Jan. 21, 2012
CLEMSON, SC – Spencer Adams qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 60-meter hurdles on Saturday to lead Clemson track & field’s efforts at the Auburn Invitational at the new CrossPlex facility in Birmingham, AL. Adams’ personal best was one of many on the day for the men’s and women’s teams, who combined to produce seven new marks on the school’s top 10 indoor records.
“It was a long, productive day, so it was worth the trip,” said Lawrence Johnson, Clemson’s Director of Track & Field. “We had a number of kids step up today. Spencer ran really well. I was on him pretty tough this week in practice because he didn’t finish his race last week at Virginia Tech. He answered the call with a personal best and an automatic qualifying time.
“Dezerea (Bryant) had a great weekend. She’s finally putting some things together. She’s anxious to run fast and conquer the world, all in one weekend. Marlena (Wesh) ran the 200 as well and had a good time, too. Shai Carpenter upped his game this weekend. I was proud of his performance as well. Everything was moving in the right direction today, so that was good to see. It’s good to see us perform with some consistency across a bunch of events.”
Adams was coming off a week in which he failed to finish the hurdles at Virginia Tech’s Rector Field House, but he moved past the disappointment in fine fashion. His time of 7.68 was good enough for runner-up, best among collegians Saturday. His time was also No. 2 in Clemson history, trailing only the 7.60 run by former Olympian Duane Ross in 1995. Adams was supported in the men’s hurdles final by Marcus Maxey in third place at 7.88.
Bryant just missed out on an automatic qualifying time in the 60-meter dash. She was third in that event and first place in the 200 on Saturday for the Tigers. The freshman from Wisconsin clocked a 7.25 in the 60 – No. 2 in school history – and a 23.51 in the 200 which puts her fifth in the Tiger record books for that event.
Clemson’s other NCAA qualifier to this point, Brianna Rollins, was runner-up in the women’s 60 hurdles but the top collegiate performer. She clocked an 8.11, a consistent time after last week’s auto 8.07. Bridgette Owens was third place behind her with an 8.19, a personal best in the event and the No. 3 time in Clemson history. Keni Harrison, a freshman, was sixth (8.37).
Bryant finished two spots ahead of Stormy Kendrick in the 60, as the junior out of Gastonia, NC posted a time of 7.33. Bryant outran teammate Wesh in the 200 by a matter of hundredths. Bryant’s official time was 23.51, but broken down even further was 23.502. Wesh ran 23.504 in her first 200-meter dash of the season.
Clemson also competed a slew of student-athletes in the 400 and 800 events Saturday. Nia Fluker, a freshman from Texas, was Clemson’s best performer in the quarter mile with a time of 55.18 and a seventh-place finish. In the 800, Clemson’s Chris Slate and Nathan Hendershot were second and third, respectively. Brianna Blanton was fourth in the women’s 800 with a time of 2:13.21.
Alyssa Kulik and Kim Ruck were solid in the distance events. Kulik easily surpassed her personal best in the mile and finished in third place Saturday with a time of 4:49.40. Her time ranks seventh-best in Clemson history. Ruck posted an eighth-place finish against a strong field in the 3000-meter run, with a solid season-opening time of 9:32.59.
In the men’s mile, Aaron Ramirez ran to a time of 4:12.02 and finished runner-up in one of the best performances of his young career.
The women’s 4×400 relay capped the evening’s track events with a victory for the second straight week. The team of Harrison, Rollins, Fluker and Wesh combined to a time of 3:34.97, a season-best and just shy of an automatic NCAA berth for the Tigers.
The Tigers also had some good performances in the field events Saturday. Marcus Brown, a newcomer who most recently competed at Maryland-Eastern Shore, was fifth place in the men’s shot put with a season-best mark of 56’3.75″. His mark is No. 8 in the Tiger record books.
In the women’s weight throw, Brittney Waller was solid with a fourth-place effort. She had a top mark of 62’3.25″ on Saturday. In the women’s vault, sophomore Lauren Terstappen was third with a season-best clearance of 12’11.5″ and classmate Christy Gasparino was fifth at 12’7.5″.
Carpenter was runner-up in the men’s triple jump. The native of Mauldin, SC hit a leap of 49’7.25″, matching former Tiger Josh Fowler for ninth in the Clemson record books for the event.
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