Track & Field Qualifies 36 Student-Athletes for NCAA East Preliminary Round

Track & Field Qualifies 36 Student-Athletes for NCAA East Preliminary Round

May 19, 2011

Head Coach Lawrence Johnson’s Reaction to Preliminary Round Bids

CLEMSON, SC – A record total of 36 student-athletes from the Clemson track & field program earned official bids to the NCAA East Preliminary Round. The NCAA released the list of accepted entries on Thursday for the outdoor first and second round meet scheduled for May 26-28 in Bloomington, IN. The top 48 declared individuals and top 24 relays were extended invitations. This is the second year of the NCAA outdoor national meet qualifying format featuring two preliminary round sites – East (Bloomington) and West (Eugene, OR). The final rounds of the NCAA Outdoor Championships will be held June 8-11 in Des Moines, IA.

Twenty-one members from the ACC Championship and fourth-ranked women’s team earned spots in next week’s preliminary field. Clemson also qualified its 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams from the women’s side.

Clemson is represented in every area of track & field, led by six qualifiers in the 100m high hurdles. Clemson’s six hurdlers were the most entries for any school in any single event, men or women, in either the East or West Region.

Briana Johnson and Edgerson.

Misha Morris, and in the 200 by Edgerson and Marlena Wesh.

Wesh qualified as the No. 3 seed in the 400m dash. She clocked an outdoor-best time of 52.28 in winning the ACC championship in April. Wesh will also be a member of the 4x400m relay team, but did not declare in the 400 hurdles. Classmate Sonni Austin will compete in that event with the East’s No. 15 seed time.

In the distance events, Clemson qualified Alyssa Kulik and Stephanie Buffo in the 3000m steeplechase and Kim Ruck in the 10,000m. Kulik enters the meet with the No. 2 time overall at 10:05.51, a Clemson record. She was the ACC’s runner-up and the Penn Relays champion in the steeplechase. Ruck has the top time in the 10K after running a personal best 33:16.45 at Stanford in late March.

In the field events, April Sinkler led the way by qualifying in three different jumps for the second straight season. She is the top seed in the long jump and tied for second in the high jump. She will have her work cut out for her on Friday, May 27 as the high jump and triple jump are both scheduled to start at 1:00 PM.

Sinkler will be joined in the long jump and triple jump by both Jasmine Brunson and Patricia Mamona. The defending NCAA outdoor triple jump champion, Mamona will enter next week’s competition with the No. 2 mark in the East behind Florida State rival Kimberly Williams.

A pair of freshmen qualified in the women’s pole vault. Lauren Terstappen, the ACC runner-up, is tied for 14th on the descending order list. Christy Gasparino secured a berth after clearing an outdoor-best 12’10” at the Aggie Classic in Greensboro, NC on Sunday.

Danielle Curry qualified in the shot put, while NCAA heptathlon qualifier Liane Weber will compete in the javelin throw.

Clemson qualified 15 individuals from the men’s team. Like the women’s squad, both relay teams qualified from the men’s side.

Joe Craig also qualified in the 100, while red-shirt freshman La’Mont Jackson did so in the 400m dash. Those four individuals will comprise the Tigers’ 4x100m relay on Saturday, May 28. Murdock and Fraser are also entered in the 200.

Jordan Rispress was one of the final accepted entries into the men’s 400 hurdles. The sophomore out of Ohio will also compete with the No. 8 seed 4x400m relay, along with Murdock, Jackson and Miller Moss.

Clemson qualified two runners in the 800 for the second straight season. Chris Slate, the ACC runner-up, is 20th on the descending order list. Nathan Hendershot, a freshman, will make his return to the Hoosier state next week. He is a native of Pendleton, IN and turned in a personal best 1:49.76 last week at the Tiger Qualifier. Ty McCormack earned a bid to the NCAA East Prelims in the men’s steeplechase as well.

Lawrence Johnson’s team qualified three men’s high hurdlers, led by Spencer Adams with the third-best time in the East Region. Moss, an NCAA qualifier in the decathlon, holds the No. 11 seed time after running a personal best 13.81 last weekend. Marcus Maxey rounds out Clemson’s qualifiers in the 110 hurdles.

Michael Kopanski qualified in the pole vault.

Alex Padgett qualified in two throwing events for the Tigers. The recent graduate out of Rock Hill, SC is the No. 12 seed in the East in the shot put after winning the ACC crown with a mark of 59’0.75″. He will also compete in the hammer throw on Friday, May 27.