Three Tigers Register Leading NCAA Marks in Lubbock
Asst. Communications Director
Lubbock, Texas – What an evening it was for the LSU track and field team in Lubbock, Texas, on Friday night at the Texas Tech Sports Performance Center as a number of world, NCAA and LSU marks were set by the superstars wearing the Purple and Gold.
Where to start on such an eventful evening. We’ll take you down the treasure trove that highlighted the end of the meet first. Quite frankly, JuVaughn Harrison stole the show in front of the home crowd in Lubbock with the best high jump performance of his blossoming career. Having to wait over an hour to take his first attempt, the lanky sophomore cleared his opening height of 2.11 meters (six feet, 11 inches) with ease before proceeding to clear 2.16 meters (seven feet, one inch) on his next go at the pit. He first faltered at the height of 2.21 meters (seven feet, three inches), but rebounded and cleared the bar with his next attempt. He came back and replicated the same exact sequence at 2.24 meters (seven feet, four and a quarter inches) before he missed his first two attempts at the height of 2.27 meters (seven feet, five and a quarter inches). Facing elimination with one other jumper still competing, Harrison gathered and launched himself over the bar to clear the highest bar in his life. The clearance is an NCAA leader, ranks fifth in the world for 2019 and is the second best in history at LSU.
Preceding Harrison’s showtime performance was junior long jumper Rayvon Grey. A native of Beacon, N.Y., Grey quietly, using only three jumps, put himself atop the NCAA long jump list. Starting off with a bound of 7.66 meters (25-1 ¾), he followed that up with two lengthy bounds of over 26 feet. He went for a 8.01 meter (26-3 ½) leap in the second round and put the icing on the cake with a mark of 8.06 meters (26- 5 ½) in the third round. With such a cataclysmic lead and accomplishing everything he wanted, Grey and jumps coach Todd Lane decided to call it a night with the best bound of Grey’s career. This is the same Grey who scored a fourth-place finish and five points for the Tigers at the 2018 outdoor national meet. He’s undoubtedly on pace for a impactful 2019 season. His mark of 8.06 meters is also an NCAA lead, ranks second in the world for 2019 and is the sixth best in LSU history.
The third and final NCAA lead of the evening in Lubbock came from senior mid-distance runner Ersula Farrow. Racing at altitude in Lubbock, Farrow’s 800 meter run time of 2:06.90 was dropped down to an NCAA leading 2:06.54. She circled the 200 meter track four times on her way to gold in the first 800 meter race of her 2019 season.
Kortnei Johnson doubled up and won two event titles (60 and 200 meters) while registering top-three NCAA marks in both events. First up for the senior was the title in the 60 meter dash in which she clocked a 7.19 time to win the event; the 7.19 was bumped up to a 7.21 for altitude conversions. Johnson led a furious pack of Lady Tigers in that final that had six of the possible eight lanes filled with Purple and Gold runners. Freshman Sha'Carri Richardson took second (7.32 seconds) and was followed by Ariyonna Augustine (7.44/fourth place), Rachel Misher (7.46/sixth place), Zakiya Denoon (7.49/seventh place) and Cassondra Hall (7.50/eighth place).
The altitude-converted time of 7.21 for Johnson gives her the second fastest time in the NCAA this year, and just right behind her is Richardson’s 7.23 mark from the season opener. Not done resting yet, Johnson returned to the track for the 200 meter dash and stole the show with the all-conditions world lead, a 23.30 that converts to a 23.37 to rank as the third fastest time in the NCAA.
Damion Thomas, Abby O'Donoghue and Jake Norris, all sophomores, were in fine fashion as well with wins in their respective events. Thomas clocked a personal-best record of 7.66 (converts to a 7.68 for NCAA purposes) that won him the 60 meter hurdle title; the 7.68 ranks second in the NCAA, third in the world for 2019 and is the third fastest in LSU history. O’Donoghue and Norris both registered season bests with O’Donoghue narrowly missing out on a career best. O’Donoghue won the women’s high jump with a clearance of 1.80 meters (five feet, 10 ¾ inches) and Norris claimed the weight throw gold medal with a toss of 20.23 meters (66-4 ½).
The final two event winners of the day were Tonea Marshall and Julia Palin. Marshall led a trio of Lady Tigers into the final and narrowly edged out teammate Milan Young for gold. Marshall crossed the line with a time of 8.211 seconds, while Young finished with a personal-best time of 8.22 seconds. Brittley Humphrey rounded out the podium sweep finishing in third with a time of 8.33. Palin continued her winning ways as a freshman on the campus of Baton Rouge. Between cross country and track and field, she has raced eight times – seven of those races have resulted in her being the top LSU finisher in her event. She won her second straight race of the season with her debut in the mile in which she clocked a time of 4:58.29 that will be dropped to a 4:54.86 for NCAA purposes.
LSU will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Razorback Invitational that will take place on Friday and Saturday (January 25 & 26) of next week.