EUGENE, Ore. – Junior Natoya Goule continued a record-setting week at Hayward Field for the LSU Track & Field teams as she became the first Lady Tiger in the program’s history sweep national championships in the women’s 800-meter run with her victory in Friday’s final at the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Goule came up just six one-hundredths of a second shy of becoming the first Lady Tiger to break the two-minute barrier in the 800 meters as she broke her own outdoor school record with a winning run of 2 minutes, 0.06 seconds to take down hometown favorite Laura Roesler of Oregon for the NCAA Outdoor crown.
Using her signature front-running style, Goule took control of the race from the break at the 100-meter mark and never looked back as she led wire-to-wire en route to the national championship.
Goule was pressed with 200 meters to go in the race when a pack of Roesler, Lady Tiger teammate Charlene Lipsey and Duke’s Sydney Ross closed the gap to within a meter, but she closed strong down the stretch for a nearly one-second victory over Roesler as the Duck junior won the silver medal in 2:00.98. Stanford’s Justine Fredronic scored the bronze medal in 2:01.67, followed by Lipsey in fourth place at 2:01.70.
Ross slipped back into seventh place at the tape in 2:02.48, while Illinois’ Samantha Murphy (2:02.10), Stanford’s Amy Weissenbach (2:02.29) and UC-Davis’ Lauren Wallace (2:02.91) rounded out the eight finishers.
“I’m happy for the win and to put my team in a good position,” Goule said following her victory. “I’d like to run under two minutes, but the team needed me to win. I like the win most of all because this is about a team and what we want to accomplish. I’m glad for what we’ve accomplished. Not a lot of people get to do this, so I’m very grateful.”
Goule certainly led the charge for the Lady Tigers as they racked up 23 points between their four finals on a beautiful Friday evening at Hayward Field to finish the day in fifth place in the women’s team standings.
The Lady Tigers scored 15 points alone in Friday’s 800-meter final as Lipsey’s fourth-place finish accounted for five points in the team score. While running her final race as a Lady Tiger, Lipsey claimed her fifth career All-America honor as one of the most decorated middle distance runners in the program’s storied history. It was her third-straight top-four finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships following a fourth-place finish during her sophomore season in 2011 and a silver-medal-winning second-place finish during her junior season in 2012.
Senior Kimberlyn Duncan scored six points with a bronze-medal-winning third-place finish in the 100-meter dash, while junior Nikita Tracey added two points with her seventh-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles.
But Goule’s performance stole the show as she broke her own school record and personal best of 2:00.76 set in winning the 800 meters at the LSU Alumni Gold meet at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium on April 20. She has now broken LSU’s outdoor school record in the event three times during her junior season in 2013 that also includes a season-opening run of 2:01.18 at UCLA’s Drake Stadium on April 6.
While Goule is the only Lady Tiger to win NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor titles in the women’s 800 meters, she is the third Lady Tiger to win the outdoor crown along with Claudine Williams (1999) and Neisha Bernard-Thomas (2004). Goule’s winning time of 2:00.06 is the fourth-fastest 800 meters in collegiate history as she continues her ascent in the history books.
She certainly knew Friday’s final would be unlike any race she’s run before with the Oregon faithful packing the Hayward Field grandstand cheering on their hometown favorite all the way to the finish line.
“I’m the type of person that don’t tend to think about the race too much because I’ll get too nervous. I just go out there and do my best. When I was coming down (the homestretch), I was looking at the screen to see where they were. I could feel her (Laura Roesler) coming. I feel like I ran a great race today, and am grateful to win it.”
After finishing as the NCAA Outdoor silver medalist in each of the last two years, Duncan took home the bronze in Friday’s final of the women’s 100-meter dash as she raced to a wind-legal seasonal best of 11.08 (+0.9) for six points in the event. With her finish, Duncan earned her 12th career All-America honor as one of the most decorated sprinters in program history.
The women’s 100-meter final certainly lived up to its billing as one of the highlights of the week as Oregon’s English Gardner defended her NCAA Outdoor title with a winning time of 10.96, followed by Central Florida’s Octavious Freeman (11.00) in second place, Duncan (11.08) in third place and Central Florida’s Aurieyall Scott (11.14) in fourth place.
Duncan will take her shot at history during Saturday’s finale at the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships when she lines up in the finals of both the 4x100-meter relay at 4:05 p.m. CT and 200-meter dash at 4:43 p.m. She has the opportunity to become the first sprinter in collegiate history – male or female – to win three NCAA Outdoor titles in the 200 meters in a career.
While running out of lane No. 1 in her first career NCAA final, Tracey crossed the finish line in 57.03 for a seventh-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles while earning All-America honors in the event.
It was a race that witnessed a new collegiate record as Stanford’s Kori Carter took the tape in 53.21 to win the NCAA crown in the 400 hurdles. Arizona’s Georganne Moline scored the silver medal in 53.72, while UCLA’s Turquoise Thompson followed with the bronze medal in 54.99. Tracey also followed Clemson’s Kendra Harrison (55.75), Florida Ugonna Ndu (56.13) and Arkansas’ Sparkle McKnight (56.16) across the finish line.
The Lady Tigers ended the day with 23 points for fifth place in the women’s team standings, trailing only Kansas (48), Oregon (33), Arizona State (26) and Stanford (25) in the race for the women’s team championship.
After opening the day with 10 points on the scoreboard thanks to Damar Forbes’ national championship victory in the long jump on Thursday night, the Tigers added seven points to their score on Friday afternoon with sophomores Rodney Brown and Aaron Ernest leading the way as Brown took fourth place in the discus throw and Ernest finished in seventh place in the 100-meter dash.
The Tigers finished the day in sole possession of eighth place in the men’s team standings with their 17 points through three days of competition. Texas and Southern California ended the day in a tie for first place with 32 points apiece, followed by Arkansas (30.5), Florida State (21.5), Texas A&M (21), Oregon (18) and UCLA (18) in the men’s team race.
Ernest opened the scoring for the Tigers when he raced to the finish line with a wind-aided effort of 10.17 (+3.2) for his best career finish in the 100-meter final at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. He improved on an eighth-place finish in his first career NCAA final a year ago while earning his fifth career All-America certificate as one of the nation’s top young sprinters.
TCU’s Charles Silmon and Florida State’s Dentarius Locke battled one another through the finish line as Silmon took the tape with a windy 9.89 ahead of Locke’s 9.91 for second place. Rounding out the field in their final was Ole Miss’ Isiah Young (9.96) in third, Alabama’s Diondre Batson (10.01) in fourth, USC’s Aaron Brown (10.01) in fifth, Texas A&M’s Ameer Webb (10.14) in sixth and Clemson’s Reggie Lewis (10.24) in eighth.
Earning his first career All-America honor during Friday’s action was Brown as he snapped a 15-year drought as LSU’s first All-American in the men’s discus since Alex Forst during the 1998 season.
Brown opened with a series-best mark of 199 feet, 4 inches in the first round of the first flight to take the early lead in the competition. While holding the lead through three rounds in the first flight, Brown moved back into third place going to the finals after Nebraska’s defending champion Chad Wright threw 209-1 and UCLA’s Julian Wruck threw 205-0 on their opening throws of the second flight.
Wruck was crowned the NCAA discus champion with back-to-back throws of 210-8 in the fifth round and 213-1 in the sixth round of the final to drop Wright into the second position. Kentucky’s Andrew Evans, who was runner-up to Brown at the SEC Outdoor Championships, overtook Brown for third place with consecutive throws of 204-5 in the third round and 206-0 in the sixth round.
Brown’s opening throw of 199-4 held up for fourth place in the final discus standings as he became the fifth Tiger in history to earn All-America honors in the event.
Brown added his name to an impressive list of former Tiger All-Americans, including former U.S. Olympian, NCAA champion and world-record holder Jack Torrance (1933), former NCAA champion John Nichols (1988-90, 1992), Simon Williams (1990, 1992) and Forst (1998).
“I wanted to come out and hit, not a safe throw, but a throw that would get me into the final and take some of the pressure off,” Brown said of his first mark of 199-4. “I knew that would let me go out and compete for it. Unfortunately, that was my best mark, but I’m really happy with the way I competed today. It’s really been a great year for me.
“I feel like there wasn’t as much pressure as maybe I was expecting. I knew with my spin and my technique I would hit the mark that I needed to. I was pretty confident in myself coming into the meet.”
Wrapping up Friday’s action at Hayward Field for the LSU Track & Field teams was senior Laura Carleton as she raced in the national final of the 5,000 meters for the first time in her career in her final race as a Lady Tiger. She ended the race in 16:36.25 to finish in 21st place while capping perhaps the most decorated career for a distance runner in program history.
The 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships will come to an end on Saturday afternoon as the Tigers and Lady Tigers return to Hayward Field one last time with the action set to start at 2:30 p.m. with the field events followed by the first finals on the track at 4:05 p.m. CT. Fans can receive live updates during Saturday’s finale by liking LSU Track & Field on Facebook and following @LSUTrackField on Twitter.
ESPNU will feature a live television broadcast of Saturday’s finale from 4-6 p.m. CT. Pac-12 Live Stream will also provide live streaming video of Saturday’s action from 2:30-4 p.m. at http://lsul.su/14oZs5X.