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More than 70 student-athletes set to compete Friday and Saturday in Birmingham
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference will be represented by more than 70 student-athletes and seven teams ranked among the nation’s top 25 at the men’s and women’s 2016 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships this week in Birmingham, Alabama.
Competition is set at the CrossPlex on Friday and Saturday (March 11 and 12). ESPN3 will stream the meet live starting Friday at 6:25 p.m. and on Saturday starting at 4:45 p.m. A re-air of the championship is scheduled for this Sunday March 13 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2, and again on Wednesday, March 23, at 10 p.m. on ESPNU.
The ACC list of competitors includes six student-athletes that were recently named USTFCCCA Regional Athletes of the Year. Clemson sprinter Tevin Hester enters the NCAAs as the Southeast Region men’s track athlete of the year. Notre Dame’s Molly Seidel earned Northeast Region women’s track athlete recognition, while NC State’s Erika Kemp was named the top Southeast Region women’s track performer.
Pitt’s Andrew Wells was named the top Mid-Atlantic men’s field athlete, while NC State’s Jonathan Addison was honored from the Southeast Region. Duke’s Megan Clark was honored as the top Southeast Region women’s field athlete.
In addition, the meet will include four student-athletes who earned Most Outstanding Performer honors in last month’s ACC Indoor Championships in Boston – Syracuse distance runner Justyn Knight and Louisville jumper Damar Robinson on the men’s side, and Miami sprinter Shakima Wimbley and Georgia Tech jumper Bria Matthews on the women’s side.
Notre Dame’s Seidel and Duke’s Clark enter the NCAAs ranked No. 1 nationally in their respective events.
Seidel, from Hartland, Wisconsin, is undefeated at both 3000 and 5000 meters this season, and she also qualified for NCAAs as a member of the Notre Dame distance medley relay. She ran a recoed time of 15:19.64 to win the ACC 5000-meter title, giving her the collegiate lead and the No. 4 spot on the all-time college performers list. She also claimed the 3000 meters ACC crown, and is ranked No. 2 in that event at 8:57.13.
Siedel, who owns NCAA championships in both track and cross country, was added to the 2016 Bowerman Trophy Watch List following her stellar performances at the ACC Indoor Championships.
Duke’s Clark, a senior from Fort Benning, Georgia, is a co-collegiate leader in the pole vault via an ACC record clearance of 15-1 (4.60m). Clark is undefeated against collegiate competition this season, and her ACC title win at 14-10 (4.52m) established a new league championships record.
Buoyed by the performances of Seidel and several other elite performers, Notre Dame’s women carry a No. 7 team ranking into the NCAAs. Duke enters ranked 15th, NC State 20th and ACC champion Miami 21st.
ACC champion Syracuse is tops among men’s ranked teams at No. 11, while Virginia Tech holds the No. 14 spot and NC State is ranked 17th.
The ACC ranks second nationally with 42 total women’s entries in track, field or relay events. Notre Dame leads conference teams with seven women’s entries, followed by Miami with six and Clemson and Florida State with five each.
The conference is represented in 26 men’s events, led by Syracuse with five.