincoln, Neb.

The school record set by Hakansson came on a throw of 66 feet, 9 ¼ inches (20.35 meters) and eclipsed by 3 1/2 inches a 15-year-old mark set by Derrick Jones in 1998. It was Hakansson’s second individual victory of the indoor season. Hakansson’s series produced the five of the six longest throws in Alabama history, all exceeding 60 feet, opening at 61-1 (18.63 meters), followed by efforts of 64-1 (19.53m), 63-6 (19.37m) and 64-2 (19.57m) before closing with his record effort.

“The weight throw is a new event for Elias, who has come up as a hammer thrower, which is a very different event,” Doug Reynolds, Alabama’s assistant coach for throws, said. “I’m very proud of how hard Elias is working on it, taking on a new event that he’s never worked in before, and how focused he is on reaching his potential. That said, Elias is just scratching the surface of what he can do in this event, and it’s a very good acknowledgement of that this early in his career.”

Alabama finished second in both the men’s and women’s standings last Saturday. The Tide competed against Nebraska and North Carolina in the three-team competition. The Alabama women finished with 110 points behind Nebraska’s 147, while the men ended the triangular meet with 102 points, behind the 138 points of the Huskers. Alabama athletes won 10 events and set 17 personal bests, in addition to Hakansson’s school-record performance.

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