University of Alabama at Birmingham Track and Field
UAB track & field head coach Kurt Thomas has announced its 2017 recruiting class. Brittany Floyd (Columbus, Ga./Columbus) and Taylor Jones (Huntsville, Ala./Lee-Huntsville) will each be joining the Blazers next season while Karlee Stortz, Bethan Evans and Karsyn Whitehead each come in to join the Cross Country team and compete in the distance events.
Floyd comes in as a versatile performer who holds personal-bests of 19’5” in the Long Jump, 36’6” in the Triple Jump, and 2:20 in the 800 Meter Run. Assistant coach Reava Potter said that Floyd “will make an immediate impact as a freshman in the jumps and potentially in the multis.”
“Brittany can contribute immediately in Conference USA as a jumper and possibly a multi-event athlete,” said UAB head coach Kurt Thomas. “We are excited to have her.”
Jones has made her mark in the 200 Meter Dash where she was an Alabama state runner-up with a personal-best of 24.35.
“Taylor has a huge upside,” stated Thomas.” She has very good times already, but will benefit from year around strength training and sprint training. She was important in this class for us and I can’t wait to start working with her.”
Stortz, a 4-time state cross country qualifier hails from Lockport, Ill. Stortz continuously improved throughout her years at Lockport HS as she placed 102nd (18:32) at the state meet as a freshman and 72nd (17:59) as a sophomore. Stortz closed the gap last year when she ran 17:44 to finish 55th.
“Karlee is a unique talent, who’s competitiveness will be contagious right away,” Esche added. “She comes from a very tradition rich Lockport High School and will fit in perfectly with our expectations to be a dominant program in Conference USA and the NCAA South Region. Karlee’s excitement for being a Blazer will only help to strengthen our team and encourage her teammates.”
Stortz’ Personal Bests
3 Mile – 17:43
5k – 18:32Evans, the sister of junior Rebecca Evans, represented her home country of Wales 12 different times in Cross Country and Track and Field. The highly touted runner also competed in both the Celtic Cross Country and Celtic Track and Field Championships.“Bethan is a tremendously talented and driven student-athlete,” Esche said. “Her talents will bolster our already strong middle distance crew, and help take our team to the next level very quickly. Having her sister Rebecca running for us already is a huge help as Bethan understands the level that our program is expected to be at.”Evans’ Personal Bests
1500m – 4:41
3,000m – 10:28Whitehead, a standout at Scottsboro HS in Alabama, was a 5A State Cross Country runner up, as well as 3,200-meter runner up and placed third in the 5A state 1,600-meter race.“Getting an Alabama talent like Karsyn makes a loud statement that UAB can and will continue to get the top talent in the state,” Esche said. “Karsyn has enjoyed tremendous success throughout her high school career while also mentoring and inspiring her teammates. Her success and leadership will push her expectations of what UAB Cross Country/Track and Field can do for her in and out of the classroom.”Whitehead’s Personal Bests
1600 – 5:15
3200 – 11:22
5k – 18:57The Blazers will also welcome three distance runners to the team. For more information on them, read more here.