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Five Women’s Track And Field Student-Athletes To Compete At NCAA Championships

Five Women’s Track And Field Student-Athletes To Compete At NCAA Championships

March 10, 2004

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Five members of the Clemson women’s track and field team will compete at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships to be held Mar. 12-13 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, AR. Gisele Oliviera, Randi Hinton, Shakirah Rutherford, Christina Smith and Silja Ulfarsdottir will compete in four events.

Junior Gisele Oliveira will make her first appearance at the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2004, competing in the long jump and triple jump. The native of Porto Alegre, Brazil, enters the national meet ranked fourth in the long jump and seventh in the triple jump. Oliveira recorded her best mark of 20’10.75″ in the long jump at the ACC Championships, and has a season-best mark of 44’1.5″ in the triple jump also recorded at the ACC Championships. Oliveira is the fourth Lady Tiger to advance to the NCAA Championships in the triple jump. Nanette Holloway competed at the 1990 and 1992 NCAAs, current head coach Marcia Fletcher Noad represented Clemson in 1991 and Sheri Smith competed at the national meet in 2002. Holloway recorded Clemson’s highest finish in the triple jump, placing fifth with a mark of 42’3.5″ in 1992. Smith recorded Clemson’s best mark at the NCAA Championships, leaping 42’5.5″ to finish seventh in 2001. In the triple jump, Oliveira is the first Lady Tiger to advance to the NCAA Championships since Terri Robinson in 1999. Marcia Fletcher was the first Lady Tiger to compete in the NCAA Championships (1991), Courtney Singleton and Monyetta Haynesworth represented Clemson in 1993 and Tonya McKelvey was a two-time qualifier, advancing to the national meet in 1993 and 1994. Haynesworth posted the Lady Tigers’ all-time top finish and best NCAA mark, placing fifth in 1993 with a mark of 20’3″.

Junior Silja Ulfarsdottir will compete in the 200m dash and as a member of the 4x400m relay at the NCAA Championships. Ulfarsdottir, from Reykjavic, Iceland, enters the national meet with the 20th-best time. Her season and personal-best time of 23.76 was set at the ACC Championships on Feb. 21. This is the first trip to the NCAA Championships for Ulfarsdottir, who was the ACC Champion in the 200m and a member of the Lady Tigers’ 4x400m relay team that also won a conference championship. She is the seventh Lady Tiger to advance to the NCAA Championships, and the second under head coach Kim Graham is the only Lady Tiger to appear in the 200m in three different years (1991, 1992, 1993) and Lisa Dillard was the first Lady Tiger to compete in the 200m in 1990.

Ulfarsdottir will be joined on the Lady Tiger 4x400m relay by teammates Randi Hinton, Shakirah Rutherford and Christina Smith. The foursome has a season-best time of 3:35.27 recorded at the Iowa State Last Chance Meet. That time ranks 10th entering the NCAA Championships. This year’s team is not only going after a NCAA Championship, but they are in hot pursuit of the Lady Tigers’ 2001 team that set a Clemson record time of 3:34.83 at the NCAA Championships. That time gave the team of Michelle Burgher, Cydonie Mothersill, Lashonda Cutchin and Shekera Weston a third-place finish, the highest by a Lady Tiger 4x400m relay team indoor. The 2004 team is the fourth Lady Tiger 1600m relay team to advance to the NCAA Championships. The first relay team to advance to the NCAA Championships was in 1997, as Shekera Weston, Kim Norsworthy, Watt and Wilson represented Clemson at the national meet. In 1998, Lashonda Cutchin, Watt, Nikki Bouyer and Shekera Weston brought home All-America accolades with a sixth-place finish and time of 3:37.34.

Marcia Noad led the Lady Tigers to a landmark accomplishment in the 2000-2001 academic year, her first year with the program. The Lady Tigers finished third in the nation in indoor track, tied for the highest final ranking by a women’s athletic team in Clemson history. Clemson’s only other top-three finish in a women’s sport took place in cross country in 1990 when the Lady Tigers were also third. Clemson also ranked seventh in 2001 in the outdoor track championships, the school’s highest ranking in that sport. Clemson now has 15 top-seven finishes in women’s athletics and Noad recorded two of the 15 in her first year as Clemson’s head coach.

In 2002, Noad led the Lady Tigers to a 21st-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships as well as a fourth-place finish at the ACC Indoor Championships. Outdoors, the Lady Tiger team placed 20th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and were fifth at the ACC Outdoor Championships. Clemson added another NCAA title to its history, as Jamine Moton won the hammer throw in Baton Rouge. Her mark of 220’6″ was a NCAA meet and collegiate record, as well as a Clemson and ACC record.The first time the Lady Tigers finished in the top 25 in consecutive years indoor was in 1985 and 1986 when the team finished 12th. The Lady Tigers repeated that feat in 2001 and 2002, finishing third in 2001 and 21st in 2002.

Most recently, Noad led the Lady Tigers to a third-place finish at the 2004 ACC Indoor Championships. Clemson student-athletes claimed five ACC titles, including the 200m dash, 4x400m relay, long jump, triple jump and pentathlon. All told, seven Lady Tigers earned All-ACC honors in seven events. During Noad’s four-year stint, the Clemson women’s track and field program has set 18 school records and 30 student-athletes rank among Clemson’s indoor all-time top five in their respective events.

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