BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern men's and women's track and field programs are looking to come back stronger than ever for the 2017 outdoor season. Last year, the men's team won the Southern Athletic Association championship and the women, who came in a close second, and are looking for a chance to take the title.
"We still have things we want to achieve collectively as a team," said Head Coach Kenneth Cox. "We're not settling for the success of last year."
The men will be looking to their top returners to lead the pack in the new season. Seniors Chris Roberts (Huntsville, Ala./Huntsville HS) and Timothy McOmber (Montgomery, Ala./Montgomery Catholic Prep) are coming off their most successful cross country season and are expected to compete for the top distance titles. Jamal Watkins (Hampton, Ga./Dodge City CC), an all-american in both indoor and outdoor, as well as a four-time conference champion in the 100-meter, 200, 4x100 and 4x400 relays, will be looking to repeat his debut performance.
Sophomores Garrett Talley (Collierville, Tenn./Collierville HS) and Cameron Luster (Jonesboro, Ark./Madisonville HS) will also return this season. They joined Watkins on the championship 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. Talley was one of the top 800 meter runners last year, and Luster was a national qualifier and all-conference in high jump and triple jump. Other field returners include senior Michael Snow (Trussville, Ala./Hewitt-Trussville HS) and sophomore Kameren Morgan (Bowie, Md./St. Alban's School for Boys), an all-conference thrower, along with junior David Campbell (Semmes, Ala./Murphy HS), a pole vaulter who is poised to have his best season yet.
For the women's team, senior Erin Davis (Orange County, Calif./Santa Ana Valley HS) is the reigning 100 meter conference champion, and member of the champion 4x100 relay team. She and fellow senior Sage Jordan (Huntsville, Ala./Randolph HS), the defending 400 champion, are poised to repeat and have their best seasons yet. Senior pole vaulter and jumper Harper DeWine (Mountain Brook, Ala./Mountain Brook HS), and senior Jothani Dixon (Tuscumbia, Ala./Dreschler HS), along with sophomore Deja Hulbert (Lithonia, Ga./Marist HS) will all be returning. Junior Karmin Shute (Fayetteville, Ga./The Walker School), the 200 champion, and member of both the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams, is also among the top sprinters returning. Distance runners Elise Pittman (Vestavia Hills, Ala./Vestavia Hills HS) and Morgan Reynolds (Indian Springs, Ala./The Westminster School at Oak Mountain), a 10K champion, will be resuming their place atop the distance running events.
Joining the returners are a cloud of newcomers. Amir Sims (Orlando, Fla./Union Grove HS), Cashman Smith (Montgomery, Texas/Montgomery HS), and Aaron Beane (Madison, Ala./James Clemmons HS) will add depth to the men's side. On the women's side, Maggie Lucas (Helena, Ala./Helena HS), Alexus Lindsey (Holly Pond, Ala./Fairview HS), Jessica Allen (Lithonia, Ga./Arabia Mountain HS), and Marjorie Head (Columbiana, Ala./Shelby County HS), are looking to contribute immensely in various events.
"It's a new season," added Cox. "That presents new challenges and although we have the talent, we still have to go out every day and remember what we are striving for; to be successful again this year."
The Panthers begin the outdoor season at home with the two-day 'Southern Invitational on March 10th and 11th at Krulak Stadium. Fans can follow the results of the invite live here.