Shelby McEwen shows out as Alabama track and field has successful home meet

Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics

Photo by Robert Sutton/Alabama Athletics.

James Benedetto

Shelby McEwen lines up his route to the high jump bar like clockwork.

Staggered stance, his right foot in front of his left. McEwen stretches upright and takes a deep breath.

Inhale. Exhale.

Like a shot out of a cannon, he explodes forward towards the pit running a half moon route going left to right.

McEwen leaps in the air and evades the bar by arching his back, struggling to stay up as long as he can in the air. Crashing down to the pit as the crowd roars with admiration.

In a two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth fashion, McEwen successfully cleared the 7-foot-1 and a half inch bar to win the Men’s High Jump event at the Crimson Tide Invitational on Saturday.

“I was kind of nervous but I was just real cold,” McEwen said as he was preparing for his final jump.

McEwen the junior from Abbevillle, Miss. said that he tried to stay as warm as possible throughout the event as this was the first time he had ever jumped in cold weather.

“I just kept stretching, jogging and jumping around a lot. I tried getting the fans into it and trying to get the adrenaline flowing,” McEwen said.

McEwen along with his Crimson Tide teammates found success despite the cold weather being a factor. Alabama finished in the top three in 19 different events, finishing first in 11 of those 19 events.

Ruebin Walters, a senior from Diego Martin, Trinidad & Tobago ran away with the Men’s 110-meter hurdles, finishing 15 seconds faster than the competition. Walters met his season best on Saturday with a 13.51 seconds.

“I was just trying to come out and break the track record again since I am a senior this year,” Walter said. “Equalling the time that I ran this year in these condition is good for me.”

Walters said that he was comfortable pulling away from the rest of the competition because it suited his racing style better. Walters also said that running the 400-meter hurdles prepares him for running the 100-meter hurdles.

“The 400-meter hurdles is one full lap around the track while the 100-meter hurdles is just the straightaway,” Walter said. “It gives me a lot of strength and power training for the 400-meter hurdles.”

Head Coach Dan Walters said that he was pleased with Walters’ performance but still see improvements for the senior.

“He’s got a lot more in him,” Coach Walters said. “He ran a 13:51 today but he is practicing at a 13:30. It’s really an indication of the weather we had today, [Walters] could not get warmed up and really could not moving like he likes to.”

Coach Walters was also impressed with McEwen’s performance at the Men’s High Jump.

“It was really exciting to watch,” Coach Walters said. “He’s a competitor and [Shelby McEwen and Vernon Turner] are two of the best jumpers in the country. To come in on his last attempt and clear the bar to beat [Turner] was a really special performance.”