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Tide sprinter leaves UA as the school’s 200-meter record holder after one season

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama sprinter Jereem Richards announced Tuesday that he is foregoing his final year of collegiate eligibility and will become a professional track & field athlete.

"It's a great feeling to be a professional athlete," Richards said. "It's something I've worked towards since I started track and field so to actually achieve it right now, I'm just elated and thankful to God that I had the opportunity and could do something this special."

Richards transferred to Alabama from South Plains College in 2016. In just one season in Tuscaloosa, he set school records in the indoor and outdoor 200 meters and was a member of the school record-setting indoor 4x400-meter relay. He ended his lone season with the Tide having run seven of the 10 fastest outdoor 200 meter times and five of the 10 fastest indoor 200 meter times in school history.

"Jereem Richards turned in one of the great seasons in Alabama track and field history this year," head coach Dan Waters said. "I couldn't be more proud of him for realizing what has been a life-long goal. The impact he's had on our program as a student-athlete and as a person in just one year is immeasurable."

Richards, who will remain enrolled at Alabama to continue work towards his degree, won the 200 meters at the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships and earned All-America honors in the 200 meters and 4x400-meter relay indoors and the 200 meters, 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay outdoors in 2017.

"Competing for Alabama was a wonderful opportunity," Richards added. "I made a lot of good friends and it was a pleasure to be here. The facilities and everything here were very influential in how I performed this year. My coach, (Alabama long sprints coach) Blaine Wiley, did a great job with me. We planned out the whole season and it worked out in the long run. The University of Alabama is a really good place to grow as a man and as a student-athlete."

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaTrack on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.