NCAA Outdoor Track & Field ACCtion: Five ACC Student-Athletes Clinch National Titles in Six Events on Day Three

June 11, 2011

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Atlantic Coast Conference student-athletes combined to bring home six national titles Friday at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Two men and three women ascended the top podium spot on the day, giving the league eight championships through three days of competition. The conference record is nine combined titles, which was set in 2006. Florida State’s Ngoni Makusha made history by becoming just the fourth student-athlete to win both the men’s long jump and 100-meter dash at the national meet.

With 14 events completed, seven of the league’s men’s squads have scored points. On the strength of four top-six finishes, including Makusha’s two titles, Florida State is currently in the lead with 29 points. Virginia Tech, which led heading into the day, added two top-eight finishes and is currently tied for second with 28 points. Virginia is tied for 18th with 10 points. Duke (T-27th, 8 points), Clemson (T-34th, 6 points), North Carolina (36th, 5.5 points) and Maryland (T-41st, 4 points) round out the league’s men’s teams.

Six women’s squads have scored points through 14 events. Behind three top-eight finishes, Clemson is tied for ninth with 19 points. Duke is tied for 15th with 11 points, while Virginia Tech and Miami are each tied for 17th with 10 points. Florida State (T-25th, 8 points) and NC State (T-50th, 2 points) round out the league’s women’s teams.

Makusha successfully defended his back-to-back men’s long jump championships at the 2011 Outdoor Track & Field Championships, leaping to a personal best mark of 27-6.75 (8.40m), which came on his fourth jump. The junior from Zimbabwe has now claimed four national titles in the event, with three coming at the outdoor meet and one at the 2011 indoor meet. His mark broke his own conference record by four inches, which he set at last year’s national meet. Makusha also bested the Drake Stadium mark, set in 2010, by one and one-quarter inches. The distance now ranks fourth all-time in NCAA Outdoor Championships history and is currently second best in the world this year. He followed his fourth jump with a leap of 27-5.2, which currently ranks third best in the world this year. Makusha shattered college, NCAA meet and Drake Stadium records en route to claiming top honors in the men’s 100-meter dash. His time of 9.89 bested the college record by one-hundredth of a second, the NCAA meet record by three-hundredths and the stadium record by 12-hundredths. The mark, a new personal best, is also the fourth-fastest time in the world this year. This marks the ACC’s fourth title in the event with Florida State now accounting for three. Former Seminole Walter Dix won the event in both 2005 and 2007.

Virginia’s Robby Andrews claimed top honors in the men’s 800-meter run, racing to a personal-best time of 1:44.7 and besting second place by four-hundredths of a second. This marks the second title of his career in the event after he won at the national indoor meet in 2010. Trailing with 200 meters to go in the race, the sophomore from Englishtown, N.J., made a kick to move into first and clinch the title. His time set a new Drake Stadium record, besting the mark set in 2010 and also now ranks second all-time in Virginia’s record books. Andrews is the second Cavalier to win an outdoor national championship as Paul Ereng won back-to-back titles in the 800-meter run in 1988 and 1989. He and Ereng have combined for all three of the ACC’s championships in the event.

Clemson’s Patricia Mamona successfully defended her women’s triple jump title, registering a leap of 46-1.25 (14.05m) in the fourth round. She became just the second female in Clemson track & field history to win two individual national titles. The redshirt senior from Lisbon, Portugal, posted what would have been a victorious mark, leaping to a distance of 45-2.5 in the second round. However, two jumps later she improved upon that mark and claimed the 10th event championship in Clemson women’s track & field history. Mamona gave the ACC its third consecutive triple jump championship and fifth overall. All five of the league’s titles in the event have come since 2002.

Miami’s Ti’erra Brown clinched the ACC’s second consecutive title in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. She raced to a time of 55.642, edging the second place finisher by four-thousandths of a second. The senior from Hampton, Va., becomes the sixth woman in Miami program history to win an NCAA outdoor national title. She also collected All-America honors for the sixth time. Brown took second place in the event at last season’s national meet.

Virginia Tech’s Dorotea Habazin became the fifth individual and second female student-athlete to earn a national title at Virginia Tech, taking top honors in the women’s hammer throw. Her victorious toss of 223-7 (68.15m) came in the third round. The second place finisher posed a threat on her final throw but fell four inches shy, clinching the title for Habazin. The senior from Zagreb, Croatia, is the second ACC student-athlete to win the event and the first since Clemson’s Jamine Moton in 2002. Habazin bested the conference record, set by Moton, by more than three feet. The runner-up at last year’s national meet, she is now a three-time All-America in the event.

Saturday marks the final day of competition. Live results are available throughout the meet at FlashResults.com. CBS will broadcast the action from 1 to 3 p.m.