James Sets Tide 400-Meter Record

ATHENS, Ga. – University of Alabama sophomore standout Kirani James highlighted the final day of the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the Crimson Tide with a championship and a school record in the 400m at Georgia's Spec Towns Track.

In addition to shattering his own school record, his time of 44.86 is the third fastest in the world this season and the second fastest in the NCAA ranks.

"Coming around the last turn my focus was on staying relaxed and finishing strong," James said. "This result shows to me that we're on the right track and hopefully there will be a lot of good things in store in the future for our team."

Perhaps even more impressive was his performance in the 4x400m relay. James took the baton on the second leg from Dwayne Extol and proceeded to clock a 44.71 split before Fred Samoei and Bobby Onyeukwu finished the race with a season best time of 3:07.87 to finish second. The Tide's relay team came into the meet ranked eighth in the conference.

"I've been careful with Kirani all season long and in some people's minds he's had a quiet season," Alabama Coach Harvey Glance said. "He's back in the kind of form he had a year ago, he's continuing to do great things and he's only going to continue getting better. No one finishes a 400 meter race like Kirani James."

Samoei, the Tide's other favorite heading into the day, was second on the track in the 800m but was disqualified due to a foul on the backstretch of the final lap.

"Points are hard to come by in this meet so it's tough to have eight points taken away," Glance said. "It's disappointing because of his great performance and he worked so hard to get here and it won't reflect in the record book."

A pair of freshman helped to pick up points in the hurdles as Dwayne Extol finished sixth in the 400m hurdles with a time of 52.54 while Kamal Fuller was seventh in the 110m hurdles with a 14.54 finish.

UA's distance corps also racked up 14 of the team's 38 total points as Carison Kemei finished third in the 5,000m with a personal best time of 14:10.73 while Emmanuel Bor was eighth in 14:33.09. Bor also came in seventh in the 1,500m at 3:52.02 behind his brother, Julius, in fourth with a 3:49.85 finish.

In field events, Jonathan Reid shattered his personal best in the triple jump by more than two feet with a mark of 51-6.5 to finish eighth in arguably the toughest triple jump field in the nation. Reid also finished 14th in the high jump by clearing 6-9.

As a team, UA finished 10th with 38 points. Arkansas won the SEC title with 157.5 points while Florida was second with 140 and homestanding Georgia was third with 99 points.

"This bunch did a good job of elevating," Glance said. "We had a lot of good things happen and had our best performances of the season in a lot of events. I'm really looking forward to the next stage of our season and the regional meet."

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