Track And Field Sees Distance Success At Samford

Sarah Hudak was one of many Blazers to set a new personal best on Saturday.

Feb. 10, 2013


BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--Junior Elinor Kirk led a UAB sweep in the mile and also took a win in the 3K on Saturday at Samford's Multi and Invitational at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

"We set out to improve on lots of things, position ourselves better for the conference meet, and we exceeded our expectations all around," head coach Kurt Thomas said. "Shelby got us started with her first ever Pentathlon, and did a great job, putting herself in scoring position at the C-USA meet."

Kirk crossed the finish line of the mile with a first-place time of 4:45.26, nearly five seconds faster than her personal best, set at the Blazer Invite on Jan. 11 when the Wales, U.K., native ran a 4:50.87. Kirk was followed by senior Sarah Hudak, who finished with a time of 4:47.17. Redshirt senior Rhiannon Johns rounded out the top three with a time of 4:48.61.

All three ran under the UAB school record time in the mile, which was previously held by Hudak at 4:48.

Also running the mile, Lauren Scott finished in 5:07.11, also a personal best.

"The big event was by far the mile," Thomas said. "We knew the girls could run well, but to go 1-2-3, all three broke the previous school record of 4:48, they put on a show. Eli going 4:45, Sarah 4:47, and Rhi 4:48 was just awesome, and so was Lauren Scott setting a personal best by 11 seconds."

In the 3000m, Kirk won with a personal best time of 9:32.90, while junior Kate Brown finished with a personal best time of 9:39.48 for third place.

"The 3000m was a close second with Eli coming back and running 9:32, and Kate close behind her at 9:39," Thomas said. "Overall, we couldn't ask for much more from the entire team. Everyone stepped up today. We have two weeks to prepare for conference, and today we really set ourselves up well to do well."



In the pentathlon events, sophomore Shelby Barker finished third overall with a total of 3,314 points. In the high jump, Barker finished in second with a final height of 1.62m, jumped a new personal-best distance of 5.21m in the long jump and ran the 800m in 2:25.85.

In the preliminaries of the 60m hurdles, freshman Autumnn Burnett ran the fastest time of 8.86 to qualify for the finals, where she won her section with a new personal best time of 8.79.

"Our hurdlers ran well, and Autumnn won the B section and set a personal best in the prelims and finals," Thomas added. "Kyana continued to run well and improved her PR by .8 from last week. The 800m was good for us as well. Sarah set an indoor personal best and finished second overall, and Hannah continues to impress us by how hard she races and improved her personal best by almost 20 seconds."

In the 400m dash, junior Kyana White finished fourth overall with a personal best time of 56.28. Also running the 400m, senior Lytrice Thomas ran a 58.36 and freshman Breona Humphrey ran a personal best 58.36.

Running in the 800m, Hudak finished in second with a time of 2:10.78, while senior Rachel Harley finished in the top-10 as well with a time of 2:15.43. Freshman Hannah Coffin finished with a personal best time of 2:17.04 and junior Kara Woods finished with a 2:25.28.

Redshirt junior Angel Watson won the 200m dash with a new personal best time of 24.30.

In the 4x400m, UAB's team of Watson, White, Harley and Thomas finished with a time of 3:46.91 for second place and a new season best.

In the long jump, junior Kelli Smith finished in ninth of 49 competitors with a best distance of 5.59m (18-04.25).

Overall, the Blazers won four events, finished in second place four times, twice in third, and once in fourth.

Up next the Blazers host the Conference USA Championship, Feb. 23-24 at the Birmingham CrossPlex.