RALEIGH, N.C. — The Clemson track and field program scored its first point of the 2021 ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships and advanced eight athletes onto their respective finals during Thursday’s action at the Paul Derr Track Facility on the campus of NC State. Clemson will resume action on Friday at 12:30 p.m. as the final day of competition in the women’s heptathlon gets underway.
Ethan Cocco got the Tigers on the scoreboard by placing eighth in the men’s javelin throw to open the championships on Thursday morning. The freshman from Mt. Pleasant, S.C., threw a personal best of 63.18 meters (207 feet, 3 inches) in the second round to become No. 7 all-time at Clemson. Cocco entered the meet occupying the No. 8 position with his previous best of 61.61m set during the Tennessee Challenge earlier in May. On Thursday, Cocco eclipsed the 60-meter mark on four of his six throws.
“Day one went as planned,” said Clemson’s Director of Track & Field Mark Elliott. “When you have a freshman like Ethan jumping up and scoring in the javelin, it shows that you have to be ready to compete at the championships. It was a big point for the team!”
Anna Brewer and Areya Campbell contested the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m during the first day of the heptathlon competition. Campbell ended day one in ninth place after amassing 3,096 points across the first four events. Brewer slotted into 14th overall with 2,092 points. One of the most impressive performances of the day came as Campbell cleared 9 bars on 15 attempts in the high jump competition, finishing with a best of 1.60m (5-3) during her debut in the event. Friday’s action in the heptathlon will see Brewer and Campbell contest the long jump, javelin throw and 800m.
“It’s her [Areya] first heptathlon, and for her to have a first day like she did, it shows that she was relaxed,” remarked Elliott. “The other members of the team did what they had to to make it to their finals.”
The women’s 400-meter hurdles got the evening’s session started on the track, as Lakeisha Warner won the event’s opening heat after running 58.55 seconds. Warner’s time makes her the second-fastest qualifier entering Saturday’s final, with Nicolee Foster (59.07) and Kori Carter (59.92) set to join her after the pair finished fifth and sixth overall in the preliminary heats. Carter was joined by Olivia Cooney (1:02.62) in running a personal best during Thursday’s action.
In the men’s 400m hurdles, Rayan Holmes secured his ticket to the final after crossing the line in 52.46 during the opening preliminary heat. Holmes advanced to the first ACC final of his career following Thursday’s result. In Saturday’s final, Holmes will look to lower his personal best of 50.60, a time which ranks eighth-fastest in program history.
Terryon Conwell and Marcus Parker showcased their veteran prowess during the prelims of the men’s 200m, as the pair of top-class sprinters qualified for Saturday’s final in the second and third overall positions. Conwell (20.67) and Parker (20.69) won their respective heats and will look to capture Clemson’s first outdoor 200m title since Tevin Hester in 2016. At the 2019 ACC Indoor Championships, Conwell finished as the runner-up in the event after running 20.75.
The women’s 200m final on Saturday will also feature two Clemson athletes, as Trishauna Hemmings and Rebekah Smith cruised into the final after their impressive performances this evening. Hemmings has advanced as the fifth-fastest qualifier after running 23.43 to finish second in her heat. Smith punched her ticket as an automatic qualifier after winning the final preliminary heat in 23.66.
The 1,500m closed out Thursday’s action for the Tigers, as Riley Coggin led the way after crossing the line in a personal-best time of 4:37.74. Coggin was followed closely behind in the overall standings by Meredith Finley, as Finley just missed her personal best after running 4:38.54. On the men’s side, Colt Griffith ran 4:00.11 as Clemson’s lone entry in the event.
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