CLEMSON, S.C. – Day one of the 2021 ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships closed with the Clemson women’s distance medley relay finishing second overall in 11:13.91 to secure second-team All-ACC honors. The Tigers’ relay was comprised of Andrea Foster (1,200m), Ken’Naria Gadson (400m), Kamryn McIntosh (800m), and Laurie Barton (mile).
“We’ve very excited about the place we got, and we know that we put the best team out there that we could,” reflected Mark Elliott, Clemson’s Director of Track & Field. “Getting a silver medal in the event at ACC’s is a great accomplishment.”
Foster showcased her patented strength during the final 400 meters of the opening leg to glide into the lead and hand off the baton to Ken’Naria Gadson in a tie for first. A furious quarter-mile split of 54.61 by the freshman secured Clemson the top position heading into the third leg. McIntosh was unrelenting in her half-mile effort, staying strong over the final 200m and handing the baton off to Barton following a 2:09.42 split. Barton’s stellar time of 4:42.71 was enough for the half-mile specialist to secure eight points for the women’s team on Thursday.
“You could see Laurie gaining confidence during the mile,” added Elliott. “[As a coach] You love to have athletes you can put in different events.”
Terryon Conwell returned to the track on Thursday as the senior from Decatur, Ga., ran 20.90 during his preliminary heat of the 200m to finish as the third-fastest qualifier. Conwell used a steady first 100 meters to assert himself in lane six before sprinting off the final curve to secure a comfortable victory in his heat. Conwell currently ranks No. 7 on Clemson’s all-time list thanks to his 20.75 result from this season’s Bob Pollock Invitational.
Fabian Hewitt will join Conwell in the 200m final after running an indoor personal best of 21.16 to finish fifth overall on Thursday. Hewitt returns to the event’s final after placing eighth at the 2020 ACC Indoor Championships.
“Fabian making the finals of the 200m was big for us,” added Elliott. “It’s really exciting to see him advance to Saturday’s final.”
In the women’s 800m, Barton was the class of the field as the redshirt-senior ran 2:04.80 to win her heat and advance to the event’s final as the top qualifier. Barton is looking to defend her crown in the event after running 2:04.07 to capture the title last season.
Foster will join Barton in the 800m final after Foster’s controlled run of 2:06.60 in Thursday’s prelim. Foster finished in the runner-up position behind Barton in the same event at last year’s ACC Indoor Championships.
Freshman Cole Myers ran a tactical time of 1:54.02 in the second heat of the men’s 800m to punch his ticket into Saturday’s final. Myers used a decisive third 200 meters to assert himself in second place and held firm over the final lap to punch his ticket as an automatic qualifier.
In the women’s 200m, Trishauna Hemmings advanced to the final of the event after running a controlled 23.50 during her preliminary heat. Hemmings entered the weekend as the No. 8 athlete in the NCAA for the event.
Aliyah Mallard, Serena Clark, Zeniyah Lawrence, Courtney Williams, and Kori Carter all competed alongside Hemmings in the one-lap sprint’s prelims. Mallard (24.28), Clark (24.38), Carter (24.43), and Williams (24.62) all earned season bests.
Clemson’s men’s DMR was made up of Myers (1200m), Jevon Williams (400m), Tillman (800m), and John Ward (mile). While the squad finished seventh in 10:02.11, scoring two points for the Tigers, Williams and Ward recorded quality splits of 47.45 and 4:10.47, respectively, in the relay effort.
Clemson’s first action of the day came during the women’s pole vault as Jessica Brewer and Alex Svacha represented the Tigers on the runway. Brewer finished 12th overall thanks to her season’s best clearance of 3.62m (11-10.5) on her second attempt at the bar. Brewer’s previous best this year was 3.56m (11-8) from the Tiger Paw Invite.
Virginia Tech’s Antonio Lopez Segura set a new meet and facility record in the men’s 5,000m, winning this evening’s competition in 13:49.86. Syracuse’s Justyn Knight previously held both records after running 13:50.27 at the 2017 ACC Indoor Championships and 13:50.79 in Clemson during the 2018 ACC Indoor Championships.
Clemson will return to action on Friday, Jan. 26 at 11 a.m. as D.J. Ledell takes to the runway in the men’s long jump. Action on the track will resume at 4 p.m. with the prelims of the men’s mile.
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