Richard Thompson (right) was part of a historic double in the 60 meters
Photo by:Bryan Wayne, Special to LSUsports.net
Women's Track & Field Runners-Up at NCAA Indoors; Men Fourth
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Published: March 15, 2008, 12:00 AM (CT)
Updated: October 29, 2009, 03:32 AM (CT)
by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports), LSU Sports Interactive

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- LSU athletes won four NCAA titles Saturday to lead the Lady Tigers to a runner-up finish and the Tigers to a fourth-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

Senior sprinters Kelly Baptiste and Richard Thompson made history by sweeping NCAA titles in the 60-meter dash, while sophomore LaTavia Thomas was crowned NCAA champion in the 800-meter run and the women’s 4x400-meter relay won its fifth NCAA indoor title all-time.

The Lady Tigers scored 43 points over the course of two days of competition to finish runner-up to back-to-back champion Arizona State (51) for the second straight year.

The Tigers totaled 33 points of their own to finish behind Arizona State (44), Florida State (41) and Texas (34) in the men’s standings. This is only the second time that one school has swept team titles at the NCAA Indoor Championships as LSU also accomplished the feat in 2004.

“You can’t point to any one thing for why we didn’t win the track meet,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “I thought the kids competed extremely well today and wore the purple and gold and the LSU across their chest with a lot of pride. You cannot question how our kids competed over the course of the two days. We just came up a little short in the end.

“I’ve got to give credit to my good friend Greg Kraft at Arizona State for their performance this weekend. They came in prepared and performed very well for two days of the track meet. He and his staff have done a tremendous job with the success they’ve had the last two years.”

Thompson and Baptiste became the first athletes from the same university to sweep 60-meter titles in the history of the NCAA Indoor Championships. Thompson equaled his school record set in the prelims with the fastest time in the world at 6.51 seconds, while Baptiste beat Alexandria Anderson of Texas by a mere six one-thousandths of a second with a time of 7.17.

This marks the first time in their LSU careers that Thompson and Baptiste have won an individual NCAA championship. Thompson is the first Tiger to ever win a 60-meter title, while Baptiste is the first Lady Tiger to do so since Muna Lee won back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004.

Not only did Thompson win the men’s 60-meter title, but teammate Trindon Holliday earned his first All-America honor in the event after earning a runner-up finish with a personal best of 6.54. Sophomore Samantha Henry also earned All-America honors with a fifth-place finish in the women’s race with a time of 7.24.

The duo of Thompson and Holliday made even more school history as this is the first time a Tigers male athlete has ever been named an All-American in the 60-meter dash.

“That was an awesome display of sprinting by our kids in the 60,” Shaver said. “I knew in the warm-up area that Richard and Trindon were going to go 1-2 in the final. They showed up ready to compete and got the job done. I thought they handled the pressure of being the favorites very well and showed just what kind of competitors they are by going 1-2.

“I’m also very proud of Kelly Ann (Baptiste) for what she did. She’s won a lot of All-America honors and scored a lot of points for us in the past, but this is the first time she’s ever won an individual title at the NCAA meet. She stepped it up big for us in her last appearance at this meet.”

Like Baptiste, Thomas was crowned an NCAA champion for the first time in her young career as she turned in a gold-medal winning performance in the women’s 800-meter run.

After qualifying for Saturday’s final with the fastest preliminary time in the field at 2 minutes, 6.30 seconds, Thomas rode the hip of defending champion Alysia Johnson of California for three laps before beating Johnson (2:05.47) to the finish line on the fourth and final lap in 2:05.07.

This also marks the first time in her career that Thomas has earned an individual All-America honor as she is the first Lady Tiger to win an NCAA indoor title in the 800 meters since LSU great Marian Burnett in 2002.

“I thought LaTavia really had a breakout performance at this meet,” Shaver said. “She’s a tremendous competitor, and I thought she ran a very smart race today. It’s not about how fast you run but who crosses the finish line first at the championship meets, and she understood that. She got out and ran a great race to beat some really talented half-milers and the defending champion.”

The Lady Tigers wrapped up the meet by winning their fifth NCAA indoor title in school history in the 4x400-meter relay with a seasonal best time of 3:31.14.

The foursome of senior Brooklynn Morris, junior Nickiesha Wilson, Thomas and senior Deonna Lawrence edged the squad from Texas A&M to win its second straight NCAA title after winning gold at the NCAA Outdoor Championships a year ago. Both Wilson (52.42) and Thomas (52.63) ran sub 53-second splits, while Lawrence anchored with a blistering two-lap time of 51.98.

Two LSU middle distance runners also earned All-America honors on the final day of the competition as senior Elkana Kosgei and junior Reuben Twijukye combined for 12 points in the men’s 800 meters. Kosgei finished runner-up with a time of 1:49.47 and Twijukye took fifth place after crossing the finish line in 1:49.66.

In addition, junior Andrea Linton finished ninth in the triple jump with a mark of 43 feet, 7 inches, while sophomore John Kosgei placed 14th in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:10.67 and sophomore Katelyn Rodrigue was 17th in the pole vault with a clearance of 12-9 .

The purple and gold was on display at this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships as the Tigers and Lady Tigers combined for four NCAA titles in individual events, while LSU athletes earned a total of 12 All-America honors on the weekend.

“Of course we would have liked to win the track meet, but I couldn’t be more proud of the way both teams competed this weekend,” Shaver said. “We certainly feel like we can do a lot better, and I think we will be much better as we head into the outdoor season.”

The Tigers and Lady Tigers will waste no time in kicking off the outdoor season as they travel to Tucson, Ariz., next weekend to compete in the Willy Wilson Invitation on March 22. The squads will begin the quest for outdoor supremacy as the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are scheduled from June 11-14 in Des Moines, Iowa.

2008 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Results
Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. (All race distances in meters)

Men’s

60
1. Richard Thompson, LSU, 6.51; 2. Trindon Holliday, LSU, 6.54; 3. Travis Padgett, Clemson, 6.60; 4. Adam Harris, Michigan, 6.62; 5. J-Mee Samuels, Arkansas, 6.64; 6. Gerald Phiri, Texas A&M, 6.64; 7. Rubin Williams, Tennessee, 6.72; 8. Michael Ray Garvin, Florida State, 6.74.

400
1. Andretti Bain, Oral Roberts, 46.19; 2. Joel Phillip, Arizona State, 46.27; 3. Jordan Boase, Washington, 46.34; 4. Bobby McCoy, Arizona, 46.36; 5. Calvin Smith, Florida, 46.44; 6. Miles Smith, Southeast Missouri, 46.46; 7. Lukas Hulett, Nebraska, 47.22; 8. Jimmie Gordon, Arizona State, 47.47.

800
1. Tyler Mulder, Northern Iowa, 1:49.20; 2. Elkana Kosgei, LSU, 1:49.47; 3. Ross Ridgewell, Georgia, 1:49.52; 4. Tim Harris, Miami, 1:49.63; 5. Reuben Twijukye, LSU, 1:49.66; 6. Shaun Smith, Oral Roberts, 1:50.33; 7. Keith Jensen, BYU, 1:50.43; 8. Abraham Mach, Central Michigan, 1:57.73.

Mile
1. Leonel Manzano, Texas, 4:04.45; 2. Jake Morse, Texas, 4:04.88; 3. Andrew Acosta, Oregon, 4:04.90; 4. Garrett Heath, Stanford, 4:05.04; 5. Sam Bair III, Pittsburgh, 4:05.50; 6. Jake Watson, Notre Dame, 4:05.51; 7. Jeff See, Ohio State, 4:05.75; 8. Micky Cobrin, Arkansas, 4:05.99.

3,000
1. Kyle Alcorn, Arizona State, 8:00.82; 2. Andrew Bumbalough, Georgetown, 8:02.22; 3. Kyle Perry, BYU, 8:02.63; 4. Robert Curtis, Villanova, 8:02.79; 5. Kurt Benninger, Notre Dame, 8:03.61; 6. Josh McDougal, Liberty, 8:03.77; 7. Sean Quigley, La Salle, 8:05.20; 8. David McNeill, Northern Arizona, 8:06.18.

4x400
1. Baylor, 3:05.66; 2. TCU, 3:06.19; 3. Arizona State, 3:06.34; 4. Texas A&M, 3:06.37; 5. Florida, 3:07.34; 6. Florida State, 3:07.47; 7. Oregon, 3:07.89; 8. Western Kentucky, 3:08.16.

High Jump
1. Dusty Jonas, Nebraska, 7-7; 2. Scott Sellers, Kansas State, 7-4 ; 3. Ehi Oamen, Northern Iowa, 7-2 ; 4. Ivan Diggs, Houston, 7-2 ; 5. Will Littleton, Texas-Pan American, 7-2 ; 6. Norris Frederick, Washington, 7-2 ; 7. Ed Wright, California, 7-0 ; 8. Ryan Grinnell, Boise State, 7-0 .

Triple Jump
1. Nkosinza Balumbu, Arkansas, 54-3 ; 2. Tydree Lewis, Oklahoma, 54-2 ; 3. Jonathan Jackson, TCU, 53-6 ; 4. Muhammad Halim, Cornell, 53-3 ; 5. Anthony Flemons, Texas Tech, 52-10 ; 6. Ryan Grinnell, Boise State, 52-3 ; 7. Shardae Boutte, Oklahoma, 52-2 ; 8. Rayon Taylor, Florida State, 52-1 .

Weight Throw
1. Egor Agafonov, Kansas, 74-6 ; 2. Jake Dunkleberger, Auburn, 72-11 ; 3. Walter Henning, North Carolina, 72-3; 4. Jon Pullum, Purdue, 72-3; 5. Simon Wardhaugh, Boise State, 71-11 ; 6. Matthew Wauters, Idaho, 70-9; 7. Boldizsar Kocsor, UCLA, 70-1 ; 8. Chris Rohr, Missouri, 70-0 .

Heptathlon
1. Gonzalo Barroilhet, Florida State, 5,951; 2. Josh Hustedt, Stanford, 5,836; 3. Mike Morrison, Florida, 5,792; 4. Nick Adcock, Missouri, 5,776; 5. Jangy Addy, Tennessee, 5,683; 6. Ashton Eaton, Oregon, 5,676; 7. Raven Cepeda, Northern Iowa, 5,657; 8. Rok Derzanic, Kansas State, 5,645.

TEAM STANDINGS (17 events scored)
1. Arizona State, 44; 2. Florida State, 41; 3. Texas, 34; 4. LSU, 33; 5. Tennessee, 26; 6. Arkansas, 24; 7. Stanford, 23; 8. Florida, 19; 9; Northern Iowa, 18; 10. Washington, 17.

Women’s

60
1. Kelly Baptiste, LSU, 7.17; 2. Alexandria Anderson, Texas, 7.17; 3. Bianca Knight, Texas, 7.21; 4. Lakecia Ealey, Florida, 7.23; 5. Samantha Henry, LSU, 7.24; 6. Nickesha Anderson, Kansas, 7.28; 7. Gloria Asumnu, Tulane, 7.29; 8. Courtney Champion, Tennessee, 7.36.

400
1. Krista Simkins, Miami, 52.16; 2. Trish Bartholomew, Alabama, 52.37; 3. Jessica Beard, Texas A&M, 52.48; 4. Shana Cox, Penn State, 52.57; 5. Kineke Alexander, Iowa, 52.72; 6. Jenna Martin, Kentucky, 53.15; 7. Sheryl Morgan, Nebraska, 53.53; 8. Kenyata Coleman, Ole Miss, 54.60.

800
1. LaTavia Thomas, LSU, 2:05.07; 2. Heather Dorniden, Minnesota, 2:05.45; 3. Alysia Johnson, California, 2:05.47; 4. Geena Gall, Michigan, 2:05.79; 5. Becky Horn, Western Michigan, 2:05.83; 6. Jesse Carlin, Pennsylvania, 2:06.48; 7. Trisa Nickoley, Missouri, 2:06.69; 8. Lavera Morris, Kentucky, 2:07.38.

Mile
1. Hannah England, Florida State, 4:35.30; 2. Nicole Edwards, Michigan, 4:35.74; 3. Sarah Bowman, Tennessee, 4:36.00; 4. Dacia Barr, Arkansas, 4:41.02; 5. Amanda Miller, Washington, 4:41.56; 6. Katie Follett, Washington, 4:41.88; 7. Elizabeth Maloy, Georgetown, 4:44.25; 8. Ann Detmer, Wisconsin, 4:44.79.

3,000
1. Susan Kuijken, Florida State, 8:58.14; 2. Brie Felnagle, North Carolina, 9:00.31; 3. Arianna Lambie, Stanford, 9:05.41; 4. Lauren Centrowitz, Stanford, 9:11.09; 5. Marisa Ryan, Boston, 9:12.83; 6. Nicole Bush, Michigan State, 9:13.48; 7. Marie-Louise Asselin, West Virginia, 9:14.44; 8. Lauren Hagans, Baylor, 9:15.12.

4x400
1. LSU, 3:31.14; 2. Texas A&M, 3:31.34; 3. Arizona State, 3:33.63; 4. Texas, 3:33.69; 5. Penn State, 3:34.00; 6. South Carolina, 3:34.00; 7. Arkansas, 3:34.66; 8. Tennessee, 3:35.85.

Pole Vault
1. Ellie Rudy, Montana State, 14-1 ; 2. April Kubishta, Arizona State, 14-1 ; 3. Kate Sultanova, Kansas, 13-11 ; 4. Alicia Rue, Minnesota, 13-11 ; 5. Denise von Eynatten, South Florida, 13-11 ; 6. Mallory Peck, Purdue, 13-9 ; 7. Kelley DiVesta, Washington, 13-9 ; 8. Stephanie Bagan, San Diego State, 13-5 .

Triple Jump
1. Erica McLain, Stanford, 46-7 ; 2. Kimberly Williams, Florida State, 45-4 ; 3. Karoline Koehler, San Diego State, 44-8 ; 4. Blessing Okagbare, UTEP, 44-6 ; 5. Nelly Tchayem, UTEP, 44-0 ; 6. Tahari James, Boston, 44-0 ; 7. Tamara Highsmith, Connecticut, 43-10 ; 8. Sarah Nambawa, Middle Tennessee State, 43-10 .

Shot Put
1. Mariam Kevkhishvili, Florida, 58-6; 2. 2. Sarah Stevens, Arizona State, 57-10 ; 3. Patience Knight, Texas Tech, 56-8; 4. Susan King, Memphis, 55-5 ; 5. Jessica Pressley, Arizona State, 55-0 ; 6. Shernelle Nicholls, Missouri, 54-10; 7. Brittany Pryor, Virginia Tech, 54-7 ; 8. Stephanie Horton, Kansas, 54-5 .

Pentathlon
1. Jacquelyn Johnson, Arizona State, 4,496; 2. Bettie Wade, Michigan, 4,366; 3. Shevell Quinley, Arizona, 4,256; 4. Annett Wichmann, Hawaii-Manoa, 4,177; 5. Gayle Hunter, Penn State, 4,141; 6. Liz Roehrig, Minnesota, 4,137; 7. Julianne Kennedy, Texas Tech, 4,116; 8. Charlotte Abrahamsen, Memphis, 4,103.

TEAM STANDINGS (17 events scored)
1. Arizona State, 51; 2. LSU, 43; 3. Michigan, 39; 4. Texas, 35; 5. Stanford, 32; 6. Florida State, 28; 7. Texas A&M, 23; 8. Florida, 19; t8. Tennessee, 19; t10. Virginia Tech, 18; t10. Texas Tech, 18; t10. Kansas, 18.


 

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