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Defending Championship Not the Goal for Clemson Women

April 20, 2000

DURHAM, NC – A year ago, the Clemson women’s track & field team was the best in the ACC. The Tigers beat Florida State by 16 points, 142.5-126.5, at the 1999 conference outdoor meet hosted at Clemson.

The title was the first for the Tigers since claiming the 1991 outdoor championship. Those are the only two outdoor conference championships won by the Clemson women.

What a difference a year makes. The women finished eighth at the league’s indoor championships in February.

But to say the Tigers are down would be a huge mistake since Clemson is in a rebuilding phase under first-year head coach Ralph White. The Tigers have the talent to compete for a second consecutive title, but most of it cannot compete in the Orange and Purple.

White decided to redshirt much of the talent in preparation for a big year in 2001 and beyond. Those redshirts have had some amazing marks this season competing unattached for the Clemson Track Club. But the individuals that make up the 2000 squad have some quality efforts as well. Most notable are the three individuals who have recorded provisionally qualifying marks for the NCAA Championships.

LaShonda Cutchin ran 53.41 in the 400m last month in Gainesville, FL at the Florida Relays. The provisional time ranks 19th nationally and second in the ACC behind Florida State’s Samantha George, the defending ACC champion.

Nyjla Littlejohn is also provisionally qualified. Her time of 59.20 in the 400m hurdles at the Sea Ray Relays last weekend also ranks 19th in the NCAA this season and is third in the ACC behind Maryland’s Thema Napler and Florida State’s Chinette Johnson.

The third Clemson runner with a provisional mark is Keke Elder, whose time of 13.58 in the 100m hurdles leads the conference. That time, which she ran at the Florida Relays, ranks 25th nationally.

While Elder is the Tigers’ only event leader, Clemson has the second-best mark in several other events. Cutchin in the 400m, Joana Costa in the pole vault and the heptathlon and Kammie Blount in the javelin. The 4x100m relay squad is also second.

Depth might be the key to the success of White’s women’s squad. Though his team might not present an immediate threat for the title, White believes the Clemson women will be among the top five teams when all is said and done with on Saturday.

Three Tigers Qualified for NCAA Outdoor Three member of the Clemson women’s track team have earned provisional qualification to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, May 31-June 3 at Duke University.

Sprinter LaShonda Cutchin is qualified in the 400m with a time of 53.41. The mark ranks 19th nationally. Hurdlers Keke Elder and Nyjla Littlejohn also have provisional marks. Littlejohn’s best of 59.20 in the 400m hurdles also ranks 19th nationally. Elder ran 13.58 in the 100m hurdles and is 25th among collegians. All three will need to post faster times to earn a return trip to Durham for the NCAA meet.

Elder Tops ACC in 100m Hurdles Keke Elder is the only Clemson competitor to the ACC in an event heading into the conference championships. She is the best the league offers in the 100m hurdles, boasting a time of 13.58. While no other Tiger tops an event, Clemson has several that are second. LaShonda Cutchin in the 400m, Joana Costa in the pole vault and heptathlon, Kammie Blount in the javelin and the 4x100m relay.

Weston Named NSCA All-American Shekera Weston was named a 2000 All-American by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Weston is redshirting this season, but the senior sprinter from Ft. Campbell, KY is a six-time ACC champion and five-time All-American. She was nominated for the honor by Clemson Strength and Conditioning Coach Joey Batson.

Tiger Timeline Clemson Opens Outdoor Season The Clemson women’s track and field team opened the 2000 outdoor season March 17-18 at the Clemson Relays.

Sophomore Keke Elder of Atlanta, GA, won the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.96, and junior Nyjla Littlejohn of Columbia, MD, took first in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:00.25.

In the field events, senior Kammie Blount of Weston, CT, won the javelin with a throw of 142-1.

Clemson Wins Two Events at Florida Relays Keke Elder won the 100m hurdles and the Lady Tigers 4x100m relay team took first place honors, leading the Clemson women’s track team during competition at the Florida Relays March 24-25. The competition took place at the Percy Beard Track at the University of Florida.

Elder won the event with a time of 13.58, her career best time in the event. Clemson’s 4×100 relay team finished first with a 46.27 time.

Clemson also had three other Lady Tigers with top five individual finishes. Kammie Blount finished second in the javelin with a 138-2 throw. She was the ACC champion in the event in 1998.

Nyjla Littlejohn, a junior from Columbia, MD captured third place in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:00.04. She also had a ninth-place finish in the 100m hurdles. Jennifer Meador finished fourth in the 1500 meters with a time of 4:40.02.

Sheri Smith had a pair of top eight finishes. The sophomore from The Bronx, NJ was sixth in the triple jump with a 37-6 3/4 leap, and she was eighth in the long jump with a leap of 18-0 1/2. Clemson’s 4×1600 relay team took third with a time of 19:17.24.

Tigers Place Seventh at Clemson Invitational The Tiger women’s team placed second with 179 points at the Clemson Invitational April 1. Western Carolina won the meet with 182.5 points and Georgia Tech finished third with 140.5 points. Kansas scored 130 points for fourth place.

Keke Elder won the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.72, and Nyjla Littlejohn took first in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:00.77. Senior Beth Ahern of Toledo, OH, won the 5,000m in 17:46.25. In the field events, senior Kammie Blount won the javelin with a throw of 151-4 and Sheri Smith placed first in the long jump with a mark of 18-8 1/2.

Elder Qualifies in the 100m Hurdles Clemson’s only provisional qualifier in women’s competition at the Duke Invitational April 7-8 was Keke Elder in the 100m hurdles. She finished sixth just .01 seconds off her season best time of 13.59 after going 13.70 in a fourth-place finish in heat one of the preliminaries.

In other action, the 4x100m relay finished with a season-best time of 45.81. Kammie Blount finished fourth in the javelin with a heave of 138-2. Elder was third in the 100m dash preliminaries with a time of 12.03 but did not advance to finals. Marcia Smith finished fourth in heat two of the 200m with a wind-aided time of 24.36, which was a season best. Beth Ahern finished 10th in the 3,000m with a season-best time of 9:48.82.

Tigers Post Season Bests at Sea Ray Relays Nyjla Littlejohn finished second in the 400m hurdles and LaShonda Cutchin was fourth in the 400m to highlight competition for Clemson at the Sea Ray Relays April 14-15.

Littlejohn was second with a time of 59.12 seconds, her best time of the season and the best by a Tiger this year. She finished behind Linise Gordon from Ball State, who won the event in a time of 58.55.

Cutchin finished fourth in the 400m in a time of 53.71, her second fastest time of the season. Marcia Smith ran her best time of the season, going 55.18 to finish 14th.

Shannon Murray turned in her season best time in the 100m. She sprinted to a time of 12.10 to finish 24th and was 34th in her first collegiate running of the 200-meter dash. She finished in a time of 25.76.

Keke Elder turned in her slowest time of the season in a 15th-place finish in the 100m hurdles. Littlejohn was 23rd in the event with a time of 14.21. Both have better times this season. Elder is provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships with a time of 13.58. Littlejohn’s best is 14.10 which she ran at the Duke Invitational.

The Tigers’ 4x100m relay was seventh, running 45.84 seconds. The time is just .03 seconds off the season best time of 45.81. Clemson was 12th in the 4x200m relay with a time of 1:39.92, a season best. The distance medley relay team was also 12th after finishing in 11:59.58.

Joana Costa was ninth in the pole vault. She had a clearance of 11-5 3/4. Kammie Blount was 14th in the javelin after tossing the spear 136-0 feet. Sheri Smith went 38-11 3/4 to finish 16th in the triple jump.

Clemson Finishes 8th at ACC Indoor Meet The Clemson women’s track and field team placed eighth with 34 points at the 2000 ACC Indoor Championships in Blacksburg, VA, Feb. 18-19. North Carolina won the meet with 158 points, and Florida State was second with 128 points.

Joana Costa (Sao Paulo, Brazil) won the pole vault with a mark of 11-11 3/4, earning All-ACC honors in her rookie season. Her mark broke the conference record of 11-6 1/4, established by former Tiger Erin Nett last season.

Keke Elder earned All-ACC honors after finishing second with an NCAA provisional time of 8.38 in the 60m hurdles. Nyjla Littlejohn was fifth in the event with a time of 8.50.

Marcia Smith placed third in the 400m with a provisional time of 54.07, earning All-ACC accolades, and finished eighth in the 60m dash with a time of 7.92. LaShonda Cutchin finished fourth in the event with a provisional time of 54.39.

2000 Outdoor Best Times List

100mAutomatic: 11.25, Provisional: 11.50Clemson Record: Treshell Mayo, 11.34, 1996Keke Elder        12.03w        DukeShannon Murray    12.10 Sea RayNyjla Littlejohn  12:70 CU Invite

200m 23.00a, 23.50p Record: Kim Graham, 22.64, 1993 Lashonda Cutchin 23:98 CU Invite Marcia Smith 24:36w Duke KeKe Elder 24:86 CU Invite Shannon Murray 25.76 Sea Ray

400m 52.20a, 53.50p Record: Kim Graham, 51.88, 1993 LaShonda Cutchin 53.41p Florida Marcia Smith 55.18 Sea Ray Helena Janecic 59.67 Duke

800m 2:05.00a, 2:07.00p Record: Tina Krebs, 2:02.07, 1983 LaShonda Cutchin 2:16.52 Duke Jennifer Meador 2:18.21 CU Invite Helena Janecic 2:18.78 CU Invite Beth Ahern 2:26.85 CU Invite Marcia Smith 2:31.71 Duke

1,500m 4:18.00a, 4:23.25p Record: Tina Krebs, 4:15.23, 1985 Jennifer Meador 4:40.02 Florida Anne Stowell 4:40.77 Florida Shannon Schoppman 4:51.93 Florida

3,000m 9:19.00a, 9:36.00p Record: Kerry Robinson, 9:05.65, 1982 Beth Ahern 9:48.82 Duke Shannon Schoppman 10:29.38 CU Relays Anne Stowell 10:47.36 CU Invite Stephanie Zabel 11:27.07 CU Relays Abbey Hartman 11:54.79 CU Invite

5,000m 16:13.00a, 16:48.00p Record: Kerry Robinson, 16:02.76, 1983 Beth Ahern 17:46.25 CU Invite Abbey Hartman 19:15.28 Duke Stephanie Zabel 20:49.34 CU Invite

10,000m 34:10.00a, 35:30.00p Record: Ute Jamrozy, 33:14.83, 1986 Beth Ahern 17:46.25 CU Invite

100m High Hurdles 13.10a, 13.65p Record: Nikkie Bouyer, 13.36, 1999 Keke Elder 13.58p Florida Nyjla Littlejohn 14.10 Duke

400m Intermediate Hurdles 57.30a, 59.20p Record: Nikkie Bouyer, 56.64, 1999 Nyjla Littlejohn 59.12 Sea Ray Lauren Nicholson 1:03.04 CU Invite Laura Cartlidge 1:07.12 Sea Ray

4x100m 44.00a, 45.10p Record: 43.79, 1998 Clemson 45.81 Duke

4x200m Not NCAA Event Record: 1:33.61, 1999 Clemson 1:39.92 Sea Ray

4x400m 3:32.50a, 3:39.00p Record: 3:31.84, 1998 Clemson 3:46.20 CU Invite

4x800m Not NCAA Event Record: 9:04.69, 1998 Clemson 9:17.12 CU Relays

4x1500m Not NCAA Event Record: Not Available Clemson 19:06.02 CU Relays

4×1600 Not NCAA Event Record: Not Available Clemson 19:17.24 Florida

Sprint Medley Relay Not NCAA Event Record: 3:44.09, 1992 Clemson 4:14.62 CU Relays

Distance Medley Relay Not NCAA Event Record: 11:48.11, 1994 Clemson 11:53.71 Duke

High Jump 1.85m (6-0 3/4)a, 1.79m (5-10 1/2)p Record: Sharla Clinkscales, 5-10 3/4, 1996 Joana Costa 5-2 1/2 CU Invite Lauren Nicholson 5-2 1/4 CU Relays

Pole Vault 4.00m (13-1 1/2)a, 3.75m (12-3 1/2)p Record: Erin Nett, 12-0 1/2, 1999 Joana Costa 11-11 3/4 Duke Sarah Ellis 10-4 CU Invite

Long Jump 6.45m (21-2)a, 6.20m (20-4 1/4)p Record: Monyetta Haynesworth, 21-5 1/2, 1992 Sheri Smith 18-8 1/2 CU Invite Joana Costa 17-11 CU Invite Shannon Murray 17-5 1/2 CU Invite

Triple Jump 13.30m (43-7 3/4)a, 12.60m (41-4 1/4)p Record: Nanette Holloway, 42-10 1/4, 1992 Sheri Smith 38-11 3/4 Sea Ray Joana Costa 37-10 3/4 CU Invite

Shot Put 16.05m (52-8)a, 15.00m (49-2 1/2)p Record: Nikki Sims, 52-7 1/4, 1995 Joana Costa 29-8 1/4 CU Invite Kammie Blount 28-6 1/2 CU Invite

Discus 56.00m (183-9)a, 51.50m (168-11)p Record: Jamine Moton, 170-2, 1999 Kammie Blount 106-2 CU Relays Sarah Ellis 70-0 1/4 CU Invite

Javelin 52.50m (172-3)a, 46.50m (152-7)p Record: Lisa Parak, 161-4, 1990 Kammie Blount 151-4 CU Invite Joana Costa 91-9 CU Invite Shannon Murray 77-3 3/4 CU Invite

Hammer 61.00m (200-1)a, 56.00m (183-9)p Record: Jamine Moton, 181-7, 1999 No Marks This Season

Heptathlon 5,550a, 5,175p Record: Katja Pettinen, 5,321, 1995 Joana Costa 4,248 CU Relays

KEY CU Relays-Clemson Relays (March 18) Florida-Florida Relays (March 22-25) CU Invite-Clemson Invitational (Apr. 1) Duke-Duke Invitational (Apr. 8) Sea Ray-Sea Ray Relays (Apr. 14-15) a-NCAA Automatic Qualifier p-NCAA Provisional Qualifier w-wind-aided (>2.0m/s)