March 8, 1999
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Clemson men’s indoor track and field team placed third with 28 points at the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis on Saturday. Arkansas won the meet with 65 points, followed by Stanford with 42.50 points. Clemson freshman Ato Modibo of Beltsville, MD, won the national championship in the 400m, becoming the youngest national champion in Clemson history. The Tigers’ 4x400m relay team of junior Charles Allen, senior Kenny Franklin, senior Davidson Gill and Modibo placed first with a time of 3:07.80, the fastest collegiate time in the nation this season. All four athletes earned All-America honors at the meet.
Modibo was even with Derrick Brew of Louisiana State at 21.76 crossing the halfway point of the 400m race. He gained the lead along the backstretch and held on for the win with a time of 46.11. Modibo entered the race holding the nation’s fastest time this season, 46.00, which he posted to win the ACC Championship.
“I had faith that I could go out and do my best,” said Modibo, who became the eighth individual national champion in Clemson men’s track and field history and the Tigers’ second national champion indoors in the 400m. “I had my teammates behind me.” Following the relay victory Allen said, “We said a prayer before the race and then did our best.”
The 4x400m relay team was just the second Clemson relay team to win a national championship. The 4x800m relay team of Mike Radziwinski, Philip Greyling, Dave Wittman and Terrance Herrington won the indoor championship in 1990. In other competition on Saturday, junior Bryan Williams placed 12th in the triple jump after recording a mark of 15.24.
“This was an unbelievable finish,” said Clemson head men’s track coach Bob Pollock following the meet. “I’m so proud of what these guys have done this season. Our coaching staff did a great job in preparing the team. Certainly this capped off an exciting indoor season for 1999.”
Junior Shawn Crawford and sophomore Sultan Tucker earned All-America honors on Friday. Crawford, the defending national champion in the 200m, placed fourth in the event with a time of 20.85. Crawford had the third-fastest qualifying time at 21.12. Sophomore Sultan Tucker placed sixth in the 60m hurdles, running a time of 7.86 in the finals after qualifying with a time of 7.93 in the preliminaries.
Three members of the Clemson women’s team competed on Friday. Senior Nikkie Bouyer placed ninth with a time of 8.30 in the preliminaries of the 60m hurdles, tying her best time of the season. Junior Shekera Weston placed ninth in the preliminaries of the 400m with a time of 54.23. Both Bouyer and Weston failed to qualify for the finals, but earned All-American honors for finishing among the top eight Americans in their respective events. Sophomore Terri Robinson tied for 11th place in the long jump competition with a mark of 19’4 1/4″.
“Overall, I’m very pleased with the performances of our people,” said Clemson head women’s track and field coach Ron Garner. “Bouyer entered the meet ranked 17th, the last person to qualify, and narrowly missed making the finals – by .01 of a second. Robinson entered the meet tied at 16th and improved to 11th. She competed very well in her first trip to the NCAA Championships. My only disappointment is for the athletes because I know they wanted to advance to the finals. We will take these experiences and look forward to building in the outdoor season.”
Sophomore Jamine Moton competed for the women’s team in the second day of the meet, placing 18th in the shot put with a throw of 45’9 3/4″. “Jamine has had a very successful indoor season,” said Garner. “I’m very proud of the job she’s done and how she has competed for the team. Since arriving on Wednesday she has done everything I’ve asked of her. We are going to work together in the outdoor season to develop her into a champion.”
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