June 8, 2006
Sacramento, CA – Ryan Koontz earned his first All-America certificate as a Clemson Tiger at the NCAA Championships on Thursday at Sacramento State. The 2006 ACC Champion in both the heptathlon and decathlon finished in seventh place and is the second Tiger decathlete ever to earn All-America honors. Freshman sprint sensation Travis Padgett qualified for Saturday’s 100m final after winning in the prelims and semifinals on Thursday as well.
Koontz’ seventh-place showing earned the Tiger track & field team two points on the second day of competition. He joins Andy Giesler (2001) as the second decathlete from Clemson to earn All-America status. He totaled 7,284 points in the competition.
Koontz began the morning with a time of 14.93 in the 110m high hurdles, seventh-best among the decathletes. Koontz then recorded a personal best with a mark of 120’7″ in the discus throw. In the pole vault, he tied for eighth with a clearance of 14’9″. He was also eighth in the javelin throw after recording a mark of 173’1″. It topped his previous personal best, which had been 167’4″ at this year’s ACC Championships. In the 1500m run, Koontz was 12th with a time of 4:50.47.
Clemson will have a competitor in the 100m final for the second straight year. Ronald Richards finished fifth and earned All-America honors at the 2005 championships for Clemson. Padgett, the school’s 100m record-holder, ran a 10.23 and easily won the first of three prelims, then posted the top time of the day with a 10.13 into a -0.8 wind in the first semifinal. Padgett’s run for the 100m title will be televised live by CBS on Saturday. Coverage begins at 3:30 PM in the East, and the 100m final is scheduled for 3:42 Eastern time.
Jason Bell will be the Tigers’ lone competitor on Friday. The junior from Warner Robins, GA will be competing in the triple jump for the second straight year. He set Clemson’s outdoor record at 51’10” at the East Region Championships two weeks ago and earned an at-large berth. He is set to go with the qualifying round at 1:00 (PDT) Friday.
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