The Tigers featured a balanced attack while earning yet another top-10 team finish with seventh place overall at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships to finish off the 2013 season. Leading the way were nine All-Americans scoring in events ranging from the sprints and relays to the jumps and throws as the Tigers again established their position as one of the premier teams in all of collegiate track and field.
They will follow that formula for success again in 2014 as they return seven of their nine All-Americans from last year while welcoming one of the nation’s top recruiting classes to Baton Rouge to help fuel a national championship run this season. Led by the likes of Aaron Ernest, Rodney Brown and their powerful relay teams as NCAA event contenders, the pieces are in place for the Tigers to contend for their first national championship in 10 years.
Second in a 10-part series previews the men’s hurdlers competing during the 2014 season.
BATON ROUGE – The Tigers return their entire stable of hurdlers from a year ago as juniors Quincy Downing and Josh Thompson and sophomore Joshua Lamers look to continue their development as NCAA Championships qualifiers during the 2014 season.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Downing has made his name as one of the NCAA’s premier 400-meter runners during his collegiate career after breaking 46 seconds and advancing to the national semifinals in the event a year ago. But in an attempt to help the team, Downing also tried his hand at running the 400-meter hurdles during the championship season in 2013.
After running the 400 hurdles for the first time in his collegiate career at the LSU Alumni Gold during the regular season, Downing raced to a personal best of 52.77 in the qualifying round at the SEC Championships before advancing to his first conference final in the event where finished in seventh place in the event.
Downing looks to double in both the 400 meters and 400 hurdles once again outdoors this spring in his junior season as one of the most versatile athletes on the team in 2014.
The Tigers also welcome Thompson and Lamers back to the squad for the 2014 season in the wake of their debut season with the program a year ago.
After spending his freshman season at the University of Pittsburgh, Thompson joined the Tigers in January of last year as the team prepared to kick off its 2013 indoor season. He set bests of 7.79 in the 60 hurdles and 13.80 in the 110 hurdles at Pittsburgh before transferring to LSU last season. He qualified for the final of the 60 hurdles in his debut at the SEC Indoor Championships before also competing in the 110 hurdles outdoors at the conference meet.
Lamers nearly joined his teammate in the final of the 60-meter hurdles at the SEC Indoor Championships a year ago after running a PR of 8.08 in the qualifying round. Lamers signed with LSU after a record-setting prep career at Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, La. He was one of the nation’s top-10 ranked recruits in the 110 hurdles when he inked with the Tigers.