Alabama track and field to compete in SEC ChampionshipsBy James Fletcher | 02/22/2018 10:11pm
Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics.
The Alabama indoor track and field team is on its way to College Station, Texas to compete in the Southeastern Conference Championships this week, hoping to finish a strong season by competing for a top spot in the conference.
The men will enter the weekend hoping to send many athletes to the National Championships, as well as seal a bid for the team event. One of the top performers this season is junior Keitavious Walter, who owns the top seven times for the Crimson Tide this year in the 60 meter and hopes to improve as Championships approach.
“Some of the times, I want to hit, but I haven’t really hit it yet,” Walter said. “It’s going to come.”
Walter’s confidence and competitive spirit have brought him to Tuscaloosa from Ruston, La. He will compete against familiar faces who went to LSU for a place on the podium.
“At the end of the day, I have respect for LSU,” Walter said. “I just wanted to make a name for myself somewhere else.”
This weekend Keitavious Walter can certainly make a name for himself as he looks to finish as one of the fastest men in the SEC and earn a birth to the National Championships.
Other top performers from the men’s team looking to challenge for a podium spot include: Will Allen in the 400 meter, Ruebin Walters in the 60-meter hurdles, Shelby McEwen in the high jump, Kord Ferguson in the shot put, Daniel Haugh in the weight throw and many more individuals as well as relay teams.
The Crimson Tide women come into the SEC Championships ranked 17th in the country and hope to earn their spot among the 31 teams to be announced as National Championship competitors.
Senior Filippa Fotopoulou will be competing in her last indoor championships as a long jumper and is in the hunt for an automatic birth to the National meet.
“I’m trying to make the finals and be top 16 to go to nationals,” Fotopoulou said. “It’s my last year wearing the Alabama jersey so I want to do good.”
Fotopoulou is in her fourth season with the Crimson Tide after arriving in January of her Freshman season from Cyprus. With no preseason conditioning and little exposure to American culture, she’s faced numerous challenges from the start.
“Once I adapted to the environment, my performance started to improve,” Fotopoulou said. “I like it here, it’s challenging every day and I like the challenge.”
When asked about Fotopoulou’s chances at the SEC Championships, Pate said, “She’s one big jump away from a great season.”
For Filippa Fotopoulou, her next challenge will be to make that big jump and earn a spot in the SEC finals, advancing her to the National Championships next month.
The women’s team is looking for strong results across the competition to seal their slot in the National Championships, needing big results from the team’s top performers. Along with Fotopoulou, sprinter Daija Lampkin will compete in the 60 and 200 meter, beside Tamara Clark, Kristyn Williams in the 800 meter, Stacey Destin in the high jump, the duo of Britainy Smith and Colleen Clancy in the pole vault and many others, including the relay team in the 4x400.