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Maryland’s LaFond repeats as women’s pentathlon champion; Duke, Notre Dame claim DMRs
CLEMSON, S.C. – The opening day of the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship produced a repeat winner.
Maryland junior Thea LaFond finished the women’s pentathlon with a gold medal score pf 4,222 on Thursday, bettering her first-place showing from last season by 111 points. Duke sophomore Karli Johonnot place second with 4,003 and North Carolina’s Emily Godwin took the bronze at 3898.
LaFond clung to a one-point lead over Johonnot following completion of the day’s first three events, but the Silver Spring, Md., native gained breathing room with strong finishes in the day’s final two events (the long jump and 800 meters).
Earlier, LaFond’s 6-0 ¾ (1.85) distance in the high jump topped her previous season’s best of 5-11 ¼ (1.81) and tied for third-best in the nation entering Thursday’s action. Her time of 8.55 in the 60 hurdles also led all competitors in this year’s pentathlon event.
Duke claimed the women’s distance medley relay with a time of 11:15.57. The quartet of Amina Banks, Lauren Hansson, Abby Farley and Audrey Huth edged second-place Notre Dame (11:16.59) and North Carolina (11:18.88) to claim the Blue Devils’ third all-time ACC gold medal in the event and their first since 2007.
The strong finish helped Duke lead the early women’s team scoring with 23 points, followed by North Carolina with 12 points and Maryland with 10.
Notre Dame, competing in its first ACC Indoor Track and Field Championship, took the men’s DMR with a winning time of 9:49.99. Freshmen Christopher Marco, Alex Groesch, Jacob Dumford combined with senior Jeremy Rae to edge second-place Georgia Tech (9:50.17) and third-place North Carolina (9:50.19).
All three of Thursday’s winners – LaFond, the Duke women and the Notre Dame men – established new Clemson Indoor Track and Field Complex records.
Four events in the men’s heptathlon were completed on Thursday, and Duke holds the first two spots heading into Friday’s finale.
Curtis Beach, the 2012 champion, holds first place with 3,203 points, while Robert Rohner is second at 3,098. Notre Dame’s Ted Glasnow is third at 3,021 following completion of the 60-meter dash, long jump, shot put and high jump.
The top three finishers in each individual event and the members of each gold medal relay team earn All-ACC honors.
The 2014 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championship resumes on Friday at 11 a.m. Qualifying will be held in the running events, in addition to the conclusion of the men’s heptathlon, and the finals in the men’s and women’s high jump, the men’s and women’s weight throw and the men’s and women’s long jump. The session will conclude with men’s and women’s 5,000-meter finals. ‘
ESPN3 will provide live coverage, beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday thought conclusion of that evening’s session, and on Saturday from noon until the conclusion of the Championship and the awards ceremony. Veteran Jerry Massey will call the play-by-play, with John Wikerson handling production.
There is no charge for admission. The ESPN3 live stream coverage may be accessed through the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championship page: http://theacc.co/ITFchamp .
Live results can be accessed at http://theacc.co/ITFlivestats, and additional information will be available at @ACCTrackField and Tags #ACCITF on Twitter.
WOMEN”S TEAM SCORING
(After 2 events)
1. Duke 23
2. North Carolina 12
3. Maryland 10
4. Notre Dame 8
T5. Virginia Tech 5
T5. Wake Forest 5
T7. Florida State 4
T7. Syracuse 4
T9. Boston College 3
T9. Virginia 3
11. Miami 1