EUGENE, Ore. – Laurie Barton was Clemson’s lone athlete to advance out of her event’s semifinal round during the second day of competition at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Barton, the 2021 indoor national runner-up in the same event, comfortably secured her spot in Saturday’s final after finishing second in the opening heat after running 2:02.25.
Barton’s heat proved to be the fastest of the day, thanks to Arkansas’ Shafiqua Maloney leading the pack through 400m in 58.04 seconds. A series of tactical moves along the backstretch allowed Barton to slide into second with 200m remaining, and the native of Clemson, S.C., cruised down the homestretch to easily secure her spot in Saturday’s final. Clemson last had a woman in the outdoor final of the 800m during the 2015 championships, a meet which saw Natoya Goule finish sixth overall after running 2:05.19.
Veronica Fraley capped a spectacular 2021 campaign in the shot put by throwing 16.46 meters (54 feet, 0 inches) during the event’s final on Thursday evening. Fraley’s series of 15.74m, 15.75m, and 16.46m allowed her to finish 17th overall and made her one of just four athletes to improve their mark on each of their first three throws in tonight’s competition. Fraley will return to Hayward Field on Saturday when she contests the discus throw as a part of the event’s opening flight.
In the women’s 400m hurdles, Lakeisha Warner crossed the line with a final time of 59.49 seconds to finish 22nd overall. Warner is the first athlete in program history to ever contest the 400m hurdles at three NCAA championships during their career.
Action will resume for Clemson on Friday at 4:35 p.m. (PT) as Roje Stona contests the final of the men’s discus. On the track, Clemson’s 4x100m relay and Giano Roberts (110m hurdles) will each race for a chance to win a national championship starting at 5:02 p.m. Fans can view all of Friday’s action live on ESPN3.
For all of the most up-to-date information regarding Clemson’s Track & Field program, be sure to reference clemsontigers.com and follow @ClemsonTrackXC on Twitter.