JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Veronica Fraley was the first Tiger to punch their ticket to the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships after improving her No. 2 all-time mark at Clemson in the women’s shot put. During this evening’s individual events on the track, five Tigers advanced from Thursday’s first round of competition.
Fraley put together a historic three-throw series during Thursday’s shot put competition to secure her first career appearance at an NCAA Outdoor Championship meet. Fraley, who celebrated her birthday today, threw 16.59 meters (54 feet, 5.25 inches) to set a new personal best and No. 2 all-time mark at Clemson on her third and final throw of the competition. After entering the weekend with a best of 16.46m from this year’s ACC Outdoor Championships, Fraley went 16.32m-16.52m-16.59m to finish eleventh overall.
Trishauna Hemmings ran the seventh-fastest time in Clemson history for the 100-meter hurdles after crossing the line in a wind-legal result of 13.10 seconds. Hemmings entered the day with a personal best of 13.13, a time which previously positioned her as No. 8 on the event’s all-time list. Hemmings’ time allowed her to finish second in her heat and 13th overall following tonight’s competition. Sidney Marshall joined Hemmings in finding success in the hurdles on Thursday, as Marshall ran an all-conditions lifetime best of 13.41 during her heat.
Laurie Barton once again showcased her skill in the half-mile by comfortably qualifying for Saturday’s quarterfinal round after running 2:03.52 to win her heat. Barton went sub-60 for the opening 400m and stayed at the front of the pack to lead her heat across the finish line and earn an auto qualifying spot. Barton was joined in the third heat of the event by freshman Leah Disher, with Disher finishing with a time of 2:07.42.
Lakeisha Warner and Nicolee Foster secured their spots in the next round of qualifying for the 400m hurdles after going 2-3 across the line during tonight’s final preliminary heat. Warner (58.68) and Foster (58.79) made Clemson one of five schools to have two or more athletes advance in the event following Thursday’s first round of qualifying. Kori Carter finished 25th overall after running a sizable personal best of 59.10 in the event.
Rebekah Smith pulled double duty by contesting both the 100m and 200m on Thursday. Smith advanced to the quarterfinals of the 100m after running a wind-legal season’s best of 11.42. During the 200m, Smith was joined by Antoinette van der Merwe, as the two respectively finished with times of 23.81 and 24.05.
Roje Stona will start Clemson’s slate of competition on Friday at 1:30 p.m. as the men’s discus gets underway. Stona enters the meet as the second-ranked athlete in the region for the event, as the sophomore carries a season’s best of 60.87m (199-8) into the meet. The men’s 4x100m relay will start the action on the track at 5:30 p.m., while five Tigers will look to punch their ticket to Eugene for their respective individual events.
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