CLEMSON, S.C.—USC Upstate's track and field season got underway on Saturday afternoon, traveling to Clemson to compete in the Orange and Purple Winter Classic.
The Spartans did not take their full compliment of participants on either the men's or women's side to the season's first indoor meet, but did see some accomplishment from the limited squads on Saturday.
Individually, the best performance by a Spartan came in the men's pole vault, as Senior Justin Crawford (Elgin, S.C.)finished second place, with a vault of 4.60m.
For the men, the day was highlighted some strong efforts by the Spartan sprinters. Senior Michael Meissner (Cottage Grove, Minn.) got his final season off to a strong start, finishing eighth in the men's 300-meter dash, as he clocked a time of 36.04. Meissner's time bested his previous school-standard mark of 37.05 set in the Niswonger Invitational (1/31/09) in Johnson City during his sophomore season .
Freshman Michael Johnson's (Elgin, S.C.) ninth-place finish in the men's 500-meter dash was one of the more superlative efforts of the afternoon for the Spartan men, as he posted a 1:07.33 time. Johnson's impressive time in the 500-meter dash was enough to overcome Derek Winslett's previous standard of 1:16.22 also set at the Niswonger (1/31/09) a couple of seasons ago.
Freshman Ben Wheeler finished eighth in the 60-meter hurdles, setting a new school mark with a time of 8.34. The previous record holder was sophomore Brandon Curry, who posted an 8.63 in the 60-meter hurdles last season at the Niswonger Invitational (1/29/10). Curry also competed in the 60-meter hurdles, and also surpassed his previously established mark, posting a time of 8.52.
Rounding out the strong performances on the men's side for the Spartans was freshman Kalib Law (Moncks Corner, S.C.), who posted a 15th-place finish in the 800-meter run, clocking a 2:05.47 time. Law's time was good enough to place fourth on Upstate's all-time ledger for the 800-meter run.
Like the men, the women had limited participants in Saturday's proceedings, as the Spartan women sprinters gained some solid experience. A pair of Spartan freshmen put forth solid efforts in the 300-meter dash, as Maya Adams (Columbia, S.C.) and Ashley Edmond (Columbia, S.C.) officially got their respective Spartan careers underway in the Orange and Purple Classic.
Edmond finished 27th in the women's 300-meter dash, clocking a 42.96 time in the event, which easily set a new school record. The previous mark was held by Kiah White, who originally set the mark broken by Edmond Saturday, with a 44.29 (1/31/09) time which was set a couple of seasons ago. Adams also competed in the women's 300-meter, finishing with a 44.80 mark.
The track and field teams will be back in action again after Christmas break, kicking off the indoor season in-full on Jan. 20 in Clemson, competing in the Upstate Track Club Indoor Classic.