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Oct 16, 2020

Barton, Ward Lead Tigers at Blazer Classic

Women’s Results || Men’s Results

HOOVER, Ala. — Laurie Barton and John Ward led the way for the Clemson women’s and men’s cross country teams at this morning’s Blazer Classic hosted by UAB. Barton earned her first top-five finish of the season and paced the women’s team to a second-place finish overall. Ward ran his second personal best in as many meets and earned the third top-five finish of his Clemson cross country career.

As a team, the women scored a total of 106 points and had a spread of 1:30 amongst their scoring runners. This was the team’s highest finish of the season. The Tigers finished ahead of South Carolina, Arkansas State and Auburn in the women’s Gold race. The men’s team finished sixth by scoring 116 points.

“It’s good to see our women’s team emerging,” said cross country head coach Vicky Pounds. “It was great for our freshman to compete in this race and get this kind of experience.”

Barton and Lauren Hayes were the first runners through the 405-meter split and remained at the front of the pack throughout the race. Hayes made her debut at the 6k distance and was the first freshman across the line. Six women earned a personal best today, while Grace Hanratty and Grace Wadas made their debut for Clemson.

Today’s race marked Barton’s first 6k since Nov. 10, 2017, when Barton competed at the 2017 NCAA Division I Southeast Region Cross Country Championships.

On the men’s side, Ward was assertive from the onset and consistently challenged the leaders throughout the race. Conor McCabe had a breakout performance, improving upon his previous best in the event by 33.36 seconds. Michael Fabiano contributed to the Tigers’ scoring seven for the first time, finishing as Clemson’s sixth runner. Samuel Garringer made his debut in the Clemson Orange and Regalia by running 26:05.10 during the race.

Clemson will now look towards the ACC Cross Country Championships on Oct. 30 as the team’s final race of the fall season. The meet will take place at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

“We have to continue to trust ourselves, trust the team and trust the process as we head into ACC’s,” said Pounds. “We took a good step today as we head towards ACC’s and I’m looking forward to competing two weeks from now!”

Be sure to follow @ClemsonTrackXC on Twitter for all of the most up-to-date information regarding Clemson’s cross country and track and field programs.