ORLANDO, Fla. — Laurie Barton and Leah Disher produced a historic showing in the women’s 800 meters Saturday afternoon during the final day of competition at UCF’s Knights Invite. Barton crossed the line in 2:01.57 — the second-fastest time of her career — to become No. 2 all-time at Clemson in the women’s half-mile and win the event in dominant fashion. Disher ran 2:06.98 to set a personal best by 2.23 seconds and enter into a tie for the tenth-fastest all-time performance at Clemson. The duo finished first and fourth overall in the event on Saturday.
“I know I’ve said it before, but it’s fun having someone like her [Laurie] because as a coach, it makes your job easy, and she always performs at the level we expect her to,” reflected Clemson’s Director of Track & Field Mark Elliott.
As a program, Saturday’s action saw Clemson produce 10 season’s bests and four personal bests while winning five events.
“We rose up and competed at the level that was expected of us…,” added Elliott. “This is something that we do no matter where we are.”
Kameron Jones set a new season’s best in the men’s 400m by running 46.58 en route to a convincing victory in the event on Saturday. Jones’ time secured him his second victory of the season and saw him place nearly a full second between himself and the next closest collegiate competitor. Jevon Williams joined Jones within the event’s top 5 finishers, as the freshman ran 47.71 to finish fifth.
In the men’s 110m hurdles, Giano Roberts was the lone Tiger to contest the event and secured the victory by running an all-conditions personal best of 13.92. Roberts’ heat was run with an illegal win of 2.8 meters/second, but Saturday’s performance signaled the first time in his collegiate career going sub-14 seconds.
The first event of the day featured Serena Clark, Rebekah Smith, Antoinette van der Merwe and Courtney Williams in the women’s 4x100m relay. The quartet of Tigers left the competition in their wake and won with a time of 44.48, a mark which stands as the team’s second-fastest of the season.
Clark and van der Merwe returned to the track later on in the day to represent Clemson in the opening heat of the women’s 100m, with the pair of freshmen securing top-5 finishes by respectively crossing the line in 11.60 and 11.69. The two ran in the opening heat of the event, a heat contested with legal wind, which allowed for Clark’s time to serve as a personal best, and van der Merwe’s to be a season’s best.
In the women’s 100m hurdles, Kori Carter led the way by setting a new season’s best with a wind-legal mark of 13.61. Clemson’s Sidney Marshall was the next athlete across the line, as the senior ran 13.69 on Saturday. Carter entered the weekend with a season’s best of 14.10.
Kamryn McIntosh and Ken’Naria Gadson each registered 55-second performances in the women’s 400m on Saturday, as Gadson ran 55.48 and McIntosh crossed the line in 55.64. The event was won by Clemson alumna Natoya Goule in 52.22, allowing the Jamaican star to win by 1.66 seconds.
McIntosh and Gadson were joined later in the day by Lakeisha Warner and Nicolee Foster to form Clemson’s 4x400m relay. The Tigers were victorious in the event by over 5 seconds, running a season’s best of 3:37.02 to capture their second relay victory of the day.
In the men’s 800m, freshman Carson Tillman led Clemson by running 1:54.78 in the opening heat of the event. Colt Griffith and Jack McManus were Clemson’s other finishers in the event, as they respectively crossed the line in 1:57.69 and 2:01.44. After winning the 400m earlier in the day, Jones returned to the track for the 800m and ran the opening 600m of the event, stepping off the track after splitting an impressive time of 1:17.
Elliott reflected on Jones’ day by saying, “When you have athletes that are willing to do that with no complaints, then you know you have a team that is ready and poised for the championships.”
The Clemson track and field program is set to travel to Athens, Ga., this upcoming weekend for the Torrin Lawrence Memorial at the University of Georgia. The meet will take place from April 30 to May 1.
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.