Feb. 4, 2012
NEW YORK CITY – Brianna Rollins won the 60-meter hurdles and Stormy Kendrick took home gold in the 60-meter dash to highlight Friday action at the Armory in the prestigious New Balance Invitational. Both student-athletes produced automatic NCAA qualifying times, along with Spencer Adams from the men’s team and Bridgette Owens, both in the hurdles. In addition, the Tigers won both distance medley relays to cap the evening in fine fashion.
Rollins and Owens both established meet records and posted NCAA qualifying times in a 1-2 finish in the 60-meter hurdles. Both student-athletes clocked a 7.97, with defending NCAA champion Rollins nudging Owens at the finish line to take home the title. Owens automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships in the event for the first time with an 8.07 in the preliminary round, and then followed with a 7.97 in the final. Her time ranks No. 2 in school history, behind Rollins’ 7.96 from last season’s national championship final. Rollins had an 8.11 in the prelims before her 7.97 in the final. Keni Harrison placed fourth (8.26) overall.
Kendrick had the top preliminary time, and then matched her personal best in the final with a time of 7.22. She out-dueled some of the top young sprinters in the country to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships for the second straight season. Dezerea Bryant was fifth with a time of 7.32, while Jasmine Edgerson (7.39) was seventh. Edgerson also ran in the 60 hurdles final and was sixth (8.31) in that event.
In the men’s 60-meter hurdles, Spencer Adams from the men’s team was runner-up after matching his personal best with a 7.68 in the final. Adams posted a time of 6.71 in the qualifying stages, and followed with his second automatic NCAA qualifying time of the young season. Also in the men’s high hurdles, Charlton Rolle was 18th out of 55 competitors while teammates Elijah Britton and Marcus Maxey suffered false starts.
Justin Murdock took home the bronze medal in the men’s 60-meter dash. The senior from Pasadena, MD equaled his season-best time with a 6.68 in the final round.
The women’s distance medley relay cruised to victory late Friday. The team of Natalie Anthony, Sonni Austin, Brianna Blanton and Alyssa Kulik broke the school record by nearly 16 seconds with a time of 11:28.89. Kulik anchored the race with an unofficial split time of 4:39 on the 1,600-meter leg. The men’s team followed with a victory as well, clocking a time of 9:48.05 – Clemson’s third-best on record. The team was composed of Aaron Ramirez, Ryan Mangone, Chris Slate and Ty McCormack.
Marlena Wesh had the fastest time in Friday’s 400-meter prelims. The junior from Virginia Beach, VA clocked a 53.71 in her first quarter mile run of the season. She advances to Saturday’s final, which is scheduled for 4:20 PM.
Christy Gasparino and Lauren Terstappen were second and third, respectively, in the women’s pole vault Friday. Gasparino became the second Tiger female in history to clear 13 feet in the event, as she went over the bar at 13’1.5″/4.00m on her third attempt. Terstappen also cleared the height on her final try, giving the Tigers a strong, competitive presence in the event Friday.
Also in the field, freshman Torian Ware won the collegiate high jump competition. He cleared the bar at a season-best height of 6’8.25″/2.04m. Marcus Brown was 12th place in the men’s championship shot put section, as he put together a top mark of 56’11.75″/17.35m. He tied former Tiger great Matt Lombardi for sixth on the school’s all-time performance list with his mark Friday.
The teams return to action early Saturday to conclude the meet. Clemson’s first event will be the women’s 20-pound weight throw at 9:15 AM, featuring junior Brittney Waller.
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