Track and field teams turn attention to SEC Championship meet after weekend apart

On your mark, get set, split up.

That's the task that faced Alabama's indoor track teams this weekend when the distance runners were sent to compete at the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa while the remaining groups traveled to Clemson, South Carolina for the Tiger Paw Invitational.

“I’m very happy for our [women’s] 4x400 relay,” head coach Dan Waters said. “They lowered the school record by five seconds and put themselves in position for a spot at nationals."

Takyera Roberson, Alex Gholston, Diamond Gause and Domonique Williams finished the relay with a time of 3:30.10. It is currently the second-fastest in the country, and breaks the school record set in 2007. 

But this is just the latest development in a 2017 season has been one for the books for the Alabama indoor track and tield teams. By breaking personal bests and school records almost weekly, the Crimson Tide has climbed up the rankings this season. Overall, the men rank at No. 11 while the women rank No. 17 in the NCAA.

This weekend was the final chance to compete before the SEC Indoor Championship on Feb. 24-25, and with that in mind, many athletes attempted to achieve their personal bests. Will Herrscher, sophomore pole vaulter, currently holds the Crimson Tide record with a clearance of 5.36 (17-7). He was unable to accomplish his goal and break his own record, but he did manage to finish sixth this weekend with a clearance of 16-8 3/4 (5.10m).

While Herrscher wants to reach a new personal record, he also had a friendly competition with a Texas A&M pole vaulter, Jacob Wooten.

“We were in the same state and division and have been competing against each other for as long as I can remember,” Herrscher said.

Herrscher was able to match his rival’s clearance, but an extra attempt cost him the chance to tie him for third place along with two other vaulters.

Herrscher and the rest of his teammates will now turn their attention to the SEC Championships which will take place Feb. 24-25 at Vanderbilt University.

"Overall, we had a number of good performances this weekend," Waters said. "We’re starting to come together, now we have to maintain that momentum as we turn our attention to SECs.”

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