CLEMSON - Clemson University distance runner and 2013 Waccamaw High graduate Grace Barnett saved her best effort for the final day of last weekend's ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships.
The Clemson senior turned in her fastest time of the season in her favorite event, the women's mile, crossing the finish line in 4:38.71, a half-step behind Notre Dame's Jessica Harris, who won the event in 4:38.58.
Photos: ACC Championships by John Olson (more photos coming from Saturday) | One mile college women rankings
Barnett's performance in the mile came 18 hours after a disappointing finish for her in the women's 5000 meters last Friday night. Following that race, she said her mindset for the mile on Saturday would be to grab as many points as possible for the Tiger women, who entered Saturday's competition in 12th place with 10 points through seven events scored.
The Lady Tigers would finish the meet tied with Louisville for third place with 73 points. Barnett's second-place finish in the mile earned eight points for the women's team.
"I wanted to score as many points as possible," Barnett said. "That was my main focus."
Also on Friday, Barnett anchored the Clemson women's distance medley relay. The women turned in a time of 10:58.83; one second slower than overall winner Virginia Tech. Clemson's time in the DMR was a program record. The Clemson women also earned eight team points for that overall second-place finish.
During her collegiate career, Barnett has combined for eight all-ACC honors, with standout performances in every mile and DMR event at the ACC indoor championships from 2014 through this season. In 2016, she became the 10th female in Clemson history to earn All-American honors in cross country.
At Waccamaw, Barnett won state honors in the 800, 1600 and 3200 during her senior year.
Barnett received her undergraduate degree from Clemson last December and is currently in graduate school. She plans to teach at the elementary school level upon graduation.
As for her running career, Barnett said her primary focus would be on teaching.
"Running will always be a part of my life, but I'm not sure to what extent right now."