Winthrop track coach Ben Paxton was beaming Monday as he looked over results from Saturday's Clemson Opener indoor track meet.
"I'm very excited about our performances," Paxton said.
Topping the list were junior Ashley Howard, sophomore Travis Coleman and freshman Keary Simms, who set school records in the 20-pound weight throw, 35-pound weight throw and triple jump.
Simms, an all-state performer from Virginia, broke Rod Lorick's triple jump mark with a leap of 47 feet, 5 inches, good for seventh place. Lorick, an All-Big South Conference performer, jumped 47-4 in 2001.
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"We knew Keary was going to become a special jumper when we recruited," Paxton said. "But to have him come out and break Rod's record in the first meet was unbelievable. And, he's still learning."
Howard, an NCAA qualifier in the discus last season, cranked out a throw of 54-9 to claim third in the one-day meet that included the host Tigers, Tennessee, Georgia and Wake Forest.
"Ashley has taken her goals to another level this year," Paxton said. "But to beat her personal best by seven feet in the first meet and break the school record is phenomenal. She's now the one to beat in the conference in both the 20-pound weight and discus."
Coleman claimed eighth in the 35-pound throw with a record effort of 46-10.
Other solid performances were turned in by Trevor Beesley and Matt Elliott, who finished third and fourth in the 3,000 meters in times of 8:38 and 8:50. Casey Lyons, the Big South cross country freshman of the year, was fourth -- 4:34 -- in the mile.
High jumper Dexter Young finished with a 6-4 effort, while Daryl Green ran a 49.41 to take eighth in the 400 meters.
Sophomore Lisa Sickman was the only other Lady Eagle to finish in the top eight. She was eighth with a time of 2:23.8 in the 800-meter run.
Two of Winthrop's top performers missed the meet because of injuries.
"Kandrick Cooper (hurdles) tweaked a hamstring last week and after he warmed up we made the decision not to push things," Paxton said. "Brandon (Hudgins, distances) has a knee problem."
The track team will return to action Jan. 11-12 at Virginia Tech.
• ACADEMIC HONOR: The men's soccer team was named to the College Team Academic Award list by NSCAA/adidas.
The Eagles, who finished 10-3-2, had a cumulative grade-point average of 3.14.
"We are certainly pleased that our athletes are performing well in both the classroom and on the field," coach Rich Posipanko said in a statement. "This is just a reflection of the quality student-athletes we have at Winthrop University, and all the help they get academically from a hard-working staff throughout the university community.
"At the end of the day, it is our goal to be successful both academically and athletically. After all, that is what the university experience is supposed to be all about."
• HELPING HANDS: The women's basketball team has partnered with the Toys For Tots program to help underprivileged children at Christmas.
Toys will be collected at Sunday's game against Johnson C. Smith.
Fans who bring a new toy will receive a free ticket with the purchase of a game ticket. Fans can also get free admission with a church bulletin.