Ahead of the 2021 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., we’ll highlight each of Clemson’s six entries by recapping their spectacular indoor seasons thus far!
Trishauna Hemmings will enter the 2021 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships as the only athlete, male or female, entered in both the 60-meter hurdles and 200 meters. Hemmings has put together an indoor campaign that has so far seen her record the No. 3 all-time marks at Clemson in both events, displacing current stars in the sport such as Keni Harrison and Brianna Rollins-McNeal.
So how did the native of Kingston, Jamaica, make such history after entering the 2021 season having never before run the 200m in college and only having a personal best of 8.39 seconds in the hurdles? It all started at the Tigers’ first meet of the season on Jan. 9, 2021.
Hemmings opened her campaign by contesting the 60m hurdles and 300m at the Orange & Purple Elite. After not having competed in over ten months, Hemmings wasted no time in her first meet, running a then-personal best of 8.29 seconds during the hurdle prelims. Later that day, Hemmings would run 38.95 during her career debut at 300m, and 8.31 in the final of the hurdles. The pair of performances were an early sign of the range Hemmings could wield against her competitors throughout the season.
Hemmings’ new best in the hurdles would last just one week, as she ran 8.18 in the prelims of the event during the Clemson Invitational. However, the time almost didn’t come as just before running 8.18, Hemmings had run 8.21 during an effort which was called back after one of her competitors committed a false start and the starter fired his second shot late. The pair of sub-8.25 performances were separated by a mere five minutes; thus a visible display of the hurdle endurance Hemmings possed during the early portion of the season.
As had been the case in the first two meets, Hemmings was quick to accomplish more, as evident in her time of 8.12 in the hurdles during the Tigers’ third meet of the year. The time moved Hemmings into the No. 3 position on Clemson’s all-time top-10 list for the event, surpassing the current women’s 100-meter hurdles world record holder, Keni Harrison.
Following a few weeks of training and competition, Hemmings returned to the track to run the 60m hurdles and 200m during the Tiger Paw Invite. Hemmings would run 8.14 and 8.15 in the prelims and final, respectively, of the hurdles. This proved to be a definitive sign of the championship form she was coming into with ACC’s just two weeks away. However, the real show came during her performance in the one-lap sprint.
Hemmings had never before run the 200m in college, and her debut came during the fifth heat of competition, a sign that Hemmings wasn’t racing the best competitors on the day. But in a race against the clock, Hemmings showed that one’s competition or seeding doesn’t matter. Just 23.28 seconds after the starter fired their gun, Hemmings crossed the line with the No. 5 mark in program history.
And just like that, Hemmings asserted herself as one of the NCAA’s best athletes.
Hemmings was ready to improve again, just as she had done all season, when Clemson entered the ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships. Slated to compete in both the hurdles and 200m, Hemmings went on to run personal bests in each event. Hemmings ran 8.14 in the prelims of the hurdles before running 8.09 in the final to finish third overall and lower her No. 3 all-time mark at Clemson. Just 50 minutes after the hurdle final, Hemmings returned to the start line for the women’s 200m final, running 23.12 to secure a dominant event victory and become the No. 3 performer in Clemson history.
Her performance during the conference championship allowed her to be named the ACC Women’s Track MVP, a title captured by a Clemson women’s track athlete for the first time since 2013.
When Hemmings packs her bags to travel to Fayetteville, she’ll be bringing along with her heaps of momentum and confidence. The combination of diligent training, proven consistency, and recent momentum could spell success for Hemmings once the competition begins.