JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Clemson track and field program saw its men shine in the spotlight on Friday during the NCAA East Region Prelims, as all six of the Tigers who competed individually, along with one relay, secured their spots at the upcoming NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. The meet will see its schedule of competition come to a close on Saturday afternoon as the women attempt to punch their tickets to Oregon.
Giano Roberts, Lafranz Campbell and Devon Brooks combined to produce one of the greatest 110-meter hurdle showings in program history throughout Friday night’s quarterfinal rounds. Roberts placed fourth overall following his all-conditions lifetime best of 13.44 seconds in the opening heat of the event. In the second heat, Campbell and Brooks crossed the line in unison, as the clock stopped at 13.53 for both athletes. Since the first two heats were each contested with a wind reading above the legal limit of 2.0 meters/second, the three athletes now rank within the top-6 of the event’s all-conditions best list at Clemson. Following their final times on Friday, Roberts has become the third-fastest male in program history to ever contest the event, while Campbell and Brooks have entered into a tie with Todd Matthews (2002) for sixth on the list.
“I think all of our guys were ready today,” remarked Mark Elliott, Clemson’s Director of Track & Field and Cross Country, following the meet. “Giano [Roberts] is one of those athletes that we knew was going to be on the borderline [of advancing], and today he stepped up. That is what you expect overall when you get in a championship setting like this.”
Clemson was first represented on the track by its 4×100-meter relay, with the quartet of Roberts, Marcus Parker, Alex Sands, and Terryon Conwell making up the Tigers’ contingent. The team punched its ticket to Eugene by running 39.15 and placing seventh overall. Conwell anchored the Tigers to a second-place finish during the opening heat, while the time also notably serves as a season’s best.
In the third and final heat of the 800m quarterfinals, Kameron Jones ran 1:47.39 to finish second overall and secure his first career appearance at an NCAA Outdoor Championship. Jones entered the NCAA East Region Prelims as the event’s top seed after having run a school-record time of 1:45.47 en route to winning the ACC title back on May 15. By punching his ticket to Eugene on Friday, Jones became just the sixth man in program history to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the event.
Marcus Parker will once again contest the 200m during the NCAA Outdoor Championships after running an all-conditions season’s best time of 20.34 (+2.1 m/s) on Friday to finish tenth overall. During his career at Clemson, Parker has already contested the 200m at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships, while also having received All-America honors after qualifying for the 2020 NCAA Indoor Championships in the event prior to the meet’s cancellation.
Roje Stona got the day started for Clemson by contesting the men’s discus throw midway through Friday afternoon. A second-round toss of 60.73 meters (199 feet, 3 inches) allowed the sophomore from Montego Bay, Jamaica, to finish fourth overall in the competition. Stona became just the second man in program history to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the discus multiple times during their career with today’s result. Mike Columbus was the first Tiger to accomplish the feat after having qualified in the event during the 1975, 1976, and 1977 seasons.
Friday’s 4x400m relay has yet to be officially scored, as officials declared late in the night that the second heat of the event will be rerun at noon on Saturday. During the first baton exchange of the second heat, all of the lights at UNF’s athletic facilities were abruptly shut off, causing competitors in the heat to finish their race in the dark. Saturday’s results in the event will be added to the results from the first and third heats on Friday since power was restored prior to the final heat being run.
The 2021 NCAA East Region Prelims will conclude on Saturday as Clemson sees seven individual women and two relays attempt to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Veronica Fraley will return to action by contesting the discus at 1:30 p.m. after already punching her ticket to Eugene following her eleventh-place finish in Thursday’s shot put contest. The women’s action on the track will get underway at 5:30 p.m. as the Tigers compete in the second heat of the 4x100m relay.
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.