BLACKSBURG, Va. - Forget the score: Clemson's track teams spent Friday setting the table.
Brittney Waller established a meet record and captured her third consecutive conference crown in the weight throw to propel the Clemson women into sixth place in the team standings after day two of the ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The Tiger women, looking to hoist the ACC indoor championship trophy a fourth straight season, are just 7.5 points behind leader Duke and qualified 14 athletes for Saturday running finals.
The Tiger men are in seventh place after seven scored events, but qualified nine athletes for running finals.
“We are in good shape for finals tomorrow, which is encouraging,” said Interim Director of Track & Field Shawn Cobey. “Like any championship meet, you have plenty of ups and downs. But, our kids are competing with a lot of heart. We look forward to a good final day.”
Waller wasted no time in laying claim to a third straight weight throw title. She launched a throw of 70’10.5” on her first attempt, breaking Laura Gerraughty of North Carolina’s ACC Championships record from 2005. Waller is Clemson's first three-time champion in the weight throw.
Other All-ACC performers on day two for the Tiger women’s team were Lauren Terstappen in the pole vault and Mimi Land in the long jump.
It was the culmination of quite a journey for Terstappen, who dislocated an elbow 10 months ago during a vault. She cleared 13’0.25” to take third place and nab her second career all-conference accolade.
Land, who also tied for fourth in the high jump, was All-ACC as a freshman after long jumping 20’3.5” – a mark that ranks ninth in Clemson history.
Also scoring in the women’s vault Friday was sophomore Caroline Bond, who was eighth (12’8.25”). Jasmine Brunson was fourth in the long jump, hitting a season-best 20’1”.
In the men’s jumps, Jameel Abdul-Mateen took fifth for a second straight ACC Indoor Championships in the long jump (24’0.25”), while fellow sophomore Torian Ware was fifth in the high jump after clearing the bar at 7’0.25”.
Of Clemson’s female qualifiers for Saturday running finals, six did so in multiple events. Brianna Rollins was the headliner, setting an ACC Championships record in her specialty event – the 60 hurdles – with a time of 7.92 in the prelims. She was one of three Tigers to qualify for that final, along with Nnenya Hailey and Keni Harrison. Rollins also qualified along with three others in the 200 dash, with a prelim time of 23.60.
Dezerea Bryant had the top preliminary time in both the 60 (7.26) and 200 (23.35). Stormy Kendrick qualified for finals in both events once again, as the senior ran 7.41 in the 60 for the third-best prelim time. Valencia Hannon rounded out the 60 qualifiers, while Marlena Wesh was the fourth qualifier in the 200 dash.
Wesh cruised to a season-best in the 400 dash, owning the top qualifying time at 52.95. She will look for a third straight ACC title in the event on Saturday. Hailey and Harrison will join the senior in the quarter mile final. In the mile distance, Erin Barker produced a season-best 4:57.11 to earn a spot in Saturday’s final.
Three members of the men’s team had the top preliminary performances on the track Friday, including freshman Tevin Hester, who qualified for multiple finals. Hester, from Oxford, NC, clocked a personal best 6.66 (No. 10 in Clemson history) in the 60 dash. He will also compete in the 200 final alongside top qualifier Reggie Lewis (21.25) and Brunson Miller.
Miller, who transferred into Clemson for his senior season from The Citadel, posted the best time of the qualifying round in the 400 dash. He ran a season-best 46.85, No. 4 in school history.
Spencer Adams came into Friday as the overwhelming favorite in the men’s 60 hurdles, but it was teammate Marcus Maxey who stole the show in the prelims. Maxey ran a 7.74, a personal best and the fifth-best time in Clemson history, and had the top time of the day. Adams ran 7.79 to win his prelim, while Elijah Britton will give the Tigers a third competitor in Saturday’s final.
In the men’s distance events, the Tigers accumulated two points on eighth-place finishes from Ty McCormack in the 5000 meters and their distance medley relay. The team of Aaron Ramirez, Ryan Mangone, Daniel Dey and Martin Maloney combined to a time of 10:10.33.
The teams return to action to conclude the championship meet on Saturday, starting with the women’s triple jump and shot put at 11 a.m. Clemson’s first running final will be the women’s mile at noon. Live results are available at FlashResults.com.