Padgett, Ford Finish First and Third at NCAA Championships
Fayetteville, AR ? Clemson sprinter Travis Padgett won the national title in the 60m dash on Saturday to boost the Tigers to a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. He is the first student-athlete from Clemson to claim a national title since Shawn Crawford won the outdoor 200m dash in 2000. He is the first Tiger sprinter to capture the 60m dash crown. Overall, his title is the 13th national championship for Clemson?s men?s track & field team. Each of the national titles has come under the watch of 19th-year head coach Bob Pollock.
Clemson finished 15th in the team standings, the program?s best effort since the 2002 team placed seventh. Wisconsin won the meet with 40 points, holding off Florida State (35) and Texas (34) for the title.
Clemson earned 18 points this weekend, and was just three points shy of tying for 10th place.
?We have the ability to get the job done,? Pollock said. ?We?ve just got to put it together. These guys that qualified for nationals (six total), they realized this. To place two guys in the top three of the 60m dash was phenomenal. It was a great showing by those guys. Now it?s on to outdoor season.?
Padgett blistered the track with a time of 6.56, just edging Demi Omole of Wisconsin (6.57) at the tape. It marked a personal best for the native of Shelby, NC. His previous best was a 6.59, which he posted in Friday?s prelims. It was his second All-America honor at Clemson, as he placed fourth last season in the 100m dash. With his performance, he moved into a tie for third with Crawford on the Tigers? all-time 60m dash list.
Fellow sprinter Jacoby Ford finished third with a time of 6.60 in his first trip to the NCAA Championships. It marked the first All-America honor for the freshman from Royal Palm Beach, FL. It also marked the first time in school history that two student-athletes placed in the top three of a particular event at the NCAA Championships. The previous best was in 1992, when Michael Green was first and James Trapp fourth in the 55m dash.
Ryan Koontz earned points for the Tiger squad by finishing seventh in the heptathlon. Heading into the final three events, he was 11th in the standings. He began the day strong with a season-best time of 7.98 in the 60m hurdles. He posted the top time of the day among the multi-event athletes in the high hurdles. He continued the momentum with a clearance of 14?9? in the pole vault and by finishing sixth in the field in the 1000m run (2:44.08). It marked the second All-America honor in Koontz?
career, and second in the heptathlon for the Tiger program (Brent Hobbs, 2006). He broke his own school record with 5,569 total points.
Itay Magidi finished ninth in the 3000m run, just outside of scoring position and All-America honors. He posted a time of 8:04.92 and finished ahead of fellow ACC competitor Tom Lancashire of Florida State. Jason Bell also competed Saturday in the triple jump, but did not advance to the finals after leaping 49?9? in the prelims. He placed 10th overall.