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Men’s Track & Field Takes Four to NCAA Outdoor Championships

Men’s Track & Field Takes Four to NCAA Outdoor Championships

June 10, 2008

NCAA Championship Notes

Clemson, SC – Four members of the Clemson men’s track & field team are set for competition this week at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, IA. The meet will be held at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University. Matt Clark, Jacoby Ford, Mitch Greeley, and Travis Padgett are all making return trips to outdoor nationals.

The prelims for the 100m dash and pole vault will be held Wednesday. Padgett, ranked #2 in the country coming into the meet boasting a career-best 9.96, will compete at 5:45 PM (central time) alongside teammate Ford. Padgett, who was named Southeast Region Track Athlete-of-the-Year on Monday by the coaches’ association, is a two-time All-American in the 100m dash. Ford was All-ACC in the event and All-Region after a fourth-place finish in Tallahassee, FL. He holds a season-best time of 10.21 seconds. The top three from each heat plus the next six best times advance to the semifinals, also held Wednesday (7:10 PM). The finals for the 100m dash are set for Friday night at 8:45 PM.

Padgett is also qualified in the 200m dash after shattering his personal best (20.32) in a third-place finish at the East Region Championships. The first round is scheduled for 5:25 Thursday, with the semifinals at 6:45. The final for the 200m dash is Saturday at 3:44 PM.

Greeley is a three-time All-American in the pole vault, which includes a fourth-place finish at outdoor nationals in 2007. He has jumped as high as 17’10.5″ this outdoor season, but cleared 18’0″ indoors on two occasions. Greeley enters the week as the #6 vaulter on the performance list, but he has as much experience at the NCAA Championships as anyone else in the pole vault field. He won the East Region crown two weeks ago in Tallahassee.

The qualifying round of the vault takes at least 12 competitors to the finals, and does so in an elimination-style format after all participants begin at the same opening height. Should Greeley advance to the finals, he will jump again Friday at 4:15 PM.

Clark has qualified for a distance event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships two straight years. Last year, he advanced to the finals in the 5000m run. This season, he broke a 20-year old school record in the 10,000m to qualify for the meet. He ran a time of 28:49.77 at the Stanford Invitational in April, a provisional mark that held up for the native of Hyannis, MA.

Clark is only the third student-athlete from Clemson to compete at the national meet in the 10,000m, joining Jim Haughey (1981) and Yehezkel Halifa (1988). The 10,000m run, which is final-only in format, will take place Thursday at 8:50 PM.