April 18, 2009
Uplifted by four top-five finishes including a win in the triple jump by junior Alphonso Jordan, the Georgia Tech men’s track & field team placed fourth at the 2009 Outdoor ACC Championships Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla. The Jacket women placed sixth in the three-day meet.
“I can’t be more proud of the way our men competed at the meet,” men’s head coach Grover Hinsdale said.” “We couldn’t do any more than we did as they gave it their all, and we had incredible performances as individuals and most importantly as a team.”
Jordan was a work-horse for the Jackets as the Charlotte, N.C. native competed in three events on the day, four in the entire meet. Jordan out-leaped the field in the triple jump with a mark of 52’8″, tying his personal-best distance and grabbing his first-ever outdoor ACC Title. Jordan then joined his teammates to run the first leg of the 4×100 meter dash, helping the Jackets finish sixth in a time of 42.05. Banged up but not finished, he then elected to take part in the 110 meter hurdle finals. Though he finished in eighth with a time of 18.70, Jordan’s valiant effort was noted.
Senior David Ford just missed an All-ACC performance in the 110 hurdles as his personal-best time of 14.43 was the fourth-fastest in the finals.
Junior Steve Marcelle had another big day of his own, placing second in the discus throw with a distance of 188’5″. Marcelle earned his second All-ACC honor at the meet as he took the title in the shot put on Friday. The Green Bay, Wisc. native shattered his personal-best mark by over eight-inches.
Also earning All-ACC on the day with another outstanding effort was senior E.C. Gibbs, who finished third in the men’s 1500m run with a personal-best time of 3:45.09. With incredibly strong wind conditions, Gibbs showed has bravery by leading almost the whole race before the rest of the pack caught up in the end.
“Our team performed really well throughout the weekend and we’re very proud of them,” women’s head coach Alan Drosky said. “It’s always easy after the competition to see where you could have performed better and maybe moved up a place or two. But we competed hard and fought for every point, and that’s what we’ve tried to instill in them. We were able to add a few regional qualifiers and secure a couple of All-ACC performances, and most important, we continue to grow together as a team.”
On the women’s side, sophomores Erica Penk and Joanna Wright each broke the Tech record in the pole vault, with identical clearances of 12’11.50″. Penk’s outstanding height was good enough for third-place, while Wright’s earned fifth because of number of misses at an earlier height. Penk earned All-ACC honors on the day and both vaulters earned an NCAA East Regional bid.
The Jackets return to competition next weekend at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa.