Football heads to the track

Rain has kept the athletes inside for much of the week, but Thursday Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Pollard took his charges to the Alabama Track Stadium for their running. <br><br>Making good use of the 440-yard track, the players worked on both speed and conditioning.

(Above left) Tide linemen turn the corner in full sprint. Weight lifting isn't left behind, but summer is definitely a time to concentrate on conditioning.

With the construction work on the Athletics Central Power Plant in the background, the "skill" players sprint down the straightaway. Thursday the Bama football players made their way to the Tide track, doing interval work alternately sprinting for 220 yards and walking for 220.

Most of the athletes prefer to get their work in early, so the 4 pm group is much smaller than the 1 pm. But their enthusiasm is hardly diminished. Nautyn McKay-Loescher (left) and Wesley Britt (right) lead the way.

They may be linemen, but don't think for a moment they're not also athletes. Left to Right: Ted Gryska (far left), David Cavan (flying hair), J.P. Adams (just ahead of Cavan), Clint Johnston (leading the pack), Gerritt Jordan (behind in the right middle), J.B. Closner and Matt Lomax (far right).

Receivers, DBs and quarterbacks run by. Check your recognition skills. Where is Triandos Luke? Spencer Pennington? Scoop McDowell? Juwan Garth? And the really hard question, which one is Brodie Croyle?

Hardly a surprise, McKay-Loescher sprints ahead of the afternoon group. Trailing are Freddie Roach, Wesley Britt and Taylor Britt.

Todd Bates catches his breath during the "recovery" walk. The 220-sprint/220-walk sequence was repeated eight times without a stop, and by the time the later circuits arrived the athletes had to work hard so as not to give in to fatigue.

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