BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern men's and women's outdoor track and field teams are primed for competition at the 2017 Southern Athletic Association Outdoor Championships this weekend. The men will be defending their 2016 title, while the women are expected to be contenders after a second place finish last season. The championships run April 21-22 in Mount Berry, Ga. at Valhalla Stadium.
"We're very excited about this opportunity to compete for conference championships," said Head Coach Kenneth Cox. "Everything has been coming along quite well in the past couple of weeks."
The Panthers have top 10 finishers in every event on both the men's and women's side compared across the league. Key performers this weekend on the track include Jamal Watkins (Hampton, Ga./Dodge City CC), Jalon Hollie (Hoover, Ala./Spain Park HS), Timothy McOmber (Montgomery, Ala./Montgomery Catholic Prep), Chris Roberts (Huntsville, Ala./Huntsville HS), Justin Peifer (Montgomery, Ala./Saint James School), and Andrew Triplett (Hermitage, Tenn./Father Ryan HS).
Watkins has posted the leagues fastest 100 meter and 200 times this season. McOmber and Roberts have dominated the distance events this spring. McOmber owns the fastest 1,500 and steeplechase times, both are personal records, while Roberts holds the top 5K and 10K times in the league, the former of which being a career best.
Triplett also is a league leader. His time of 57.71 in the 400 hurdles is the fastest in the conference this season.
On the women's side, Erin Davis (Orange County, Calif./Santa Ana Valley HS), Rebecca Bryant (Decatur, Ga./Marist School), Sage Jordan (Huntsville, Ala./Randolph HS), Morgan Reynolds (Indian Springs, Ala./The Westminster School at Oak Mountain), and Alexus Lindsey (Holly Pond, Ala./Fairview HS) will be key contributors.
Both the men's and women's 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams have the top team in the conference this season.
In the field, David Campbell (Semmes, Ala./Murphy HS), Cameron Luster (Jonesboro, Ark./Madisonville HS), Michael Snow (Trussville, Ala./Hewitt-Trussville HS), Kameren Morgan (Bowie, Md./St. Alban's School for Boys), Connor Jarecki (Gadsden, Ala./Gadsden City HS), Harper DeWine (Mountain Brook, Ala./Mountain Brook HS), and Lindsey will be key contributors for the Panthers.
Campbell, Snow, and Morgan have the top marks in their respective events.
Campbell cleared a personal best 4.40m in pole vault at the Hilltop Classic to post the best mark in the SAA this season. Snow's personal best 14.98m toss in the shot put is the best in the league thus far. And Morgan's career-best 56.92m mark in the hammer throw is also a league leading distance.
"Everybody is finally healthier than they've been since the beginning of the season," Cox added. "Now it's just a matter of doing what we've been doing every weekend at our meets and even at practice. So if our guys and girls come out just focused on taking one event at a time, I have full confidence that we'll come out on top."
Fans can follow the action all weekend on the tournament website here.