Huge breakthrough race for Eastern graduate Jewel Ash in her first 400 of the year.
Ash, a second-year freshman at Charleston Southern, ran 55.61 at the Clemson Invitational, a big indoor-outdoor PR. Her previous fastest 400 was an outdoor 57.32 at the 2018 state Group 4 meet at Franklin Township.
Since she specializes in the 400 hurdles, she never runs the flat 400 outdoors. Indoors, her previous PR was 57.33 in a meet this past February at South Carolina.
Ash has also run 9.45 for the 60-meter hurdles and 25.24 for 200 meters this winter.
Ash’s 55.61 is No. 2 in school history and fastest in 13 years, since Dionne Gibson set the school record of 54.60 at the 2009 New Balance Invitational at the Armory in Manhattan.
Only four Charleston Southern women have run faster than 55.61 outdoors, including Gibson’s school-record 54.39 at the 2008 Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta.
Ash ran a PR 59.50 for the 400IH last spring in the semis of the Big South Championships in High Point, N.C., and went on to win the conference championship with a slightly slower time.