UA freshman Reed wins NCAA Discus Championship - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

UA freshman Reed wins NCAA Discus Championship

Hayden Reed (Source: UA Athletics) Hayden Reed (Source: UA Athletics)
Hayden Reed (Source: UA Athletics) Hayden Reed (Source: UA Athletics)

A championship day for the Alabama track and field team got even better when freshman Hayden Reed won the NCAA Discus Championship on his final throw, joining junior Remona Burchell, who won the 100-meter championship earlier in the day, atop the podium here at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships, being held at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus this week.

Reed, who redshirted his first season at Alabama, uncorked a throw of 205 feet and 10 inches (62.74 meters) on the last of six throws to beat two-time NCAA Champion and collegiate record holder Julian Wruck of UCLA by more than two and a half feet. It was the Orange, Texas native's second best throw of the season.

"That last one was a big one and that's when it needed to be done," Reed said. "After that throw, he (Wruck) still had one to go, that was the longest three minutes of my life."

Reed became just the second freshman in NCAA history to win the outdoor discus title, joining Gabor Mate in 1999. Reed is also the third thrower in Alabama men's history to win an NCAA championship.

In the women's 100-meter final, even running into the wind, Burchell raced away from the elite field to win the Crimson Tide's first women's NCAA 100-meter title.

"It was a good start," Burchell said. "I was ahead and just wanted to get to the finish line and stay ahead of the other girls. It was a tough competition and there were fast girls in the final, I was expecting everyone to be coming up from behind me, but I was able to stay in front."

Burchell overcame a strong headwind (3.4 meters per second) to clock a time of 11.25, well ahead of Texas sophomore Morolake Akinosun, who finished runner-up with a time of 11.33, and the rest of the field.

Burchell is the first Alabama woman to win an outdoor national title in any event since Beth Mallory won the discus title in 2005.

The Montego Bay, Jamaica, native adds the outdoor 100 meters title to her NCAA title in the 60 meters during indoor season, becoming the first Alabama sprinter to win indoor and outdoor titles in the same year.

Burchell has dropped almost three tenths of a second off her personal best in the 100 meters this year.

"I've been training hard, working on my block start and my technique and listening to what my coach has to say," Burchell said of her improvement this season.

Taking the headwind into consideration, Track Town USA calculated the adjustment to Burchell's winning time of 11.25, had there been no wind, to be a world-leading 10.96.

Sophomore Justin Fondren also made the podium, taking fifth place in the men's high jump with a leap of 7 feet, 2.5 inches (2.20 meters).  The Oxford, Mississippi, native was 13th in the high jump as a rookie at last year's NCAA Championships.


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