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Apr 17, 2021

Sprinters Lead the Way at USC Open

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Clemson Track and Field program picked up 15 top-five finishes, six event victories and a pair of top-ten all-time outdoor marks on Saturday at the USC Open. Senior Marcus Parker took home individual victories in both the 100-meter (10.40), the 200 meter (20.35) and ran the second leg of the winning 4×100 relay to lead the 20th-ranked men. Rebekah Smith (100m), Trishauna Hemmings (100mH) and Leah Disher (800m) won their respective events for the women as well.

“This is a good continuation of how the season started,” said Director of Track and Field Mark Elliott. “All-around, we had many good performances and across the board, happy with how we competed today.”

Hemmings ran a 13.29 in the 100m hurdles final into a 1.0 m/s headwind, the ninth-fasted time in school history, after posting a 13.37 in her prelim heat. She followed that performance with a 23.74 in the 200m, finishing second in a strong field that included nearly 70 competitors.

“Credit Trishauna and her talent,” said Elliott. “To finish second in the 200 and entering the top ten in hurdles is big time with Olympians on the list. There is more in store for her based on how she’s looked so far, and Coach Graham has done a really nice job with her.

Rayan Holmes set a new personal best in the men’s 400m hurdles, running 50.60 to improve on his week-old best of 50.80 set during the Tennessee Relays. Holmes, who entered the season with a personal best of 52.49 from 2017, ran into Clemson’s record book with his performance in Knoxville on April 9. The 50.60 showing in Columbia improves his mark as the program’s eighth-fastest performer in history.

As the lone Tiger in the men’s 100m, Marcus Parker sprinted to victory on Saturday by running 10.40 in the opening heat of the event. The win in Columbia was Parker’s second of the season and his first in the straight-away sprint. Parker had a comfortable margin of victory overall, as the senior from Phoenix, Ariz., was ahead of the second-place finisher by .23 seconds.

Later in the day, Parker came back to win the 200m in 20.35 by separating from the pack and crossing the line more than two-tenths quicker than the next fastest competitor. Parker’s best of 20.33, which currently stands as the sixth-fastest time in program history, was set at Gamecock Invitational in 2019. Terryon Conwell joined Parker in the event’s top-3 after running 20.83 during the first heat.

The women’s 100m saw Clemson showcase its depth in the short sprints, as the Tigers placed five athletes in the event’s top-8. Rebekah Smith earned her first individual victory of the season by crossing the line in 11.67. Antoinette van der Merwe (11.86) and Sidney Marshall (11.93) rounded out the event’s top-3 finishers. Marshall’s time equaled her lifetime best, a mark that was first set back at the Gamecock Invitational Outdoor in 2019.

Leah Disher won the women’s 800m after running 2:10.50 in the opening heat of the event, cruising to victory by running splits of 1:03.22 and 1:07.27. The victory was the first individual event win of Disher’s collegiate career.

The men’s 4x100m sprinted to victory by running 39.60 seconds in the opening heat of the event to win by over a second. The Tigers’ quartet ran sub-40 in the event for the fourth time this season and earned its second victory in as many weeks.

The women’s 400m saw Laurie Barton lead the way by running 54.53, a time which served as a lifetime-best for the Clemson native. Nicolee Foster joined Barton in earning a personal best on Saturday, as Foster ran 54.90 to finish seventh overall. Freshman Ken’Naria Gadson set a season’s best in the quarter-mile after running 54.69 in the second heat, finishing sixth overall.

Conwell dipped under 47 seconds in the men’s 400m for the second time this season on Saturday during the event’s opening heat. Conwell’s time of 46.95 was good enough for fourth overall on Saturday. Conwell was joined in the event by Ethan Binnix, as Binnix earned a season’s best result after running 49.26.

Freshman Sofia De Coteau finished fourth in the women’s high jump after clearing 1.70m (5-7) for the second consecutive week. The 1.70m bar is De Coteau’s best and was first cleared at the Hokie Invitational during the Tigers’ indoor campaign. Jessica Johnson joined De Coteau in the event and finished 11th after clearing 1.60m (5-3) on her final attempt.

Harleigh White finished third in the women’s triple jump competition on Friday, leaping to a mark of 12.61m (41-4.5) on her final attempt of the competition. White recorded three jumps further than 12.50m in her series on Saturday. Caroline Johnston joined White in the event, opening her season in the triple jump with a best attempt of 11.69m (38-4.25).

The men’s half-mile saw Carson Tillman finish fifth overall after running 1:53.15 in the opening heat. Tillman’s time was a season’s best by 80 seconds and served as his first top-5 finish of the outdoor season.

Kori Carter was Clemson’s top finisher in the women’s 400m hurdles, running 1:00.78 to finish eighth overall and first in her heat. Carter was closely followed by Olivia Cooney in her heat, as Cooney ran 1:02.67 to finish fourth in her heat. Cooney’s time served as her fourth personal best in the event during the 2021 season.

In the men’s 3,000m, Jackson Leech and Marlin Young finished second and third, respectively, after running 8:44.43 and 8:46.88 this morning. Leech’s time served as a season’s best after running 8:57.39 at the Florida Relays. Young secured his third top-three finish of the season during the 2021 season.

Collin Neel and Cade Jones made their outdoor debuts for Clemson by contesting the hammer throw on Saturday morning. In the opening flight, Neel threw 40.13m (131-08) and Jones threw 33.94m (111-04). This was the first time either athlete had contested the event at the collegiate level. Campbell made her field-event debut for Clemson by leaping to a mark of 5.22m (17-1.5) in the second flight of the women’s long jump.

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