June 12, 2009
Fayetteville, AR – Clemson established a school record by one hundredth en route to a third-place finish in the men’s 4x100m relay Friday evening at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at John McDonnell Field. Jacoby Ford also competed in the 100m dash, but finished ninth after pulling up midway through the race.
The 4x100m relay team finished in third place, its best finish in the event since 2002. Clemson’s group of C.J. Spiller, Trenton Guy, and Ford posted a season-best, school-record time of 38.77. The exchanges were smooth for the Tigers, and Guy handed the baton to Ford in striking position. He quickly moved into a battle for the top spot, but Florida anchor Jeremy Hall ran strong in the final 25 meters to lead the Gators to the crown. LSU was the runner-up. Texas A&M initially placed third, but the Aggies were disqualified after their final exchange was well past the legal zone.
This is the ninth time Clemson has finished in the top five at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 4x100m relay. The Tigers have never won the event, but have three runner-up finishes to their credit.
It capped quite a season for the Tiger 4x100m relay. Two weeks ago, Clemson won its first-ever NCAA East Regional championship in the event with a then school-record time of 38.78. The group, which kept the same personnel the entire 2009 season, also finished runner-up at the ACC Championships in April.
Ford’s night came to a disappointing end in the 100m final. For the only time the entire 2009 season, he was beaten in a short sprint (60m or 100m). After a good start, he pulled up with a hamstring injury but did finish the race. It was a tough end to the season for the indoor NCAA champion in the 60m dash, and ACC and East Region champion in the 100m dash. By finishing the race, however, he put himself into position to earn All-America status for the second straight season in the event.
In Thursday action, junior women’s sprinter Kristine Scott competed in the 200m dash. In her first trip to nationals, she posted a time of 24.66 and did not advance past the preliminary round.
The team scores and USTFCCCA All-Americans will be announced at the conclusion of the meet Saturday.
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