Auburn Track And Field Teams Start Strong At Clemson Challenge
Jan. 15, 2011
AUBURN - The Auburn men's and women's track and field teams opened the 2011 indoor season with a strong performance Saturday at the Clemson Challenge, winning five events and recording six marks that rank in the top 10 in Auburn indoor history.
The No. 11-ranked Auburn men won four events during the meet, which included Auburn, Georgia, Miami (Fla.) and host Clemson, while the No. 7-ranked women won one. The Tigers' success came despite not taking some of their top athletes.
"I'm pleased with our effort, considering we were coming off a short week of preparation" said head coach Ralph Spry. "We just wanted to get the ball rolling and we had a few good performances today. "
The men dominated two events in particular. In the shot put, redshirt freshman Stephen Saenz finished first in his first collegiate meet with a throw of 18.59 meters (61-0) that ranks him fifth in school history. He finished just ahead of senior Eric Werskey, who took second with a mark of 17.65 meters (57-11), while freshman Marcus Popenfoose was fifth with a throw of 16.35 meters (53-7.75).
In the men's 60 meters, sophomore Harry Adams finished first with a time of 6.67 seconds, which is just .02 seconds off his personal best that ranks fourth in school history. Senior Michael DeHaven took fourth in a personal best of 6.76 seconds that ranks sixth in school history, while freshman Keenan Brock was fifth in 6.80 seconds - a time that ranks eighth in Auburn history.
Two other newcomers also won events in their first collegiate meets for the men. Freshman DJ Smith won the high jump with a mark of 2.13 meters (6-11.75), just missing a spot in the Auburn all-time top 10 by a quarter of an inch, while freshman Nick Farrell won the pole vault with a mark of 4.90 meters (16-0.75) that is ninth best in Auburn indoor history.
Auburn's other top-three finisher on the men's side was junior Neil Danville, who took third in the 400 meters in 49.79 seconds.
Auburn's best event on the women's side was the mile, as seniors Stephanie Barnes and Holly Knight took first and second, respectively in a tight finish. Barnes took the top spot with a time of 4:53.22, while Knight finished in 4:53.55, posting the 10th and 11th best indoor times in Auburn history.
Junior Ashley Cruder finished second in the finals of the women's 60 meters with a time of 7.46 seconds that ties for 10th best in Auburn indoor history. Senior Erica Akins was third in the long jump (5.52 meters, 18-1.5) and fourth in the triple jump (11.51 meters, 37-9.25). Sophomore Maya Pressley finished fourth in the high jump with a mark of 1.70 meters (5-7), just ahead of sophomore Monica Carney (1.65 meters, 5-5).
"The focus today was just to line up and compete and see where we stand right now," said Spry. "Now we have two weeks to get ready for our next competition, and hopefully we'll have some good weather so that we can train and get sharper."
The Tigers will take next week off before returning to action on Jan. 29 with some athletes returning to Clemson for the Clemson Games, and others traveling to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Razorback Invitational.
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