April 22, 2011
DURHAM, NC – Clemson senior Liane Weber, just one year removed from an injury that cut short her brilliant 2010 season, successfully defended her conference title in the heptathlon to lead Clemson’s efforts on day two at the ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The Clemson women now sit atop the team standings after two days of competition with 66.5 points. Duke is Clemson’s closest competitor with 45 points. The men’s team was led by Alex Padgett’s ACC title in the shot put, the first of his career.
“It was a long, grueling day because of the inclement weather,” said Lawrence Johnson, Clemson’s Director of track & Field. “We were able to qualify a lot of kids for finals, so that was good. It was special for Liane to come full circle after injuring herself at this time a year ago. Our kids see Liane out there giving it her all, knowing that she’s not yet 100 percent healthy, and that inspires them.”
Weber amassed 5,463 points in the heptathlon en route to victory. It was Weber’s first full multi-event competition in a year since suffering a torn tendon in April of 2010. She did not disappoint, winning her second straight heptathlon crown and her fifth overall ACC individual trophy in the multi-events.
Patricia Mamona long jumped 19’2.5″, better than a foot further than any other competitor in the heptathlon. The javelin proved to be the turning point, as Weber put together a solid throw of 147’4″ and Mamona struggled to a toss of just 82’3″. Weber was on cruise control in the final event, the 800 meters. Mamona finished with 5,293 points, improving on her personal best and giving her a 12th career all-conference honor.
Padgett won his first ACC championship in dramatic fashion. On his sixth and final attempt, he moved from third in the standings to atop the podium with a personal best throw of 59’0.75″. Padgett’s victory was the first in the shot put by a Clemson male athlete since Derek Gilson won the event indoors in 2004.
“He told me last night that he was going out with a bang,” Johnson said. “That’s just what he did. He did a heck of a job. He challenged all of his teammates, too, at our team meeting. I’m proud of what he did today.”
In the decathlon, Miller Moss came out with the top time in the 110m hurdles, running a time of 14.38 despite a headwind. Moss struggled in the discus, but cleared 15’1″ in the pole vault and had a solid javelin throw with a toss of 161’4″. He led North Carolina’s Mateo Sossah by 43 points heading into the final event, but Sossah put together a strong finish in the 1500 meters to take the title. Moss was relegated to his third career runner-up finish in the decathlon, this time with a school-record total 7,706 points.
April Sinkler and Jasmine Brunson finished second and third, respectively, in the women’s long jump. Sinkler jumped 20’3″ for her second ACC runner-up finish this season in the event. It was her 10th all-conference accolade overall. Brunson, just a sophomore, picked up her highest finish ever with a jump of 19’11.75″. Sinkler was to compete in the high jump, but it was postponed until Saturday at 10:00 AM due to the weather.
Alyssa Kulik earned her first all-conference honor after a runner-up finish in the 3000m steeplechase. She is the first female in Clemson history to make All-ACC in the event. The school record-holder in the steeplechase coming into the championship meet, she posted a career-best time of 10:05.51. Stephanie Buffo placed eighth in the event to score for the Tigers. She had a time of 10:37.50, also a personal best.
Freshman Ty McCormack scored in his first collegiate track race, the 3000m steeplechase. He ran a personal best time of 9:03.12 to finish in eighth place. His time puts him ninth in the Tiger record books for the event.
The Clemson men had two scorers in the long jump. Josh Fowler was seventh with a leap of 22’11.75″, while sophomore Will Robinson scored in his first-ever ACC event with an eighth-place effort (22’10.5″).
Danielle Curry was seventh in the women’s shot put. The Youngstown State transfer put together a toss of 49’5.75″, the No. 4 mark in Clemson outdoor history.
In the running preliminaries, Clemson qualified multiple athletes across the board. In the women’s 100m dash, three athletes qualified for the finals. Misha Morris (12.10) will all compete Saturday. In the men’s 100m dash, Justin Murdock (10.66) made his way into Saturday’s final.
Clemson’s women qualified an astounding five sprinters for the final of the 200m dash. Leading the way were sophomores Stormy Kendrick and Marlena Wesh, both of whom clocked a time of 24.07 in the preliminary round. Michaylin Golladay (24.34), Edgerson (24.41) and Morris (24.62) will also compete Saturday for the gold.
The Clemson men’s team had one qualifier in both the 200m dash and 400m dash. In the 200, Murdock posted a time of 21.54 to advance. La’Mont Jackson earned a spot in Saturday’s 400 final after clocking a preliminary time of 48.45.
Wesh had the best time in the prelims for the women’s 400m dash. The Virginia Beach, VA native clocked a time of 54.35 and is looking to defend her championship from the 2011 indoor season. Sonni Austin, also a sophomore, was Clemson’s lone qualifier for the women’s 400 hurdle final. She had a time of 1:00.28 and was a scorer in the event last season at Clemson.
Clemson had two men’s runners qualify for the finals in the 800 meters. Senior Chris Slate, the ACC’s runner-up in the event during the indoor season, posted an outdoor season-best time of 1:50.59 to win his heat. Freshman Nathan Hendershot was right behind in a different heat, with a time of 1:50.92.
Clemson qualified three finalists in the women’s 100m hurdles, led by indoor national champion Brianna Rollins who had a time of 13.32 against a stiff wind. Bridgette Owens (13.65) and Golladay (13.82) also will compete in Saturday’s final. Spencer Adams qualified on the men’s side, clocking a preliminary-best time of 13.93.
The final action at the ACC Outdoor Championships will be held Saturday. The first event for the Tigers will be the men’s pole vault and women’s hammer throw at 12:00 PM. The first running final will be the women’s 4x100m relay at 4:00. Fans can follow the action on TheACC.com via webcast from 4-8 PM or through live stats on FlashResults.com.
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