Alabama received top eight finishes in the men’s hammer, men’s 10,000 meters and women’s hammer on the first day of the 2016 Southeastern Conference Track & Field Championships at the Sam Bailey Track & Field Complex on Thursday. The Tide also qualified one athlete each into the finals of the women’s 800 meters and the men’s and women’s 200 meters.

With the hammer throw and 10,000 meter finals completed for both men and women, Alabama leads the men’s race with 15 points followed by Mississippi (13), Georgia (12), Arkansas and Florida (10 points each).

On the women’s side Georgia leads with 12 points with Ole Miss in second at 11 points. Kentucky and Tennessee tied for third at 10 points. Alabama is tied for sixth with 6 points.

The opening day of the championships was a long one as the teams waited out a two-hour weather delay due to heavy rain and lightning prior to the start of the 10,000 meter races and men’s hammer throw. The men’s 10,000 meters was then stopped shortly after it started due to an approximately 35-minute power outage that knocked out power to the Alabama campus. The race was re-started from the beginning after power was restored.

In the first final on Thursday evening, Crimson Tide sophomore Danielle McConnell finished third in the women’s hammer throw with a mark of 196-3 (59.82 meters), her second-best effort of the year and the ninth-best in school history. Following the weather and power delays, junior Antibahs Kosgei ran to a second place finish in the 10,000 meters in a time of 29:49.16. Junior Elias Hakansson finished fourth in the men’s hammer throw with an effort of 224-7 (68.46m) while freshman Daniel Haugh finished seventh at 215-4 (65.63m). Hakansson’s mark is his second-best throw this season.

In the afternoon preliminary running events, senior Kimberley Ficenec posted the third-fastest qualifying time in the women’s 800 meters with a personal-best of 2:05.74. On the men’s side, junior Jacopo Lahbi finished fourth in his heat at 1:48.55 but did not advance to Saturday’s final. In the 200 meters, senior Ahmed Ali and junior Diamond Gause advanced to the men’s and women’s finals respectively on Saturday. Ali won his heat in 20.63 while Gause qualified on time with a wind-aided 22.93.

“I thought we got off to a good start today,” Alabama head coach Dan Waters said at the end of the night. “After the weather delay and the power outage, we stayed focused a competed well. We advanced three to finals on Saturday, had a personal best in the women’s 800 and finished well in the 10,000 and the hammer throw. It was a good day.”

Alabama Junior Quanesha Burks will look to defend the women’s long jump title she won at the 2015 championships in the opening field event on Friday at 2 p.m. On the men’s side, the Tide will be looking for big points out of the quartet of freshman Kord Ferguson and juniors Kyle Felpel, Nathan Kerr and Hayden Reed in the men’s shot put at 3:05 p.m.

On the track, Katelyn Greenleaf owns the third-best time in the conference entering Friday’s women’s steeplechase final. Sophomore Haley Teel will compete in the women’s shot put final while junior Kevin Shannon and freshman Mark Edwards will be in the men’s javelin final. Preliminary events include the 100 meters, 400 meters, 1,500 meters and the men’s 110 and women’s 100 hurdles.

Below is a closer look at Alabama’s Thursday performances.

 

SEC Championships

Thursday May 12, 2016

Alabama Results

Men

Team Scoring

  1. ALABAMA 15
  2. Ole Miss 13
  3. Georgia 12

4t. Arkansas 10

4t. Florida 10

Hammer – 4. Elias Hakansson, 224-7 (68.46m); 7. Daniel Haugh, 215-4 (65.63m)
10,000 Meters – 2. Antibahs Kosgei, 29:49.16; DNF. Conner Thompson

800 Meters Prelims – Heat 1: 4. Jacopo Lahbi, 1:48.55

200 Meters Prelims – Heat 2: 1. Ahmed Ali, 20.63 (Q)

 

Women

Team Scoring

  1. Georgia 12
  2. Ole Miss 11

3t. Kentucky 10

3t. Tennessee 10

6t. ALABAMA 6

 

Hammer – 3. Danielle McConnell, 196-3 (59.82m)
10,000 Meters – DNF. Rachael Reddy

800 Meters Prelims – Heat 2: 2. Kimberley Ficenec, 2:05.74 (PR) (Q); 7. Sarah Mohan, 2:14.28; Heat 3: 7. Kristyn Williams, 2:11.29

200 Meters Prelims – Heat 1: 3. Diamond Gause, 22.93 (w) (q)

 

(w)- wind; (Q)- qualified as heat winner; (q)- qualified on time (PR)- personal record