Fondren and teammates hope to have another strong showing in New Mexico meetBy Michael Schwartz | 02/05/2016 4:47pm
Justin Fondren practices his jumps. UA Athletics
As the Crimson Tide prepare for this weekend's meet in New Mexico, few athletes are coming in on a higher note than Justin Fondren, a senior hailing from Oxford, Mississippi. Fondren set a new personal record in the high jump, last week, at the Indiana University Relays in Bloomington, Indiana.
Fondren, who has taken on a role of leadership entering his last season for the Crimson Tide, said he can't take all the credit for his success.
“Our new coaches came in this year and implemented new techniques and a new system that most of us are comfortable with,” says Fondren.
Success can become infectious, especially when one of the team's leaders sets a tone for the team for the rest of the day. That became evident when both Alabama’s Kord Ferguson, and Hayden Reed placed in the top three in men’s shot put, last week. The men’s 600-meter top five was also filled with Alabama sprinters as three of five spots belonged to the Crimson Tide.
“Setting an example for the rest of the team to follow is huge for any team really, it also feeds into the chemistry,” said Fondren.
The team's strong showing last week has jumped the Crimson Tide's men's team up to 16th in the national rankings. The Crimson Tide's women's team had a rougher outing this past weekend and has since dropped outside of the top 15, to number 23 nationally.
The ultimate goal is to be prepared for the SEC's Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held on May 12th-14th, here in Tuscaloosa. For now though, both the men's and women's teams have turned all of their attention on the upcoming meet this weekend in New Mexico. There, the men's team will be looking to build off its recent success, while the women's team will be looking to get back on track.
“It is important for us not to be complacent, we need to bring the same type of intensity that we brought in Indiana and carry that into New Mexico,” says Justin Fondren. “We like where we are at for now, but we are always looking to get better."