LEXINGTON, Ky. – Seniors Denise Hinton and Karen Henning put the Lady Tigers on the scoreboard at the 2014 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships as Hinton earned All-SEC honors with a second-place finish and Henning added a seventh-place finish in the women’s hammer throw on a blustery Thursday afternoon at the UK Outdoor Track & Field Facility.
Hinton scored the SEC silver medal for the second-straight season after unleashing her top throw of the day at 207 feet, 4 inches in the second round to finish just three feet shy of winning her first career SEC Outdoor crown. Georgia’s Elizabeth Tepe took the title with the leading mark of the day at 210-7 in the third round.
Henning added two points of her own with a seventh-place finish in her final SEC Championships as she opened the competition with her series-best of 183-6 in the first round of throws.
Alabama’s Nia Barnes bagged the SEC Outdoor bronze medal with her best throw of the day of 197-8 in the fourth round, while Kentucky’s Beckie Famurewa threw 193-9 for fourth place, Florida’s Jayla Bostic recorded a 188-7 for fifth place, Missouri’s Kearsten Peoples posted a 188-2 for sixth place and Auburn’s Victoria Nwadiogbu threw 183-0 for eighth place to round out the event scorers.
LSU and Georgia wrapped up Thursday’s opener at this year’s SEC Outdoor Championships tied atop the women’s team standings with 10 points apiece with just one of the 21 scheduled events in the books.
“That’s a good start for our women’s team to get 10 big points from an event in which we’ve been particularly strong here in recent years,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “We saw some tough conditions today as Denise and Karen were going through that event, but they competed well and put our team on the scoreboard with the rest of the weekend still to look forward to.”
Hinton certainly had the SEC title in her sights after entering the meet as the league leader in the event with a school-record throw of 218-0 set in her last appearance at the LSU Invitational on May 3. That mark is also a No. 4-ranked mark in the NCAA rankings this season as she now competes with All-America aspirations in her final outdoor season with the Lady Tigers.
A native of Peachtree City, Ga., Hinton will end her career as a back-to-back SEC Outdoor silver medalist in the hammer throw after throwing a 2013 seasonal best of 202-0 at the conference meet a year ago.
By earning All-America honors this outdoor season, Hinton would leave a legacy as one of the most decorated throwers in the history of the Lady Tigers program. A two-time SEC Indoor weight throw champion, Hinton set LSU’s indoor school record with a career-best throw of 73-1 in 2014 before earning her first career All-America honor with a fifth-place finish nationally in the weight throw at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Henning, who hails from Kings Park, New York, is a decorated thrower in her own right as she will end her collegiate career as a four-time SEC Championships scorer for the Lady Tigers following her seventh-place finish on Thursday afternoon. Henning scored the SEC Outdoor bronze medal as a sophomore in 2012 along with a pair of fifth-place finishes in 2011 and 2013 as one of the SEC’s top hammer throwers during her career.
Thursday also marked the first of two days of action in the women’s heptathlon as Lady Tiger sophomore Therese Jernbeck ended the day in 11th place overall with 2,973 points scored through four events.
Jernbeck’s day was highlighted by winning the shot put with the top throw in the field of 42-8 ¾ on her third and final attempt to add 729 points to her total score. She opened by running 15.30 (+0.8) for 802 points with the 100-meter hurdles before also clearing 5-0 ½ for 666 points in the high jump and running 26.24 (+0.5) for 776 points in the 200 meters in the final event of the day.
Georgia’s freshman standout Kendell Williams tops the charts by nearly 300 points after Day 1 as she scored 3,656 points to lead the way through four events. Friday’s finale in the women’s heptathlon will feature such events as the long jump, javelin and 800 meters as the action continues at 12:30 p.m. CDT.
Friday’s competition at the 2014 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships will also feature the men’s hammer throw beginning at 12:30 p.m. CDT and the first preliminary races on the track beginning at 5:15 p.m. LSU is set to compete at the UK Outdoor Track & Field Facility through the men’s and women’s 10,000 meters that will come to an end at approximately 8:20 p.m.