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Sinkler’s ACC Crowns Push Clemson Women Into Lead at ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships

Sinkler’s ACC Crowns Push Clemson Women Into Lead at ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships

Feb. 27, 2009

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Blacksburg, VA – April Sinkler claimed two individual titles on Friday to lead Clemson’s track & field teams at the ACC Indoor Championships. Sinkler’s outstanding individual feats have propelled the Tiger women’s team into first place in the team standings, with one day of competition remaining. The women’s team has 55 total points, while NC State is second with 37. The Clemson men’s team is in sixth place after day two, with 21 total points. Virginia Tech (51.5) leads the standings on the men’s side.

“I’m really pleased with the way our kids performed here on day two at the league meet,” said Lawrence Johnson, Director of Track & Field. “April certainly had a great day, she and all our field event athletes really stepped it up.”

Sinkler is the first female from Clemson track & field to win multiple events at the ACC Championships since Gisele Oliveira won the long jump and triple jump at the 2005 outdoor meet. She established school records in winning both events, and became the first Clemson women’s athlete in history to win the high jump at the ACC Championships.

Sinkler set a personal best by nearly a foot in winning the long jump. The sophomore from Stafford, VA jumped 21’4.25″, which is an NCAA automatic qualifying effort. She gives the Tiger track & field program four automatic qualifiers on the season, including three from the women’s team. It was the first ACC indoor championship in the long jump for Clemson since Oliveira won the event in 2004.

She stood in second place throughout much of the day, but on her fifth jump she took the lead. Kimberly Williams of Florida State had a chance to re-take the lead on her final jump, but she fouled and Sinkler won the event. Patricia Mamona finished fifth for Clemson with a jump of 19’9.75″.

The high jump was Sinkler’s final event of the day. She cleared 5’11.5″, just three centimeters shy of an automatic NCAA mark in that event. She outlasted Kayla Lawson of NC State and teammate Anastasia Wilson, who earned her first All-ACC honor by finishing in third place (5’9″.25″).

Clemson qualified all four of its entries for tomorrow’s final in the 60m dash, led by ACC record-holder C.J. Spiller (6.75), and Justin Murdock (6.78) will also run for the 60m crown Saturday at 1:30 PM.

Ford qualified in the 200m dash as well, posting Friday’s top preliminary time (21.18). His time, which ranks eighth-best in school history indoors, was good enough for a provisional qualifying NCAA mark. Virginia native Travis Swaggard (21.71) also qualified for the 200m final (2:10 PM).

“I have total confidence in our guys,” Johnson noted. “I told them today was all about qualifying. We’ll run fast once we make it to the finals. Jacoby ran well today, as did Travis Swaggard.”

Kristine Scott moved on in the women’s 60m dash. She had a career-best time of 7.55, eighth-best in Clemson women’s history. The final for the women’s 60m will be Saturday at 1:20 PM. She also qualified for the 200m final (2:00 PM) with a personal best 23.95, a time that ranks #9 in school history on the women’s side.

“It’s exciting for Kristine,” Johnson said. “We really challenged her to get in there and mix it up today, and she did just that.”

Clemson qualified a pair of student-athletes in the 60m hurdles final, which is set for Saturday at 12:40 PM. Michaylin Golladay improved on her previous best after posting a preliminary time of 8.44, which ranks fifth on the Tigers’ all-time indoor performance list. Mamona also qualified, having run an 8.46 in her qualifying heat.

“Patricia continues to be extremely tough,” Johnson said. “She hurdled, long jumped, and high jumped today, and she’s got three more events tomorrow. I couldn’t be more proud of her than I was today.”

Swaggard also advanced to the final of the 400m dash (1:10 PM). The Virginia native posted a time of 48.36 and won the final qualifying heat Friday afternoon. Will Noble qualified for Saturday’s final (12:10 PM) in the mile run. The Gray Court, SC native finished the second section with a time of 4:11.71, advancing on time.

In the distance medley relay, Clemson placed sixth in the men’s race and eighth in the women’s competition. The men’s team, which finished in 10:09.61, was composed of Jasen Turnbull, Miller Moss, Chris Slate, and Chad Holt. The women’s team consisted of Joanie Castagno, Golladay, Candice Johnson, and Stephanie Buffo. Golladay had an outstanding 400m leg, running a 55.6 second split, to boost the team to a time of 11:59.77.

Jenna Baker led a trio of females in the 5000m run. She placed 14th overall but dominated the first section of the event, posting a time of 17:50.19. Her time ranks among the top 10 in school history. In the men’s 5K race, Jonathan Sunde was 20th overall after crossing the line with a time of 15:14.16.

George Fields and Chris Spear both recorded top-six finishes in the field events. Spear was fifth in the pole vault with a clearance of 16’8.75″, while Fields, a senior out of Columbia, SC, had a mark of 24’3.5″ in the long jump.

Nikola Lomnicka earned an All-ACC honor at her first-ever league meet. The freshman from Slovakia finished third place in the 20-pound weight throw. She hit a personal best mark of 61’10.25″, third-best in school history. Lomnicka is the first women’s athlete from Clemson to be named All-ACC in the weight throw since Della Clark in 2007.

Alex Padgett and Stephen White both scored in the men’s weight throw. Padgett, a sophomore from Rock Hill, SC, was fourth place with a personal best mark of 59’7.5″. His distance is good enough for the #5 spot in Clemson’s weight throw records. White threw 55’3″ (10th-best in Clemson history) and was seventh overall.

Moss duplicated his fifth-place finish from 2008 in the heptathlon. He began with an 8.85 in the 60m hurdles, followed with a lifetime-best clearance of 14’11” in the pole vault, before finishing strong with a third-place time of 2:44.43 in the 1000m run. Moss upped his personal best in the seven-event slate, totaling 5,468 points. Joey O’Rourke was ninth in the heptathlon for the Tigers, just one spot outside of scoring position. He was solid in the 60m hurdles (8.65) and pole vault (14’11”).

The meet concludes Saturday with all running finals, plus several field events as well as the 4x400m relay. The first action of the day will be the men’s high jump at 10:00 AM.

Men’s Standings (Through Six Events)

1. Virginia Tech, 51.5

2. Florida State, 42

3. North Carolina, 30.5

4. Virginia, 27

5. NC State, 22

6. Clemson, 21

Women’s Standings (Through Six Events)

1. Clemson, 55

2. NC State, 37

3. Florida State, 33

4. North Carolina, 23

5. Virginia Tech, 21

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