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Clemson track and field impresses at ACC Tournament

Clemson’s track and field team has performed admirably throughout its first indoor season, with the newly renovated Clemson Indoor Track & Field Complex serving as its home. Placing a handful of competitors in the upcoming NCAA Indoor Championships, the Tigers experienced their fair share of success early on in 2017 and will look to carry that trend forward as they turn their attention to the outdoor season.

At the ACC Indoor Championships in South Bend, Indiana, on Feb. 23-25, Clemson produced some quality showings, earning an abundance of podium appearances in the process.

On the first day of competition, the Clemson women’s distance medley relay (DMR) team set a program record with an impeccable time of 11:02.68. Placing second after a hotly contested finish that saw Clemson’s Ersula Farrow get tripped, the Tigers still earned a top mark in one of the most prestigious track events in the nation. In the men’s DMR, another program record was broken as the Tigers took fifth place with a time of 9:40.85.

The next day saw the Tigers claim gold in an event, with superstar long jumper Chris McBride -—one of the nation’s best and brightest long jumpers ­— tying his own school record with a 25’6.75” jump. In the women’s long jump, Angelica Collins took home the bronze with her 20’3.5” foot jump.

With several runners showing out in preliminary events for the Tigers on the second day of ACCs, that made for a great showing of orange and regalia on the final day of competition. 

In total, 15 Clemson competitors medaled on the final day, highlighted by Iana Amsterdam’s second career ACC gold in the triple jump. Hopping, skipping and jumping to a personal best leap of 43’9.25”, Amsterdam came up with the longest jump at the ACC Championships and the seventh longest in the nation. 

Right behind Amsterdam was Clemson’s Anasterasia Terrell, who finished as runner-up in the triple jump with a leap of 41’9.25”.

All-ACC distance runner Grace Barnett earned silver medals in the mile and 3k races, and, since she was a member of the DMR team that took second place, received an impressive three silvers in total. In the women’s 60-meter sprint, Clemson was stellar, collecting first and second place nods. Star freshman Rebekah Smith won with a time of 7.31, the eighth fastest time in program history, and Torie Robinson was right behind her with a time of 7.32.

A similar circumstance occurred in the men’s 400-meter dash, with the Tigers filling up the podium in the event. Jeffrey Green, Cordell Lamb and Michael Cheeks finished first, second and third, respectively, marking the second straight year that Clemson runners have swept the podium in that event. Those three were also members of the men’s 4×400-meter relay squad, which defended its title at ACCs. Also of note, the women’s 4×400 team finished third, Lamb picked up a silver medal in the men’s 200-meter dash and Kirk Lewis took second place in the men’s 60-meter hurdles.

A highly successful indoor season for the Tigers will conclude at this weekend’s NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas, where Clemson performed well earlier in the year as part of the Charlie Thomas Invitational. Amsterdam, Barnett, Green, McBride and multiple other Clemson competitors will look to earn the ultimate glory of being hailed as national champions when they take to the track later this week. 

Clemson Head Coach Mark Elliott and his staff have done an excellent job this season of preparing the Tigers for each meet,  the quality showings at every competition this season appropriate. The outdoor season is right around the corner, and the Tigers are primed to continue their success in the

foreseeable future.

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