ATHENS, Ga. — The Clemson track and field program collected six top 5 finishes on Friday evening during the first day of competition at the University of Georgia’s Torrin Lawrence Memorial. The Tigers had 12 athletes compete across five events in Athens, with five earning personal bests and three earning season bests following their efforts on the Spec Towns Track.
Antoinette van der Merwe secured her first collegiate victory this evening by winning the women’s 200m with a wind-legal time of 23.53 seconds. The mark for van der Merwe eclipsed her previous best by .43 seconds and came during her outdoor collegiate debut in the event. Serena Clark (23.99) and Courtney Williams (24.10) ran personal bests in Athens, with Clark’s time proving to be good enough for third overall. Marcus Parker finished second in the men’s 200m after running 20.79 with a legal wind of 1.60 meters-per-second.
Kori Carter broke the 60-second barrier in the women’s 400-meter hurdles for the first time in her career on Friday by running 59.97 to place third overall and be the second collegiate athlete across the line. Carter’s top-3 finish is her first of the outdoor season across all events.
The women’s 800m started this evening’s action for Clemson, with Sydney Collins leading the way after finishing third overall in a season’s best time of 2:13.00. Collins was joined in the event by Meredith Finley and Riley Coggin, as the two ran personal bests of 2:16.00 and 2:16.14, respectively, in the second heat. Finley entered the weekend with a personal best of 2:16.63 set during her prep career at Randolph HS in Randolph, N.J.
In the men’s 800m, Colt Griffith ran a season’s best of 1:56.40 to finish fourth in his heat and eighth overall. Friday’s half-mile race was Griffith’s second attempt at the distance this outdoor season; as the Pelzer, S.C., native contested the event for the first time at last weekend’s UCF Knights Invite.
Earlier this afternoon, Clemson’s women’s 4x400m relay competed at the UNF Invitational in Jacksonville, Fla. The quartet of Lakeisha Warner, Ken’Naria Gadson, Nicolee Foster and Kamryn McIntosh ran a season’s best time of 3:36.23 to place fifth overall. Last weekend in Orlando, the same four athletes ran 3:37.02 to win the event by five seconds.
The Clemson track and field program will return to action in Athens, Ga., Saturday morning as the men’s 5,000m will get things underway at 8:30. The Tigers will also have athletes competing at the Tennessee Challenge in Knoxville, Tenn., with that meet set to start at 11:30 a.m.
For all of the most up-to-date information regarding Clemson’s Track & Field program, be sure to reference clemsontigers.com and follow @ClemsonTrackXC on Twitter.