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Ruck, Sinkler Propel Women’s Team to Top Position at ACC Indoor Championships

Ruck, Sinkler Propel Women’s Team to Top Position at ACC Indoor Championships

Feb. 26, 2010


BLACKSBURG, VA – After two days at the ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships, Clemson leads the team standings in the women’s competition and is fifth in the men’s race. April Sinkler collected her second straight indoor ACC long jump crown, while Kim Ruck went wire-to-wire to dominate the women’s 5K on Friday to highlight Clemson’s outstanding day at Rector Field House.

Clemson has a total of 53 points after the second day of competition, 18 ahead of second place Florida State and 19 ahead of Duke. The women’s team is in search of its first ACC team championship since 1992. The men are fifth with 28 points, but only trail leader Virginia Tech by seven entering the final day of the meet.

“When we had our team meeting, our goal was to pick up as many lanes as we could,” said Lawrence Johnson, Clemson’s Director of Track & Field. “It’s Friday, so we had our `Solid Orange’ uniforms on today. We wanted to get as much orange as we could into the finals tomorrow, and the kids really stepped up to that challenge.”

Sinkler successfully defended her long jump title with a personal best and automatic NCAA national qualifying mark of 21’6″. She did it on her third jump of the preliminary round. It is her third career ACC championship in a Clemson uniform.

“April really wanted to defend her indoor titles,” Johnson said. “It’s good to win; it’s even better to do it by being consistent. It really gave us a lot of energy going into some of the other events.”

The amazing transformation from high school soccer star to collegiate distance standout continued for Ruck, as she posted an automatic NCAA time of 16:04.02. It was yet another school record for the native of Greer, SC, whose closest competitor finished 16 seconds behind on Friday evening. Ruck’s crown was the first for Clemson’s women in an indoor distance race since Mareike Ressing won the 3K in 1993.

“For Kim to come in and dominate a great field the way she did, was absolutely amazing,” Johnson said. “I’m so impressed with the way she handles herself…it’s like she’s been doing it for years.”

Miller Moss’ runner-up performance in the heptathlon gave him his first-ever indoor all-conference honor. It also solidified a spot at next month’s NCAA Indoor Championships for the Sumter, SC native. He surpassed the automatic qualifying standard with a total 5,699 points. Moss had an outstanding day, starting with a time of 8.11 in the 60 hurdles. After a 15’1″ pole vault effort, he finished strong with a time of 2:42.41 in the 1000 meter run.

“Miller really competed against a great field of athletes and held his own,” Johnson said. “He provided great leadership for us. He really inspired the other guys on our team with his performance.”

Zach Berg earned the second All-ACC honor of his career in the 35-pound weight throw on Friday. He nearly matched his season-best, recording a high mark of 66’9.25″. Berg was previously all-conference in the event in 2008. Alex Padgett had a personal best and finished fourth for Clemson. The red-shirt junior hit on a mark of 64’1.75″, which moves him to No. 2 in the Clemson record books behind Berg. It was also the first-ever NCAA provisional qualifying effort of Padgett’s career.

Not to be outdone, however, was the performance of freshman Brittney Waller in the women’s 20-pound weight throw. She established a personal best and finished third with a mark of 60’11.5″, achieved on her first throw of the finals. Waller’s All-ACC finish was the fourth in the last five years in the event by a Clemson female.

Josh Fowler was a big story on Friday for the program. A red-shirt junior, he catapulted himself into sixth in the Clemson record books with an outstanding, NCAA provisional qualifying long jump of 24’7.75″. Fowler’s third-place finish provided Clemson with its first All-ACC performer in the long jump since George Fields won in 2007.

“You talk about a guy that’s been close for a couple of years, but just could never get those big jumps, that’s Josh,” Johnson said. “He stayed in the game, kept believing in himself, and he delivered big-time for us.”

Justin Murdock matched his season-best with a 6.73 in the 60 meter dash prelims. He will compete in Saturday’s final for the men, while Clemson qualified a pair in the women’s final. Kristine Scott surpassed her previous collegiate best and clocked a 7.42 – an NCAA provisional time – in the second prelim. That moved her into a tie for fifth on the Tigers’ all-time performance list. Stormy Kendrick also qualified with a 7.47.

Clemson qualified five in the finals for the 60 hurdles – three females and two on the men’s side. Charles Allen on the school’s all-time performance list. Charlton Rolle will join him in Saturday’s final after clocking a 7.95 in his heat.

“Spencer never ceases to amaze me, with the fact that he’s come back from his injury and found his rhythm after a year away from track & field,” Johnson said.

Brianna Rollins, Michaylin Golladay and Patricia Mamona all qualified for the final in the women’s 60 hurdles. Rollins (8.30) and Golladay (8.38) produced NCAA provisionals, while Mamona (8.46) had a season-best time.

Rollins was one of four women to qualify for the final of the 200 meter dash on Friday. She posted an NCAA provisional time of 23.89, tied for ninth on Clemson’s all-time list. Jasmine Edgerson (24.04), Scott (24.09) and Kendrick (24.14) also will compete Saturday for the Tigers. In the men’s 200, Murdock reached the finals via a preliminary time of 21.39.

Clemson also qualified three in the women’s 400 meter dash. Rollins posted the third-best time in the prelims with a time of 54.89. Jordan Rispress had a season-best (48.86) for the men but missed qualifying for the final by just over a one-hundredth of a second.

Jasen Turnbull qualified for the men’s 800 meter final. The junior from Northville, MI turned in a personal best in the preliminary round, crossing the finish line in 1:52.06. It also moves him to ninth on the Tigers’ all-time indoor performance list.

The men’s distance medley group placed sixth. The relay of Turnbull, Candace Sapp and Alyssa Kulik combined for a time of 11:59.31.

Jasmine Brunson and Patricia Mamona provided scoring support in the women’s long jump. Brunson, a freshman out of Bermuda, was sixth after a jump of 20’1.5″. Her NCAA provisional mark is eighth on the Clemson career charts. Mamona was seventh (19’9″). A pair of female pole vaulters tied for fifth Friday as well, both clearing school records at 12’11.5″. Caroline Kennedy and Amy Morrison now stand atop the all-time performance list together for the women’s program indoors.

The teams return to action Saturday for the final day at the ACC Indoor Championships. Coverage will be streamed live on beginning at 12:00 PM and running through the duration of the meet.

Women’s Standings (through six events)

1. Clemson, 53 pts 2. Florida State, 35 3. Duke, 34 4. Virginia Tech, 21 5. NC State, 17

Men’s Standings (through six events)

1. Virginia Tech, 35 pts 2. North Carolina, 34.5 3. Florida State, 34 4. Virginia, 33 5. Clemson, 28

Clemson’s All-ACC Performers (through six events)

Kim Ruck, Women’s 5000 (1st) April Sinkler, Women’s Long Jump (1st) Liane Weber, Pentathlon (1st) Miller Moss, Heptathlon (2nd) Josh Fowler, Men’s Long Jump (3rd) Zach Berg, Men’s Weight Throw (3rd) Brittney Waller, Women’s Weight Throw (3rd)