The Clemson women's track team's quest for its fourth consecutive ACC indoor title is off to a belated start, following junior Whitney Fountain's withdrawal from the pentathlon on Thursday.
Injured during warm-ups, Fountain - the favorite to win the event and claim Clemson's first points of the meet - sat out the competition, which was won by Maryland sophomore Thea LaFond with 4,111 points.
Holding a 231-point lead heading into the final event of Thursday’s women’s pentathlon, LaFond wrapped up the top spot by racing to a first-place finish in the 800-meter run at Virginia Tech’s Rector Field House.
LaFond, who finished the 800 meters in a time of 2:20.63, had earlier led in the 60-meter hurdles (8.70) and the high jump (5-10.75). Her total of 4,111 points was the highest by an ACC competitor this season. LaFond was followed by Duke junior Miray Seward (3,784), while North Carolina freshman Tory Kemp took home the bronze medal with 3,730 points.
Duke, which also received a fifth-place finish from Bailey Murphy (3,547) led the team scoring with 12 points, followed by Maryland with 10, UNC with six and Virginia with five.
The men’s heptathlon got under way on Thursday, and North Carolina sophomore Joe Hutchinson leads after the completion of four events. Hutchinson accumulated 2,838 points in the 60-meter dash, long jump, shot put and high jump to hold a narrow lead over Virginia Tech’s Scott Campbell (2,819) and UNC teammate Ryan Ramsey (2,804) heading into Friday’s competition, which will feature the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000-meter run.
The 2013 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships will resume on Friday at 11 a.m. and will continue through the early evening. Highlights will include the conclusion of the men's heptathlon, finals in seven field events, as well as the finals in both the men’s and women’s 5,000-meter runs, and the men’s and women’s distance medley relays. The competition concludes on Saturday.
Clemson athletes have the ACC's top regular-season marks in numerous events. Topping the men's list are Spencer Adams in the 60-meter hurdles, Torian Ware in the high jump and the 4 x 400-meter relay team.
Clemson's Tevin Hester ranks second in the 200, while Brunson Miller is second in the 400.
On the women's side, Clemson owns the top four performances in both the 200 meters and the 60-meter hurdles, led by Dezerea Bryant and Brianna Rollins. Marlena Wesh, a 2012 Olympian, has the ACC's best mark in the 400 meters, while Bryant and Stormy Kendrick rank 1-2 in the 60 meters.
Brittney Waller leads the conference in the weight throw, and Clemson leads the 4 x 400 relay. Freshman Mimi Land is second in the high jump and sixth in the long jump, while Christy Gasparino and Lauren Terstappen rank third and fourth in the pole vault.
Live coverage is available on theACC.com on Friday from 4:20 p.m. until approximately 8:30 p.m., and on Saturday from noon until 4:00 p.m.
Women's Team Scoring
1. Duke 12
2. Maryland 10
3. North Carolina 6
4. Virginia 5
5. NC State 3
6. Georgia Tech 2
7. Florida State 1