Notre Dame, Ind. – The Clemson Track & Field program saw fourth and sixth place finishes earned by their women’s and men’s teams, respectively, at the 2020 ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships. Over the three days of competition, the Clemson program accumulated 14 individual All-ACC honors and one relay All-ACC honor. Laurie Barton and Marcus Parker were the lone event winners on Saturday, capturing the win in the women’s 800 and men’s 200 meter races.
“Overall, we did okay,” said Director of Track & Field Mark Elliott. “We had a lot of bright spots from individual events. I think the kids will learn from it and get better. I was satisfied, but as a team, we can get better.”
The women’s 800 meters was the race of the day on the track for the Clemson women’s program, as Laurie Barton and Andrea Foster took first and second overall, running 2:04.40 and 2:04.98, respectively. Barton, who entered today on the outside looking in when it came to qualifying for the upcoming NCAA Championships, raced at a blistering pace from the gun with Foster. Foster’s time is a personal best and would have ranked the two athletes sixth and 11th in the nation entering the competition.
Elliott, who coaches the middle distance group, said, “The final word to them was to run with confidence and how we have trained. The goal yesterday was to make the final and the goal today was to score the 18 points like we did. They executed their race to a T.”
On the men’s side, Marcus Parker put on another top-class performance in the men’s 200 meters, running 20.84 to blow away the competition. Parker’s victory makes the senior from Phoenix, Ariz. undefeated in the event so far this year. Parker was the top qualifier in the event after yesterday’s preliminary rounds.
“Marcus is a competitor,” said Elliott. “I know he was a bit disappointed in the 60 meter prelims yesterday, but he came back with class in his primary event, the 200, today. He made no excuses and went out there and grabbed the points he needed to.”
In the field, Roje Stona was the star, as the sophomore registered a monstrous throw of 17.56 meters (57-7.5) on his third throw of the men’s shot put competition to finish sixth overall. Stona, who entered the day with a best of 16.24 meters, now occupies the No. 5 position on the event’s all-time list at Clemson.
Rebekah Smith competed in the women’s 60 and 200 meter dash today, finishing third and fourth in the events, respectively. Smith’s 11 points at the Championships tie her with Foster and Barton for the most points scored at the Championships.
The Clemson Track & Field team will now await the final national rankings to see how many representatives the program will have at the NCAA Indoor National Championships on March 13-14 in Albuquerque, N.M. Individuals can qualify for the meet by being ranked nationally within the top-16 of their event, while relays must be ranked within the top-12.
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