May 26, 2007
Gainesville, FL – The men’s track & field team accumulated 29 points and placed sixth at the NCAA East Region Championships on Saturday at the Percy Beard Track. The Tigers’ 4x100m relay team earned an automatic bid to next month’s NCAA Championships to highlight Clemson’s action on the final day of competition. Also earning automatic bids this weekend from the men’s program were George Fields in the long jump and Mitch Greeley in the pole vault.
Clemson’s finish marked the fifth time in as many years of the regional format that the Tigers placed in the top six. The Tigers were fourth in 2003, 2004, and 2006. Clemson was fifth in 2005. Florida State captured the region crown with a total of 91 points, while Florida was runner-up with 56 points.
Jacoby Ford had an incredible jump out of the blocks in the 100m dash, but slowed approximately 30 meters into the race due to a strained hamstring. Ford, who was ahead of Florida State superstar Walter Dix and the entire field, was relegated to an eighth-place finish after pulling up. Travis Padgett was strong coming out of the turn in the 200m dash, but slipped to seventh with a time of 20.84 seconds.
The 4x100m relay team of Ford, Padgett, Mills, and Brown duplicated Clemson’s runner-up effort in the event from last year’s East Region meet. Mills was inserted as a third leg replacement for C.J. Spiller, who experienced soreness following Friday’s 100m prelims. Mills ran an outstanding leg in his stead, helping the Tigers’ relay squad to their best time of the season at 39.15. Clemson’s time ranks third-best in the nation this season behind only Florida State and Tennessee.
In the 4x400m relay, Clemson got into second position in the second section and held on for a time of 3:10.11. Andrew Porter’s strong second leg propelled the Tigers to a ninth-place finish overall, just outside of scoring position.
Itay Magidi won the second section of the 3000m steeplechase with ease, leading almost the entire way. He posted a season-best time of 8:52.47 and finished eighth overall. The runner-up last season and event champion in 2003, Magidi has only competed twice this outdoor season due to injury.
Adam Linkenauger cleared 6’11” and placed eighth in the high jump. He cleared the bar on his final attempt, and then fell shy on three attempts at 7’1″. His season-best mark of 7’1.75″ ranked 15th nationally entering the weekend, so he will await a possible at-large invitation to the national meet.
Jason Bell placed 10th in the triple jump. The senior from Warner Robins, GA had a mark of 50’2″. He fell one centimeter shy of advancing to the finals in the event. His season-best was 51’5.5″ at the Penn Relays.
The NCAA Championships will be held June 6-9 in Sacramento, CA. The official entries list for the national meet will be released early next week.
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