April 16, 2009
Coral Gables, FL – A pair of runner-up finishes in the women’s throws events paced Clemson track & field on day one at the ACC Outdoor Championships. In total, the Tiger program had three all-conference performers Thursday as well as two regional-qualifying performances at the Cobb Track & Field Facility on the University of Miami campus.
The women’s team stands in third place with 22 points after three scored events. Clemson scored well in each of the three events. Virginia (29) leads the women’s race. On the men’s side, the Tigers are fourth with a total of 11 points. The Cavaliers also lead the men’s competition (30).
“We had some kids step up in some areas that we needed,” said Lawrence Johnson, Clemson’s Director of Track & Field. “We talked about stepping up and being accountable, and all our kids really responded. I was really excited about some of our performances.”
Freshman phenom Nikola Lomnicka continued to add to her serious collection of honors in what has turned out to be an outstanding initial campaign with Lawrence Johnson’s program. The native of Nitra, Slovakia was runner-up in the hammer throw with a mark of 197’8″. She leap-frogged Brittany Pryor of Virginia Tech on her last attempt of the final round. It was Lomnicka’s second career all-conference accolade, and third consecutive regional-qualifying mark in the hammer throw.
Linda Buchholz earned all-conference recognition for the second time in three years in the women’s javelin throw. The junior from Germany had a throw of 148’5″ on her first attempt, good enough for a runner-up finish. The throw was her best of the season and a regional-qualifying mark. Buchholz was All-ACC as a freshman after placing third in the event. Bethanie Wachna was also scheduled to compete in the javelin Thursday, but an injury in practice prohibited her from participating.
Alex Padgett earned his first All-ACC honor in a Clemson uniform. The Rock Hill, SC product hit a mark of 184’10” and finished in third place. He improved on a fourth-place showing from last year’s meet in Atlanta. Zach Berg, an All-ACC performer last season in the event, scored well for the Tigers after putting together a fifth-place spot. Berg, who has consistently had to overcome injury, had a throw of 182’3″, his best on the season. Both athletes came through in the clutch, bagging their top marks on the final attempt.
Scott Pauga competed in the men’s javelin throw and finished eighth, earning a point for the Tigers. His top throw of the day was a mark of 195’10”, a greater distance then he finished with at the 2008 ACC Outdoor Championships when he placed fifth overall.
The men’s and women’s 10K was held Thursday evening as well. For the first time in many years, Clemson was well-represented in the women’s competition. Kim Ruck, a freshman who was a late addition to the cross country team last fall, was fifth overall with a time of 36:45.78. Her time ranks 10th-best in Clemson history. Jenna Baker placed seventh with a time of 36:57.43. Shane Reighard was 21st in the men’s race with a time of 33:35.43.
The teams return to action Friday for the second day of competition. Live coverage of the meet will be available via webcast at ACCselect.com from 3:30-7:30 PM. Clemson’s first event will be the women’s 1500m prelims at 3:00.
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