Feb. 4, 2012
NEW YORK CITY – Marlena Wesh shattered her own school record in the 400-meter dash to lead the Tiger track & field to another gold medal and automatic NCAA qualifying performance Saturday at the New Balance Invitational. Clemson produced a total of five automatic NCAA qualifiers over the course of the two days at New York’s famed Armory track. The women’s program won the scored meet with 93 total points, blowing away its closest competitor in BYU (64).
“The overall theme of the weekend was simple – productive,” said Lawrence Johnson, Clemson’s Director of Track & Field. “It was a great weekend for our program.”
Wesh led the race out of the gates for the Tigers. She cruised to a time of 52.21, winning by four tenths of a second over her closest competitor. The defending ACC indoor champion in the event, Wesh’s previous best was a time of 52.88 in the NCAA Championships prelims last winter.
She went on to anchor the women’s 4×400-meter relay team to another victory Saturday. The Tigers, with a lineup featuring Keni Harrison, Brianna Rollins, Nia Fluker and Wesh came home with a time of 3:35.58 to finish the meet in grand style.
Dezerea Bryant and Stormy Kendrick finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the women’s 200-meter dash. In the final, Bryant ran to a time of 23.69, edging her older teammate Kendrick, who produced a time of 23.74.
Alyssa Kulik was outstanding in the women’s mile on Saturday. She produced a time of 4:40.97, a personal best and the No. 2 mark in Clemson women’s track & field history. Despite being boxed out, the Tiger senior put on quite a performance. Kulik’s close friend Kim Ruck was also fourth in the championship section of the 3K, as she posted a season-best time of 9:29.65.
Ty McCormack won the collegiate men’s 3000-meter section Saturday. A red-shirt freshman in indoor track, he put together a time of 8:15.60. His time ranks eighth-best in Clemson history. His performance was the highlight Saturday for the men’s team, who finished eighth in the team standings with 27 total points.
Natalie Anthony was runner-up in the women’s collegiate mile section. The sophomore from Randolph, NJ posted a time of 4:57.22. In the women’s 800, freshman Brianna Blanton had a time of 2:13.44 and was fourth out of 73 runners.
In the men’s mile, Upstate native Aaron Ramirez took home a fourth-place finish after crossing the finish line with a time of 4:07.55. Chris Slate was fifth in the men’s 800 meters, as he pushed across the line with a season-best time of 1:51.38.
Jasmine Brunson finished fifth in the championship section of the women’s triple jump. She hit a season-best leap of 42’1.5″, an indoor personal best for the junior from Bermuda. Shai Carpenter was 10th in the men’s triple jump, as the freshman produced a top mark of 49’4.25″.
Brittney Waller was fourth place in the women’s weight throw. She had her best performance of the season, with three throws of at least 20 meters. Her best effort on the day was a mark of 66’0″.
The Tigers return to action next weekend in a couple of meets, the Tiger Paw Invitational at home and the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, AR.
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