June 10, 2003
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Thirteen Tigers will represent Clemson at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Michael Bolling, Roy Cheney, Airese Currie, Warren Eure, Tye Hill, George Kitchens, Itay Magidi, Ronald Richards and Otto Spain will compete at the national meet scheduled for June 11-14 on the campus of Sacramento State University. The Tigers will compete in nine events, including the 100m, 200m, 400m, 3000m steeplechase, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay, long jump, pole vault and decathlon.
Sophomore Airese Currie, a native of Columbia, SC, leads the ACC in the 100m and 200m dashes, and was the East Region Champion in the 100m. Currie posted career-best times in both events at the region meet. His lifetime-best 10.29 in the 100m ranks him 19th entering the NCAA Championships, and he is ranked 12th in the 200m with a career-best time of 20.65.
Clemson junior Rick Hill provisionally qualified for this year’s national meet with a career-best 7,327 points tallied at the Orange & Purple Classic, and ranks fourth on the Tigers’ career list. This season, the native of Chapel Hill, NC, has set personal-bests in six of the 10 decathlon events. Hill was the 2003 ACC Champion in the decathlon, and also won the Orange & Purple meet. He is ranked 21st entering the NCAA Championships.
Sophomore George Kitchens went to the top of the Tigers’ all-time list in the long jump when he recorded his lifetime-best leap of 25’10.75″ at the Georgia Tech Invitational to win the meet and set the Clemson record. The native of Hephizibah, GA, also won the East Region Championship with a mark of 25’7.5″ to earn an automatic bid to this year’s NCAA Championships. Kitchens was the 2003 Penn Relays collegiate champion in the long jump, and won the event at the Clemson Relays and Clemson Invitational. He is ranked 12th entering the NCAA Championships.
Senior Ryan Lewis received an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, placing fourth in the pole vault at the East Region Championships. With that invitation, the senior from Roswell, GA, holds the distinction of becoming the first Clemson pole vaulter to advance to the NCAA Championships. He cleared 16’7.25″ at the region meet, and has a lifetime best effort of 16’10.75″ to rank third on Clemson’s career list.
Freshman Itay Magidi, a native of Yavne, Israel, has moved into third place in the Tiger recordbooks in the 3,000m steeplechase, and is chasing the Clemson career record time of 8:32.75 set in 1981. Magidi won the steeplechase at the East Region Championships with a lifetime-best performance of 8:40.80 to receive an automatic invitation to the 2003 NCAA Championships.
Senior Otto Spain will compete in the 400m after earning an at-large bid with his season and career-best time of 45.57 set at the Orange & Purple Classic. The native of Columbia, SC, is ranked seventh on the national list entering the NCAA Championships, and ranks fourth on Clemson’s career list. Spain was the 2003 ACC Outdoor Champion in the 400m and 4x100m relay, and has competed as a member of the Tigers’ 4x400m relay team this season.
The Clemson 4x100m relay team and 4x400m relay team are both present in Sacramento after earning at-large invitations. Both teams will feature All-American Airese Currie. This year’s 400m relay team will also feature dual-sport athlete Tye Hill, and All-American Ronald Richards may also see action as an alternate on this year’s team after posting solid performances during the season.
The Tigers’ 4x400m relay team is also making a repeat appearance at the 2003 meet. Michael Bolling, Roy Cheney, Warren Eure and Otto Spain comprise this year’s top 1600m team. That foursome recorded Clemson’s qualifying time of 3:07.23 at the Georgia Tech Invitational. However, as previously mentioned, a healthy Harper could also contribute in this event.
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