April 10, 2007
I would like to take this opportunity to recognize a number of recent accomplishments by some of our athletic programs and student-athletes at Clemson University.
Travis Padgett won a national championship in the 60m dash to boost Clemson to a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Padgett became the first student-athlete from Clemson to claim a national title since Shawn Crawford won the outdoor 200m dash in 2000. His title is the 13th national championship for Clemson’s men’s track & field team – all have come under the tenure of 19th-year head coach Bob Pollock. As we all know, a national championship is the pinnacle of achievement for a student-athlete. Travis is to be congratulated.
Other Tigers had outstanding performances at the national meet. Ryan Koontz finished seventh in the heptathlon and earned All-America honors. Itay Magidi finished ninth in the 3000m run. Jason Bell finished tenth in the triple jump.
For the women’s team, senior Della Clark placed third in the weight throw at the NCAA Indoor Championships and was an All-American selection – the 17th under Head Coach Marcia Noad. Overall, thirty-five All-America honors have been earned since 2001, when Noad took over as head coach of Clemson’s track & field program.
Liane Weber, who was chosen ACC Indoor Track Freshman of the Year, was the first Lady Tiger to compete in the pentathlon at nationals.
After placing fifth at the conference meet, our women’s team has shown steady improvement over the course of the season.
Earlier this year, Clemson University had the opportunity to play host to the ACC Indoor Track Championships. Under the direction of Barbara Kennedy-Dixon – along with coaches Pollock and Noad and a number of Athletic Department staff members, we had a great conference meet at Clemson that was extremely well attended.
The competition was as good as you will find anywhere in the country.
I would also like to commend our men’s basketball team for advancing to the finals of the NIT championship game for just the second time in school history. It was just the second time any Clemson team reached the finals of a post-season tournament.
Coach Oliver Purnell’s team had 25 wins, which is tied for the most in Clemson history.
The Tigers started the season fast with 17 consecutive victories, another first in our school’s history, and closed the season with six wins in its last eight games.
Coach Purnell has the program headed in the right direction.
Along with the progress that Cristy McKinney is making with our women’s team, the future for basketball at Clemson looks very bright.
In Solid Orange, Terry Don Phillips Athletic Director
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