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Matt Clark to Compete at NCAA Championships Monday

Matt Clark to Compete at NCAA Championships Monday

Nov. 16, 2007

Clemson Men’s Cross Country Notes

Clemson, SC – Matt Clark, a red-shirt senior from Hyannis, MA, earned a spot in Monday’s NCAA Cross Country Championships after finishing ninth at the Southeast Region Championships on November 10. It was the third All-Region honor for Clark and he will be making his second trip to the NCAA Cross Country Championships. The 10K race will be held Monday at 12:00 PM at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course.

Clark competed at the 2005 NCAA meet in cross country, where he finished 105th out of 253 competitors. He had a time of 30:59.6 that year at the Terre Haute, IN course. He had an outstanding time of 23:37 over 8000 meters at the same course earlier this year for Pre-Nationals.

Clemson has a rich history at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Between 1977 and 1988, the Tiger men’s program competed as a team at the NCAA Championships nine times. Clemson’s best finish was fourth, achieved by both the 1983 and 1988 teams. The 1988 squad was coached by Bob Pollock, now in his 20th year at Clemson.

Seven different student-athletes have earned a total of 11 All-America honors in Clemson men’s cross country history. Included in the list is three-time honoree Hans Koeleman, who placed as high as the #3 individual at the 1982 meet. Also included is Yehezkel Halifa, who finished national runner-up in 1988 with a blistering time of 29:21.

Although the Tiger program has not had a team qualify for the NCAA Championships since 1988, it can boast of six straight years with at least one individual NCAA qualifier. The streak began in 2002, when both Jason Meany and Scott Shaw advanced to the national meet. Meany was coming off a regional championship performance, the last winner of the Southeast meet for the Tiger program.

Shaw qualified in back-to-back years, as he also made it in 2003. He earned All-America honors with a 34th-place finish. He is one of three All-Americans in cross country to have been mentored by current Head Coach Itay Magidi advanced to the national meet in both 2004 and 2006. He finished 45th last season, just a handful of spots away from earning All-America status.