May 29, 2008
Clemson, SC – Sixteen student-athletes from Clemson’s men’s track & field team have made the trip to Tallahassee, FL for the sixth annual East Region Championships. The meet, which serves as the qualifying event for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, will be held Friday and Saturday at the Mike Long Track on Florida State’s campus. The top five individual finishers and top three relay teams in each event advance to the national meet, which will be held June 11-14 in Des Moines, IA.
Clemson’s total number of regional qualifiers is its most since the 2004 squad took 19 individuals. The Tigers have qualified in 12 different events, most since the 2005 team qualified for regionals in 15 events. Clemson has placed in the top six of the team standings at the East Region meet every year since the format was put into place in 2003.
Multiple student-athletes have qualified in several events, led by former East Region champion C.J. Spiller, standouts for the Clemson football team, will also compete in the 100m dash.
Padgett is the anchor leg for Clemson’s 4x100m relay team, which competes in the prelims Friday at 3:45. Ford, Spiller, and freshman Trenton Guy make up the rest of the lineup. Corey Brown and Cowin Mills, who helped the 4×1 to runner-up finishes at the East Region Championships in 2006 and 2007, are listed as alternates. Brown, Guy, Mills, Padgett, and Spiller all qualified for the 200m dash. Prelims for that event will be 8:20 Friday evening.
Brown, Mills, and red-shirt freshman Miller Moss will compete in the 400m prelims Friday at 6:20 PM. Brown owns a season-best 46.76 in the event, while Moss (47.15) qualified for the event two weeks ago at the Georgia Tech meet. Those three, along with junior Travis Swaggard, will make up Clemson’s 4x400m relay team Saturday evening (7:20 PM). Swaggard qualified in the intermediate hurdles as well. Andrew Porter will be the alternate for the 1600m relay group.
In the distance events, Matt Clark and Matt Hughes will compete this weekend. Clark, who looks to be a lock as an NCAA participant this year in the 10,000m, qualified in the 1500m two weeks ago for regionals. The 1500m prelims are Friday at 4:20 PM. Hughes will compete in the second of three sections in the steeplechase Saturday at 6:40. Hughes is a freshman out of Oshawa, Ontario.
The field events will be led by the pole vault, where senior Mitch Greeley ranks #1 in the East Region heading into the weekend. Greeley cleared 17’10.5″ earlier this outdoor season at the Texas Relays, before winning championships at both the ACC meet and the Penn Relays. He will be joined by Chris Spear, who also ranks high in the region after clearing 17’0.75″ on two occasions. The vault will take place Saturday at 4:00 PM. Greeley was runner-up at regionals last season.
George Fields was an automatic qualifier for last year’s NCAA outdoor meet after a fourth-place finish in the long jump at the East Region meet. He ranks among the regional leaders again in 2008 after a jump of 24’9.75″ at the ACC Championships. Josh Fowler, a red-shirt freshman, has shaken off injury from a year ago to qualify for his first East Region meet in the triple jump. Both events will start at 4:00, with the long jump Friday and triple on Saturday.
Rounding out Clemson’s list of regional qualifiers is Zach Berg, another athlete who has had to overcome adversity in his time with the program. Berg has battled back injuries over the past two seasons, but earned All-ACC status in the hammer throw with a mark of 188’6″ at the conference meet in April. He will compete Saturday at 10:00 AM.
Clemson’s Schedule – Friday 3:45 PM – 4x100m Relay (Spiller, Ford, Guy, Padgett alt: Brown, Mills) 4:00 PM – Long Jump (George Fields) 4:20 PM – 1500m trials (Matt Clark) 5:40 PM – 100m trials (C.J. Spiller) 6:20 PM – 400m trials (Corey Brown, Cowin Mills, Miller Moss) 7:40 PM – 400m hurdles trials (Travis Swaggard) 8:20 PM – 200m trials (C.J. Spiller)
Clemson’s Schedule – Saturday 10:00 AM – Hammer Throw (Zach Berg) 4:00 PM – Pole Vault (Mitch Greeley, Chris Spear) 4:00 PM – Triple Jump (Josh Fowler) 4:10 PM – 4x100m relay final 4:30 PM – 1500m final 5:10 PM – 100m final 5:20 PM – 400m final 5:50 PM – 400m hurdles final 6:05 PM – 200m final 6:40 PM – 3000m Steeplechase (Matt Hughes) 7:20 PM – 4x400m Relay (Mills, Moss, Swaggard, Brown alt: Andrew Porter)
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