NCAA Outdoor Track & Field ACCtion: Saturday, June 11

June 11, 2011

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Two of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s men’s squads finished among the top five, including Florida State, which fell one point shy of first place, and Virginia Tech, which registered a program-best fifth place finish, at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Clemson placed highest among the league’s women’s teams, coming in at seventh and matching its best finish in program history. The Seminoles added two more national titles as the men’s 400-meter relay squad and Maurice Mitchell ascended the top podium spot.

The combined 10 event championships are a conference record, besting the mark of nine set in 2006. The six men’s titles match the league record set in 2006, while the four women’s championships tie for the second-most in conference history, which has happened on two previous occasions.

Seven men’s squads placed in the top 46, led by Florida State (2nd, 54 points) and Virginia Tech (5th, 36 points). Also placing were Virginia (T-25th, 10 points), Duke (T-34th, 8 points), Clemson (T-38th, 6 points), North Carolina (T-40th, 5.5 points) and Maryland (T-46th, 4 points).

On the women’s side, eight teams finished in the top 60, led by Clemson (7th, 28 points). Duke came in next (16th, 17 points), followed by Virginia Tech and Florida State (T-20th, 14 points). Miami (T-27th, 11 points), Virginia (T-29th, 10 points), North Carolina (T-54th, 3 points) and NC State (T-60th, 2 points) rounded out the field.

A total of 45 ACC student-athletes garnered First Team All-America status. Mitchell was joined by teammate Ngoni Makusha in earning First Team All-America honors in three different events. Fellow Seminole Brandon Byram, Clemson’s Michaylin Golladay and Miami’s Ti’erra Brown collected First Team All-America accolades in two different events. An additional 24 student-athletes claimed Second Team All-America nods. Six more were named both First and Second Team All-America. Clemson’s April Sinkler, the only student-athlete, male or female, to qualify for three separate events at the national meet, registered three top 15 finishes to receive First or Second Team All-America status in all three.

The Seminoles captured the program’s second men’s 400-meter relay championship, racing to a 38.77 clip. Despite a near-mishap with the exchange on the first handoff, Florida State crossed the finish line 14-hundredths of a second faster than second-place Texas A&M. Juniors Kemar Hyman, Ngoni Makusha and Maurice Mitchell teamed with senior Brandon Byram to bring home Florida State’s first title in the event since 2007. The ACC has now won four championships in the event. The time improves upon this season’s conference best, set by the Seminoles in April, by ten-hundredths of a second.

Mitchell clinched the first individual national championship of his career, besting the field in the men’s 200-meter dash. His time of 19.99 bested the Drake Stadium record set in 1997 by six-hundredths of a second. The junior from Kansas City, Mo., crossed the finish line 39-hundredths of a second before the closest competitor. His mark is the fastest wind-aided time in the entire world this year. The ACC has now claimed seven titles in the event with fellow Seminole Charles Clark taking back-to-back championships in 2008 and 2009. Florida State has accounted for six of those titles and now has seven overall, with one coming before the school joined the conference.


FSU Men: National Runner-Up

DES MOINES, Iowa ( - The Florida State men's track & field team finished as the national runner-up at the NCAA Outdoor Championships Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa, scoring 54 points while champion Texas A&M wound up with 55 points.

The entire meet came down to the final event of the day on Drake University's campus as the Aggies needed to win the men's 4x400m relay and did so. FSU boasted a lead entering the final day and registered 25 points to make the final moments all the more exciting.

The Seminoles finished with one more point than Florida's 53.

"In terms of the meet, we competed better than any school in America," FSU head coach Bob Braman said. "We got as much as we humanly could while we were here. In the end, NCAA runner-up by one point is pretty special and that's extraordinarily special. We just need to find a way to be two points better."

Despite a near-mishap with the exchange on the first handoff, the Seminole men got a huge boost early in the day with a championship performance in the 4x100m relay. Kemar Hyman, Ngoni Makusha, Maurice Mitchell and Brandon Byram generated 10 points with a 38.77 performance.

Virginia Tech Men Earn Highest NCAA Finish Ever, Placing Fifth

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech wrapped up its weekend at the NCAA Championships Saturday, crowning three more All-Americans to give the men's team their highest finish ever, placing fifth with 36 points. Their previous best finish was 10th, set at last year's outdoor meet. The women finished tied for 20th with 14 points.

The totals for the weekend include two individual NCAA Champions, with Alexander Ziegler and Dorotea Habazin sweeping the men's and women's hammer throws as the ninth and tenth NCAA Champions in Virginia Tech history. Twelve Hokies were named All-American, nine first team and three second team, with four finishing in the top three in their respective event.

"It was a fantastic national meet for Virginia Tech," said Director of Track and Field Dave Cianelli. "Fifth place for the men and 20th for the women and two individual National Champions! This performance shows we continue to be one of the elite programs in the nation. I must congratulate each of our coaches and staff as they prepared our athletes so well for this meet. I am proud to be a Hokie today!"

Hasheem Halim and David Wilson earned first team All-America honors in the men's triple jump Saturday, becoming the first Hokies to finish in the top eight in the event since 1987. Halim moved into fourth place in his fifth attempt with a new personal best jump of 53-3.75 (16.25m), less than an inch shy of the school record.

Clemson Women Finish Seventh at NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

DES MOINES, Iowa - Alyssa Kulik finished fourth in the 3000-meter steeplechase to lead the Clemson women's track & field team to a seventh-place finish Saturday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Tigers compiled 28 points over the four-day meet at Drake Stadium. It tied Clemson's best finish in women's outdoor track & field, as the 2001 team also placed seventh. Texas A&M (49) won the women's championship, followed by Oregon (45) in second place.

"Our finish was a good compliment to the group," said Lawrence Johnson, Clemson's Director of Track & Field. "Our seniors really came through for us. We had some missed assignments this week, but overall it was still a total team effort. The kids came alive the last couple of days and did the things necessary for them to perform at a high level. I'm excited about the future."

Kulik made the most out of becoming the first Clemson female to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the steeplechase. The junior from Mauldin High School (Simpsonville, SC) produced yet another personal best and school record in the event after crossing the finish line with a time of 9:57.51. Her fourth-place effort was the best finish by a Tiger female in a distance event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships since Mareike Ressing's fourth-place 3K finish in 1991.

Duke's Van Buskirk Takes Third at NCAA Championships

DES MOINES, Iowa - The most successful NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Duke history has come to a close with a national champion, a national runner up and a total of six All-Americans.

In the final Duke event of the meet, fifth-year senior Kate Van Buskirk ran and exceptionally smart 1500m. Starting on the outside, Kate fell back and watched the race develop. Coming through the first 300 in 51.7, Kate stayed patient and hugged the inside of the track.

After 500m, the leaders picked up the pace hoping to catch anyone sleeping. Kate stayed aware and ran with them, staying within striking distance. At 2:03.96 with 800 left, Kate maintained her composure, stuck to her race plan, and held her position waiting to make a move. With the final 400 to go, the pace picked up and Kate moved up into the middle of the pack on the backstretch.

Miami's Brown Ends Collegiate Career With All-America Performance

DES MOINES, Iowa - In her final collegiate race, University of Miami senior Ti'erra Brown earned her seventh All-America honor after her performance in the 100m hurdles Saturday afternoon at the NCAA National Championships at Drake Stadium.

A day after winning her first NCAA national title in the 400m hurdles, Brown placed eighth in the high hurdles with a time of 13.19 seconds.

"Ti'erra has been an All-American each year of her career," said Director of Track and Field Amy Deem. "She has upheld a strong tradition in the hurdles at the University of Miami."

With her title on Friday and her performance on Saturday, the Hampton, Va. native accounted for all 11 of the Canes' team points, putting them in a tie for 27th place with TCU. Texas A&M earned the men's and women's team titles with 55 and 49 points respectively.

Six of Brown's seven All-America performances have come at the outdoor championships and her total ranks sixth in program history, with Dominque Darden holding an impressive 15 honors.

UNC Women's 4x400 Takes Sixth, Breaks School Record

DES MOINES, Iowa- The Carolina women's 4x400 team capped off a successful showing at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships as they took sixth and lowered their own school record from yesterday on the fourth and final day of the meet. The team of junior Elizabeth Mott, senior LaToya James and juniors Tasha Stanley and Zoey Russell earned All-America status for their finish.

On Thursday night, Carolia was on the track to start the final heat of the 4x400 prelims when the meet was called due to severe weather. They returned to the track Friday morning to complete the event, qualifying for finals with the fifth-fastest time (3:31.67) and breaking the school record of 3:32.17 set 21 years ago in 1990.

Mott, James, Stanley and Russell came back strong once again today as they lowered their time once again (3:31.41) and took sixth place. James and Stanley also competed earlier in the meet, as James took 13th in the 400-meter hurdles (56.95) and Stanley finished 22nd in the 800 (2:09.44).

Seniors Parker Smith and Mateo Sossah earned the other two All-America honors for Carolina. Smith tied for fourth in the men's pole vault on Wednesday (17-2 1/4) and Sossah placed seventh in the decathlon (7,870 points).

NC State's Colley, Hill Earn Honorable Mention Honors

DES MOINES, Iowa - NC State completed its participation in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday afternoon, with both redshirt freshman Andrew Colley of Williamsburg, Va., and sophomore Ryan Hill of Hickory, N.C., earning honorable-mention All-America honors in the 5,000-meter run.

Colley, competing in his first NCAA outdoor event, finished 17th overall with a time of 14:01.79 and was the top finisher among the four participants from the ACC. Meanwhile, Hill was 19th with a time of 14:09.42.

Hill has now won five different All-America honors: two in cross country, one in indoor track and two in outdoor track.

The Wolfpack women finished tied for 60th, thanks to the two points won by true freshman Kenyetta Iyevbele of Charlotte, N.C., who finished seventh Friday night in the 800-meter race to become the first Wolfpack runner, male or female, to earn All-America honors in that event.

Sophomore Andie Cozzarelli of Apex, N.C., earned second-team All-America honors with her 13th place finish Wednesday night in the 10,000-meter race.

Virginia's Garcia Claims Runner-Up Honors in Steeplechase at NCAA Championships

DES MOINES, Iowa - Senior Stephanie Garcia earned a runner-up finish in the 3000m steeplechase on the final day of the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake University. With her finish, Garcia becomes the highest individual finisher on the track for UVa's women's program. Her time of 9:47.29 breaks the all-time Atlantic Coast Conference record set by Florida State's Barbara Parker at 9:48.82 in 2007.

In addition, junior Morgane Gay finished seventh in the 1500m to earn her second All-America honor in the event.

As a team, the Cavalier women finished tied for 29th with 10 points, marking the best finish for the program since earning a 25th-place finish in 1990. The 10 points are the most for the program since 1983.

On the men's side, Virginia earned 10 points to finish tied for 25th.

"Perhaps our score does not reflect this, but both our men and our women had a phenomenal meet," director of track and field Jason Vigilante said. "Starting with Erin Wykoff in the discus on Wednesday, her best mark of over 51 meters traditionally always scores at the NCAA Championships. Andy Fahringer threw over 70 meters in the javelin. Lyndsay Harper ran one of the best times she's ever run. Ayla Smith ran a school record with another performance that always scores at the NCAA Championship.