No. 1 Tigers Shine In Final Meet At Hutsell Track

The photos are from the Auburn Invitational Track And Field meet on Sunday, which is expected to be the final event at the facility.

It was a good day for both the No. 1 ranked men's team and the nation's seventh-ranked Auburn women's team. The men's team won nine events and the women's team took first place in six events in a tuneup for the SEC Championships.

AU coach Ralph Spry says he was very pleased with the performances of both the men's and women's teams.

Auburn is scheduled to move to a new track facility next year that is under construction to the south of the women's soccer complex. The Wilbur Hutsell Track has been the home of the Tigers since the track was moved out of Jordan-Hare Stadium to make room for the north end zone expansion to the football stadium.

Dean Griffiths (left) goes airborne in the 400 meters hurdles race at the Auburn Invitational. Griffiths set a Wilbur Hutsell Track And Field record with a time of 49.03, the fastest collegiate mark in that event this season. He edged teammate and fellow senior Fred Sharpe, who ran a 49.23, the second fastest collegiate time in that event in 2003. The old record was set by former AU star and 1980 USA Olympic team member James Walker, who ran a 49.17. Samuel Matete, an Olympic silver medalist in 1996, has the AU school record with a time of 47.10.

Wyman Hamilton is second over the water jump in the steeplechase early in the race. The senior from Daphne pulled away and won the event by a wide margin in a time of 9:25.44. Hamilton and the Tigers will next compete at the SEC Championships May 15-18 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Leevan Sands shows his form in the long jump. The junior is solid in the event and even stronger in the triple jump, an event in which he will be one of the favorites at the NCAA Championships this June in Sacramento, California. Sands finished second at the Auburn Invitational with a leap of 25 feet, 2 1/2 inches.

Spring Dawson leads the women's 1500 race. The junior won the metric mile in a time of 4:24.12. Senior Catherine Wanyoike, who trails Dawson, finished second in the race. Dawson was fourth in the SEC last season with a time of 4:25.50.

Reade Kidd leads the pack on the way to victory in the men's 1500 on Sunday at Wilbur Hutsell Track and Field. Kidd, a senior, ran a time of 3:50.76. His time is five seconds faster than he ran in the same meet last year.

Sarah Reese turns the corner in the 800 meters. The junior finished second in 2:12.01 while her twin sister Caitlin took fifth place. Reese is also one of the top runners on the cross country team.

A group of Auburn football players, many of them track standouts themselves in high school, check out the Auburn Invitational on Sunday. The group includes (left to right) Donnay Young, Lamel Ages, Spencer Johnson, Jason Campbell, Dontarrious Thomas, (unidentified spectator in orange shirt), Carlos Rogers, Timmy Duckworth and Jay Ratliff.

Alex Amodeo pushes hard in the 800 meters on Sunday. The freshman from Grand Rapids, Mich., finished fourth in 1:52.05. Ryan McMullen, a freshman from Metairie, La., finished second in 1:52.92.

Senior Gabor Mate is shown on his winning discus throw at the Auburn Invitational. Mate's effort of 208 feet, two inches is three inches shy of his own Wilbur Hutsell Track record he set in 2000. Mate broke his own NCAA record a week earlier with a toss of 219 feet, nine inches in San Diego. Mate is a two-time NCAA champion in the event and won the shot put at the Auburn Invitational with a toss of 57 feet, 10 1/2 inches.

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