Clemson wins New Balance Invite
Wesh breaks own school record in 400-meter dash
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Marlena Wesh shattered her own school record in the 400-meter dash to lead the Tigers to another gold medal and automatic NCAA qualifying performance on Saturday at the New Balance Invitational.
Clemson produced a total of five automatic NCAA qualifiers over the course of the two days at New York's famed Armory track. The Tigers won the scored meet with 93 total points, blowing away its closest competitor in BYU (64).
"The overall theme of the weekend was simple -- productive," coach Lawrence Johnson said. "It was a great weekend for our program."
Wesh led the race out of the gates for the Tigers. She cruised to a time of 52.21, winning by four 10ths of a second ahead of her closest competitor. The defending ACC indoor champion in the event, Wesh's previous best was a time of 52.88 in the NCAA Championships prelims last winter.
She went on to anchor the women's 4x400-meter relay team to another victory Saturday. The Tigers, with a lineup featuring Keni Harrison, Brianna Rollins, Nia Fluker and Wesh came home with a time of 3:35.58 to finish the meet in grand style.
Dezerea Bryant and Stormy Kendrick finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the women's 200-meter dash. In the final, Bryant ran to a time of 23.69, edging her older teammate Kendrick, who produced a time of 23.74.
Alyssa Kulik was outstanding in the mile on Saturday. She produced a time of 4:40.97, a personal best and the No. 2 mark in Clemson history. Despite being boxed out, the Tiger senior put on quite a performance. Kulik's close friend Kim Ruck was also fourth in the championship section of the 3K, as she posted a season-best time of 9:29.65.
Natalie Anthony was runner-up in the women's collegiate mile section. The sophomore from Randolph, NJ posted a time of 4:57.22. In the women's 800, freshman Brianna Blanton had a time of 2:13.44 and was fourth out of 73 runners.
Jasmine Brunson finished fifth in the championship section of the women's triple jump. She hit a season-best leap of 42'1.5", an indoor personal best for the junior from Bermuda. Shai Carpenter was 10th in the men's triple jump, as the freshman produced a top mark of 49'4.25".
Brittney Waller was fourth place in the women's weight throw. She had her best performance of the season, with three throws of at least 20 meters. Her best effort on the day was a mark of 66'0".