ORLANDO, Fla. – The Clemson track and field program garnered six top-5 finishes across four events during the opening day of competition at UCF’s Knights Invite. In addition to competing well in their respective events, the Tigers combined to record three personal bests and three season’s bests during Friday’s action.
“Everyone that raced today was very competitive, and that is what we’re asking for,” said Clemson’s Director of Track and Field Mark Elliott. “I think the effort today was pretty good… Tomorrow will be one of those days where the full group is here, and we’ll have our normal schedule of events.”
The women’s 400-meter hurdles got the evening started for Clemson, as a quartet of Tigers contested the event and were led by Nicolee Foster and Lakeisha Warner. The duo respectively finished second and third overall, with Foster running 57.76 seconds to finish just shy of her season’s best of 57.73. Warner set a season’s best by crossing the line in 58.44 on Friday. Both athletes currently rank amongst Clemson’s top-10 all-time for the event.
Meredith Finley placed third overall in the women’s 1,500m, earning a personal best of 4:38.15 while finishing second in her heat. Finley was followed closely behind by Riley Coggin, as Coggin finished third in the opening heat by running 4:40.79 for the metric mile. Josie Wirtz rounded out the Tiger’s contingent in the event’s top 10 after finishing ninth in 4:45.04.
Rebekah Smith led the Tigers in the women’s 200m, as the senior stopped the clock with a wind-legal time of 23.86 (+1.5 meters/seconds). The time served as a season’s best for Smith after entering the weekend with a best of 24.57 (-2.0 m/s) from earlier in the season. Courtney Williams was Clemson’s other competitor in the event, as the freshman ran 24.32 (+2.9 m/s) to finish eighth overall.
The men’s 1,500m closed out the first day of competition for the Tigers, as Colt Griffith crossed the line in 3:59.23 to lead Clemson’s finishers. Friday night served as the second time this season that Griffith went sub-4 in the metric mile. Marlin Young took nearly four seconds off his personal best by finishing in 4:00.34. Jackson Leech made his debut at the distance down in Orlando and crossed the line in 4:04.58.
Clemson will be back in action for the final day of competition at UCF’s Knights Invite on Saturday, April 24, with the gun set to fire at 11:30 a.m. for the women’s 4x100m relay.
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.