Braxton Cracks 10k Top 10 on Day 1 in Lafayette
LAFAYETTE, La. – Sophomore Dajour Braxton closed out the opening day of the Louisiana Classics meet by running one of the fastest 10,000-meter races in school history as he crossed the finish line in second place with a time of 30 minutes, 15.26 seconds in his first ever 10k race at Louisiana-Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns Track Complex.
Braxton was the top collegian in the field of eight runners as he finished runner-up to unattached athlete Kevin Castille (29:44.38) while becoming the ninth-fastest Tiger to ever run the 10k outdoors.
The Las Vegas native is off to a fast start outdoors after wrapping up his indoor campaign at the Vanderbilt Multipurpose Facility in Nashville where he scored for the Tigers for the first time in his career at the SEC meet with an eighth-place finish in the men’s 3,000 meters. He ran the 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters at the SEC Outdoor Championships as a freshman a year ago.
Braxton led four Tigers across the finish line in Friday’s finale as junior DC Lipani (31:55.33) placed third and senior Christian Johnson (32:09.04) followed fourth in their first collegiate 10k, while sophomore Daniel Tanner followed in fifth place with a personal-best time of 33:13.75.
It was a strong opening day to the outdoor season for LSU's distance runners as newly-crowned All-American Blair Henderson picked up the team's first victory of the meet in the special section of the men's 1,500 meters as he clocked 3:48.75 to edge Tulane's Emmanual Rotich (3:49.21) at the finish line. The Tiger senior is already within striking distance of his personal-best time of 3:45.20 entering the season.
Henderson is fresh off an All-American seventh-place finish in the 800 meters at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships last weekend as he advanced to the final in his NCAA Indoor debut.
Braxton was not the only LSU athlete to open the outdoor season with a top-10 performance in school history as redshirt freshman Amy Stelly cleared the bar at 10 feet, 11 ¾ inches to finish 10th overall in the women’s pole vault. That mark moved Stelly into the No. 10 spot on LSU’s all-time outdoor performance list in the event.
Freshman Andre Girouard kicked off his LSU career with a personal best in the men’s javelin as he threw 198-2 for seventh place in his collegiate debut. Girouard eclipsed his PR by more than 13 feet as he entered with a previous best of 185-0 set during his prep career at Vermillion Catholic High School.
Junior Sidnie Wilder opened her outdoor season as the top Lady Tiger in the women’s hammer with a throw of 178-6 for second place, while Marvalyn Vernon (164-6) followed in fourth and Madison Danna (141-0) was 11th overall with a personal best.
In other action, sophomore Logan Martindale (172-11) placed 12th in the men’s javelin, freshman Savannah Sledd (132-4) was 13th and freshman Dominique Hailey (118-4) placed 17th in the women’s hammer throw and sophomore Brittany Kelly (89-9) finished 17th in the women’s javelin to close out the first day of competition at the Louisiana Classics.
Saturday’s finale at the Ragin’ Cajuns Track Complex continues at 10 a.m. CDT with the first field events of the day followed by the first finals on the track at 2:30 p.m. as both of LSU’s defending NCAA Champion 4x100-meter relays will line up for the first time. Events for LSU’s athletes will run through 6:35 p.m. with the women’s 5,000 meters.