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June 15, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Clemson’s Marlena Wesh and April Sinkler, Florida State’s Maurice Mitchell, and Virginia Tech’s Alexander Ziegler – all of whom earned All-America First Team honors at the 2012 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships –were selected as Performers of the Year, announced by the Atlantic Coast Conference today. Also earning honors were Florida State’s Stephen Newbold and Clemson’s Dezerea Bryant, the Freshmen of the Year. The winners were selected by a vote of the head coaches of the track and field programs in the ACC.
Mitchell successfully defended his 200-meter national title and earned All-America First Team honors in three events at the national meet. The senior from Kansas City, Mo., won conference titles in the 200 meters and as a member of the 4x100 relay. This is his second straight Outdoor Track Performer of the Year honor, and he also claimed the same award for the indoor season three times.
Wesh, the Women’s Outdoor Track Performer of the Year, won ACC titles in the 400, 4x100, and 4x400 to help the Tigers clinch their third straight conference championship. The junior from Virginia Beach, Va., finished sixth in the 400 and ran on the 4x100-meter relay team that crossed in third place at the national meet. She also earned ACC Championship Most Valuable Track Performer honors earlier in the season.
Ziegler, the Men’s Outdoor Field Performer of the Year, won the national title in the hammer throw for the second straight year with a final mark of 75.78 meters, over six meters farther than second place. The junior from Dischingen, Germany also won the ACC title in the event earlier in the season to help the Hokies win their first team conference championship. This is the second career honor for Ziegler who garnered the same award in 2010.
Sinkler, a graduate student from Stafford, Va., earned All-Conference accolades in three events at the championship meet, winning the high jump and finishing in second in the triple jump and the long jump. In Des Moines for the national meet, she placed sixth in the triple jump with a mark of 13.51 meters. This is her third annual conference honor after being named the Indoor Field Performer of the Year in 2009 and 2011.
Newbold, the Men’s Freshman of the Year, earned All-Conference honors in the 400 meters with a second-place finish. The native of Nassau, Bahamas, ran on the 4x400 relay that finished third in the ACC and on the 4x100 team that placed second at the NCAA Championships. Newbold finishes his first year in Tallahassee with a sweep of the awards after previously being named the Men’s Freshman of the Year for the indoor season.
Bryant, the Outdoor Women’s Freshman of the Year, was a conference champion in three events, winning the 100 and 200 meters and running on the victorious 4x100 relay to help Clemson win the ACC title by the largest margin of victory in 18 years. At the NCAA Championships, the native of Milwaukee, Wisc., ran the third leg of the 4x100 relay as the Tigers finished in third. She was also named the Freshman of the Year during the indoor season.