By Staff Report.
CLEMSON, SC – Clemson will head west to Des Moines, IA and Drake University for the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The four-day meet will be held June 6-9 at Drake Stadium. The Tigers have traveled 14 members of the No. 5 ranked women’s team and four student-athletes from the men’s program to compete for championships this week. It is the second straight year the NCAA outdoor national meet has been held in Des Moines.
Live video coverage of the event will be available each day on NCAA.com and Thursday through Saturday on ESPN3. The championships will also be televised by ESPNU on Saturday at noon.
The Tiger women’s team finished seventh at this meet a year ago, tied for the program’s best NCAA outdoor finish. This season, Clemson qualified females in eight individual events and both relays. The most athletes in a single event is the 100 hurdles, which will feature four Clemson entries – more than any other school. Clemson’s women also have an athlete in the 100, 200, 400, steeplechase, 400 hurdles, pole vault and triple jump.
Monique Gracia and Keni Harrison both qualified in multiple events for the Tiger women – Gracia in the 100 and 100 hurdles, and Harrison in the 100 hurdles and 400 hurdles. Harrison is one of only two athletes to qualify in both hurdle events this week.
The men’s team qualified two athletes, Spencer Adams and Marcus Maxey, in the 110 hurdles. Adams was an indoor All-American after a fifth-place finish, while Maxey is making his NCAA Championships debut this week. Also for the men, Warren Fraser will compete in the 100 and Chris Slate qualified in the 800. Slate is Clemson’s first male athlete to qualify in
that event since Davidson Gill in 1999.
The first action of the week will be Wednesday, June 6 with the women’s 4×100 relay semifinal at 5:45 PM (Central time). Also scheduled for Wednesday will be the semifinals for the women’s 400 dash and 3000 steeplechase, featuring championship contenders Marlena Wesh and Alyssa Kulik, respectively. Wesh owns the nation’s top seed time, while Kulik was an All-American in the steeple last season.
The second day of competition will feature semifinals for the men’s and women’s high hurdles as well as the 200 dash, featuring freshman phenom Dezerea Bryant. The semifinals for the women’s 4×400 relay will take place Thursday at 8:25 PM.
Christy Gasparino (pole vault), a first-time qualifier, and April Sinkler (triple jump), a six-time NCAA Championships competitor, will compete Friday, June 8 for the Tiger women. Those two get the action started at 5:30 PM. Friday’s schedule features finals for the men’s and women’s 100 dash, women’s 400 dash and 400 hurdles, and steeplechase.
Clemson hopes to qualify for finals in five events for Saturday, June 9, the final day of competition. The women’s 4×1 final is set for 1:10 PM, followed by the 200 at 1:47. The men’s 110 hurdles and women’s 100 hurdles are slated for 2:07 and 2:14, respectively. The final event that could see Clemson athletes is the women’s 4×4 final, set for 2:50 PM Saturday.