For the first time since 1987, Alabama women's track and field finished on the podium at the NCAA Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships, with the Crimson Tide placing fourth on the final day of competition in Eugene, Ore.
Alabama finished with 31 total points, giving the program its third-highest finish in program history since it finished second in back-to-back years in 1986 and 1987.
“I’m just super proud of this team," Crimson Tide coach Dan Waters said in a statement. "They scrapped and fought for every point and that is what put us on the podium today for the first time in 34 years. Even when things didn’t go our way, our ladies kept after it, staying focused and hungry.
"Overall, our women had an amazing year all the way through and I’m extremely thankful to our athletes, our coaches and staff, and really everyone who sacrificed so much so we could enjoy the success we’ve had along the way.”
Tamara Clark led the way with a pair of top-three finishes on Saturday. She was second in the 200 meters with a 22.17, finishing just five hundredths of a second out of first. She finished third in the 100 meters earlier in the day with a 10.88. Clark along with Daija Lampkin, D’Jai Baker and Christal Mosley started the day by taking sixth in the 4x100-meter relay in a time of 43.99.
Mercy Chelangat, who took second in the 10,000 meters on Thursday to get the Tide on the scoreboard, scored again on Saturday, taking fifth in the 5,000 meters with a time of 15:33.20. Amaris Tyynismaa tallied Alabama’s first individual points of the day, taking seventh in the 1,500 meters after running a 4:11.56.
"I can’t say enough about Tamara and the incredible season she’s had, and the way she competed every time she came to the line," Waters said. "This was Mercy’s first outdoor season and she was spectacular all the way through. She ran so tough in both the 10,000 and 5,000 and gutted it out there at the end today to give us a chance to make the podium. She is just going to going to get better as she goes along."
Here are the Crimson Tide's highlights from the final day of competition, courtesy of Alabama athletics:
- Finishing fourth in 2021 marked the UA women’s fifth top-five outdoor finish since the first women’s NCAA Championships in 1982, and their second top-10 finish in a row after taking seventh in 2019
- The women’s fourth-place finish came just a day after Robert Dunning won the 110-meter hurdles to lift the Alabama men into 13th place in the Men’s NCAA Outdoor Championships
- Alabama’s men finished seventh and the women were 16th at the 2021 NCAA Indoor Championships, giving the Tide top-20 finishes indoor and outdoor for both the men and the women for the second championship season in a row (there were no NCAA track and field championships in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
- Alabama’s women also finished eighth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships