CLEMSON, S.C. – January 7 marks a monumental day in Clemson track & field history as the program will debut what is expected to be the fastest track in the country on Saturday. The Tigers will host 14 teams in the Orange and Purple Classic with action beginning at 10:00 a.m. The invitational is Clemson’s first-of-five home indoor meets this season.
The field of competitors is highlighted by SEC powerhouses Florida and Georgia. Florida’s men are coming off their third outdoor national title while the women tied for ninth in outdoor competition. The men are just the third team since 1992 to win the outdoor championship after finishing outside the top-five at indoor nationals. The Gators took seventh at the Indoor NCAA Championships while the women tied for 14th. Georgia’s women outperformed Florida at each of the NCAA Championships as the Bulldogs took third in both, indoor and outdoor competition.
Unlike Florida and Georgia, Clemson has already begun its indoor campaign as Grace Barnett kicked off the season breaking her own program record at the Reveille Invitational in College Station, Texas. Barnett won the mile with a time of 4:35.66 in a field of 19 competitors. The time stands as the fastest mile in the world this season and was a full 16 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Barnett’s career best time is a full two seconds faster than the Clemson record she set last season. Comparing the time to last year’s indoor season, Barnett’s race Saturday afternoon would have been the sixth fastest time in the country heading into last year’s NCAA Championships.
Due to inclement weather, continue to check ClemsonTigers.com for schedule updates regarding the Orange and Purple Classic.