CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson track and field program will open its 2021 outdoor season in Auburn, Ala., as the teams compete in the Tiger Track Classic from March 19-20. The two-day meet will be the program’s first outdoor competition in 651 days, as the Tigers last competed outdoors during the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships on June 7. Auburn’s Tiger Track Classic will be closed to the general public, spectators and family members.
The men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase and men’s javelin throw on Friday will open the Tigers’ season. Devin Johnson and Michael Smith will represent Clemson in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase, while a trio of freshman throwers will make their Clemson debuts on the javelin runway.
“It’s exciting because we haven’t competed [outdoors] in well over a year,” said Mark Elliott, Clemson’s Director of Track & Field. “It’s good to get the full team back coming off of a pretty good showing at the NCAA Indoor Championships. It’s especially good to bring our throwers and hurdlers outdoors. It’s exciting to get it started.”
On Saturday, Roje Stona will highlight the Tigers’ entries in the field events, as the sophomore from Montego Bay, Jamaica, will enter the circle for the men’s discus competition at 1 p.m. Stona enters the 2021 season as one of the early favorites to capture the national title in the discus after earning second-team All-American honors in the event in 2019. Stona’s freshman campaign also saw him win the discus throw at the 2019 ACC Outdoor Championships and 2019 NCAA East Region Prelims.
“Watching him [Roje] develop, after not being able to throw last year…, Coach [Shawn] Cobey has progressed him to the [next] level,” added Elliott. “I’m excited to see how his outdoor season is going to go.”
Clemson’s hurdlers will be in full force over the weekend, as the Tigers have four entries across the men’s 110m hurdles and women’s 100m hurdles, along with five combined entries in the 400m hurdles. Rayan Holmes will debut in the hurdles at Clemson, as the native of Kellits Clarendon, Jamaica, will be the Tigers’ lone entry in the men’s 400m hurdles.
The start line for the short sprint events will be full of Clemson athletes on Saturday, as the Tigers have seven entries in the women’s 100m, eight entries in the women’s 200m, and four entries in the men’s 200m. Clemson will also be well-represented in the half-mile Saturday afternoon, with five entries across the women’s heats and three entries in the men’s heats.
On Saturday, Rebekah Smith (100m), Lakeisha Warner (400mH), Sidney Marshall (100m, 100mH), Kameron Jones (200m, 400m), and Alex Sands (200m) will make their respective individual debut for Clemson in 2021 as they utilize their final season of eligibility. Smith, Warner, Marshall and Sands each returned to Tigertown following the cancellation of the 2020 outdoor season, while Jones joined the program over the summer as a graduate transfer from Maryland.
In the relay events, both men’s and women’s teams will have one 4x100m relay and two 4x400m relay squads on Saturday. The women’s 4x100m relay will open Saturday’s competition on the track at 1 p.m., while the men’s 4x400m relay will conclude the Tiger Track Classic at 4:35 p.m.
Clemson will be joined at the Tiger Track Classic by Alabama, Alabama State, Florida State, Louisville, MTSU, Ole Miss, South Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Troy, UAB, Vanderbilt, and host Auburn.
Live results for all events can be accessed here, while fans can find specific information on the Clemson track and field program via our Meet Central.
For all of the most up-to-date information regarding Clemson’s Track & Field programs, be sure to reference clemsontigers.com and follow @ClemsonTrackXC on Twitter.