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Virginia Tech, host Clemson defend team titles; ACC athletes look to enhance national marks
CLEMSON, S.C. (theACC.com) – The 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship will be held this Thursday (Feb. 27) through Saturday (March 1) at the Clemson University Indoor Track and Field Complex.
Virginia Tech enters as the defending ACC men’s champion after winning its second title in three years last season at Blacksburg, Va. The Clemson women will enter the Championship as four-time defending ACC champion.
Two ACC men’s teams are among the nation’s top 10 in the most recent USTFCCCA rankings with Florida State at No. 6 and Notre Dame at No. 10. Pitt ranks 19th to give the ACC three teams among the nation’s top 25.
North Carolina is currently 13th in the women’s rankings, while Duke holds the No. 24 spot.
In addition to ACC team and individual titles, conference student-athletes will seek to enhance their standing heading into the NCAA Championships, scheduled for March 14-15 at the Albuquerque (N.M.) Convention Center.
Six ACC male student-athletes rank among the nation’s top five in their respective events heading into the ACC Championship: Florida State’s Dentarius Locke (fifth in the 60m at 6.58), Pitt’s Brycen Spratling (second in the 400m at 45.57), Notre Dame’s Jeremy Rae (fifth in the mile at 3:57.25), Florida State’s James Harris (second in the high jump at 7-5 ¼), Florida State’s Jonathan Reid (second in the triple jump at 53-6½) and Miami’s Artie Burns (tied for fifth in the 60m hurdles with an adjusted time of 7.70).
Four ACC female student-athletes rank among the nation’s top five: Florida State’s Colleen Quigley (fourth in the mile at 4:35.38), North Carolina’s Elizabeth Whelan (fifth in the mile at 4:35.69), Maryland’s Amina Smith (tied for third in the high jump at 6-0 ¾) and Duke’s Megan Clark (fourth in the pole vault at 14-3 ½).
Pitt’s Spratling, a three-time ACC Men’s Performer of the Week, posted the third fastest time in the world in the 400m with his 45.57 run at the SPIRE NCAA D-1 Indoor T&F Invitational on Feb. 14. FSU’s Harris, a two-time ACC Men’s Performer of the Week this season, ranks ninth nationally in the 400m with a time of 46.20 and is the only male student-athlete to rank among the nation’s top 10 both a running and a field event.
Maryland is the all-time leader in ACC men’s team titles with 26, followed by Clemson with 12 and Florida State with nine – eight of which have come since 2003. North Carolina leads in women’s championships with 15, while Clemson, thanks to its surge of recent years, is second with five.
ESPN3 will provide live coverage of the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championship, 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.