RALEIGH, N.C. — The Clemson track and field program concluded competition at the 2021 ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday evening after seeing its women’s team score 69 points to finish in a tie for fifth, and its men’s team score 65 points to finish in sixth. Saturday’s action saw Clemson capture two ACC titles at 800 meters, garner seven first-team All-ACC honors, and collect 12 second-team All-ACC accolades.
Kameron Jones became the best men’s 800m runner in Clemson history after setting a new school record of 1:45.47 en route to winning the event’s final on Saturday. In addition to the new school record, Jones also set a meet record and facility record while becoming the fastest collegiate athlete at the distance this season. The previous meet record stood at 1:46.66 and was held by Virginia’s Paul Ereng following his performance at the 1988 conference championships. Terrance Herrington previously held Clemson’s school record in the men’s half-mile after having run 1:46.38 during the 1988 season.
Laurie Barton was once again sensational in the women’s 800m, running a dominant race from the gun and crossing the line in 2:00.70 to win the outdoor conference title for the first time in her career. Barton’s time served as a new No. 2 all-time mark at Clemson, as well as a meet and facility record. Barton became just the second woman in Clemson history to break 2:01 in the event and was the first woman in ACC history to do so during the conference’s championship meet. Leah Disher joined Barton in the final of the women’s 800m and contributed four points after finishing fifth to collect the first All-ACC honor of her career.
Devon Brooks led Clemson to collect 19 points in the men’s 110-meter hurdles via a 2-3-4 finish from Clemson’s entries, as Brooks (13.67) was followed closely in the final by Lafranz Campbell (13.85) and Giano Roberts (13.90). By Brooks and Campbell each earning first-team All-ACC honors this evening, it marked the second time in program history, and the first since 1992, that two Tigers garnered first-team conference honors in the event during the same year. Robert’s wind-legal time marked his second consecutive personal best this weekend in the event.
Trishauna Hemmings became eighth on Clemson’s all-time list for the women’s 100m hurdles after running 13.13 to finish fourth in the final. Hemmings entered the weekend ranked No. 9 all-time in the event at Clemson with a personal best of 13.29 and has now surpassed Ebony Williams’ time of 13.24 from 2019 to overtake the No. 8 position.
Roje Stona scored the first points of the day for Clemson, as the native of Montego Bay, Jamaica, threw 60.58 meters (198 feet, 9 inches) to finish as the ACC’s runner-up in the men’s discus. Stona’s toss came on his second attempt of the competition and secured him the second consecutive first-team All-ACC honor in the event during his career.
Veronica Fraley capped an impressive return to her hometown by finishing fifth in the women’s discus after hitting 54.95m (180-3) during her final attempt of the competition. Fraley’s second-team All-ACC honor brought her weekend point total to 10, the most of any field athlete from Clemson at this year’s championships.
In the women’s 400m hurdles, Nicolee Foster improved her mark as the ninth-best performer in program history after running 57.55 to finish third during the final of the event. Foster was joined by Lakeisha Warner (57.89) and Kori Carter (1:00.09) in earning All-ACC honors after Warner and Carter respectively finished fourth and sixth. In the men’s 400m hurdles, Rayan Holmes was aggressive from the gun and crossed the line in 52.82.
Clemson’s men’s 4x100m relay crossed the line in second after running a season’s best of 39.17. Roberts, Marcus Parker, Alex Sands, and Terryon Conwell came together on the relay to capture eight points and second-team All-ACC honors for the Tigers. In the women’s edition of the relay, Serena Clark, Rebekah Smith, Aliyah Mallard, and Antoinette van der Merwe ran 44.68 to finish fourth.
Parker and Smith pulled double duty in individual events on Saturday, as each athlete competed in their respective 100m and 200m finals. During the 100m, each athlete finished fifth in their races, with Parker crossing the line in 10.35 and Smith in 11.49. Later in the evening, Parker finished third overall in the men’s 200m after running a wind-legal time of 20.55. Parker was joined in the event’s final by Conwell, as Conwell ran 20.78 to collect second-team All-ACC honors. Smith crossed the line during her 200m final in seventh after running a season’s best of 23.51 and was followed by Hemmings in 24.77.
Kamryn McIntosh collected second-team All-ACC honors on Saturday after running 54.42 in the final of the women’s 400m to finish sixth overall. McIntosh qualified for the event’s final after running an outdoor personal best of 54.41 during Friday’s prelims.
The women’s high jump featured Jessica Johnson and Sofia De Coteau, with De Coteau ultimately equaling her personal best of 1.70m (5-7) to finish 11th overall. The opening bar of Saturday’s competition measured at 1.65m (5-5) and saw De Coteau clear the bar on her third attempt.
Under the lights of the Paul Derr Track Facility, Lauren Hayes (17:12.36) and Josie Wirtz (17:28.59) each ran personal bests during the women’s 5,000 meters. In the men’s edition of the event, Jackson Leech led the way by running a personal best of 14:45.42.
This year’s championships concluded with the 4x400m relays, and it was Clemson’s women’s team that landed on the podium after running a season-best 3:34.74 to finish third overall. The women’s relay was made up of Warner, Foster, Ken’Naria Gadson and McIntosh. The men’s relay placed fourth after crossing the line in 3:09.44 and was composed of Keco Morrison, Jones, Parker and Carson Tillman.
“I would say that you have to give credit to the team… The team competed extremely well, and we finished better than what we thought we’d do.” reflected Clemson’s Director of Track and Field Mark Elliott. “From an individual performance standpoint, there were some people who were competing lights out. Starting with Laurie [Barton], when you run a time like that on your own, I mean it’s amazing. The same thing with Kameron Jones, going 1:45, it’s no joke. Trishauna [Hemmings] and the three hurdlers, Devon [Brooks], Lafranz [Campbell], and Giano [Roberts]… across the board, the people who are consummate competitors showed up and that’s what you expect, as a coach, once championship season begins.”
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