Feb. 27, 2008
Clemson, SC – The Clemson men’s track & field team will take a young group of student-athletes to this week’s ACC Indoor Championships in Chapel Hill, NC in hopes of breaking a five-year string of runner-up finishes for the program. Florida State has claimed each of the last five league indoor titles, while the Tigers have not claimed the team championship since the 2002 season.
Twenty-six student-athletes from Clemson will make the trip to the Eddie Smith Field House on UNC’s campus. Ten of the 26 are either true freshmen or red-shirt freshmen, while seven additional athletes are sophomores. Thus, over half of Clemson’s travel roster will be made up of underclassmen.
Clemson has a rich history at the ACC Indoor Championships, having won 12 team titles throughout the years. Only Maryland has won more league indoor crowns. Eleven of the 12 team championships have occurred under the watch of Head Coach Bob Pollock, now in his 20th season overseeing the men’s track & field program.
The Tiger program has produced at least two individual champions each year since the 1992 meet. This season, Clemson certainly has some elite-level athletes capable of taking home first-place finishes at the conference meet.
Clemson is strong in the sprints, particularly the 60m dash where C.J. Spiller rank among the top performers in the nation. Spiller posted a 6.58 at the Carolina Classic in February, at the same venue that will serve as host to this weekend’s ACC championship meet. Padgett also is an automatic NCAA qualifier, having run a 6.62 in the first meet of the season. He is defending national champion in the 60m dash. The semifinals for the 60m will be Friday at 4:05 PM. Trenton Guy, an NCAA provisional qualifier, will also compete in the event.
The Tigers will have a full field of competitors in Friday’s 200m trials, which are scheduled for 5:20 PM, and the 400m semifinals, set for earlier that day at 3:30. Corey Brown and Guy own the top marks in the 200m for Clemson, while Cowin Mills has the team’s top performance in the 400m dash.
The distance events will feature several new faces this year, including three first-year freshmen in the mile. Matt Bruce, Matt Hughes, and Tyler Morey will also comprise _ of the team’s lineup in the distance medley relay, scheduled for 7:35 PM Friday. Matt Clark, an All-ACC mainstay last season, will compete in the 3000m and 5000m events along with veteran Bryce Iverson.
The Tigers will also feature young faces in the jumps, with red-shirt freshman Josh Fowler (triple jump), sophomore Scott Pauga (high jump), and true freshman Conner Webb (high jump).
Mitch Greeley is the favorite in the pole vault, as the senior has cleared 18’1″ this season to rank among the NCAA leaders in the event. He will be joined by several student-athletes from Clemson, including Chris Spear, in the vault at 12:00 noon Saturday.
The throws and multi-events get underway Thursday. Miller Moss leads a group of four in the heptathlon. He ranks fourth in school history in the event already as a red-shirt freshman. The seven-event slate begins at 1:00 Thursday and noon on Friday. Alex Padgett, yet another freshman, will lead the efforts in the shot put and weight throw. He will be joined by Zach Berg, who is fighting back problems, in the 35-pound weight throw Thursday at 5:00 PM.
The final event of the weekend will be the 4x400m relay Saturday at 3:15 PM. Clemson’s team of Cowin Mills, Andrew Porter, Travis Swaggard, and Corey Brown has stayed intact after winning the event at the ACC Outdoor Championships last spring. Florida State and Clemson are the favorites in the 1600m relay.
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