Track & Field Teams Tune Up For SEC Championship
LSU Sports Interactive
BATON ROUGE -- The LSU men's and women's track teams took advantage of their last chance before the SEC Championships to prepare for the conference meet at the LSU Twilight Invitational in the Carl Maddox Field house Friday.
"If we have one or two good things happen then it was worth having the track meet," said head coach Dennis Shaver.
The fifth-ranked Lady Tigers picked up another provisional qualifying time in the 60-meter dash. LSU now has one automatic qualifier in Kelly Baptiste and two provisional qualifiers, Brooklynn Morris and Jessica Ohanaja.
Ohanaja's time of 7.39 moved her into the top 20 in the nation. Before she took to the track for the 60-meter dash finals, Ohanaja blew away the competition in the 60-meter hurdles. The All-American's time of 8.29 trumped the field by over four-tenths of a second.
Most of LSU's success came in the field. The Tigers and Lady Tigers combined to post three event victories and ten top-five finishes.
Lady Tiger Andrea Linton posted a season best mark for LSU in her win of the triple jump competition. Linton's jump of 40-08 1/4 improved her season best mark by nearly seven inches.
In the high jump pit, junior Shaunette Davidson leapt to a meet best 5-7 3/4. After clearing the winning height, Davidson passed up to 5-11 1/2, taking three attempts at a season best jump before finally walking away with the victory. The junior college transfer is currently tied for second in the SEC and tied for seventeenth in the NCAA.
Long jumper Kathryn Coleman improved her provisional standing with her winning jump of 20-6 1/2. The Lady Tiger's leap moved her up to 10th on the NCAA descending list.
On the men's side, LSU swept away the competition in the men's shot put competition as they had Tigers in the first four spots. Freshman Ricky Jean-Francois equaled his season best throw of 57-11 1/4 in the win. Adam Wilcox (51-05 1/2), Darion Powell (51-03 3/4), and Jon Chretien (50-08) rounded out the top for the Tigers.
Sophomore Rabun Fox finished second in the men's weight throw, tossing his way to a 54-10 mark. Fox currently sits in fifth in the SEC heading into Gainesville, Fla. next weekend.
In the men's pole vault competition, freshman Casey Herndon's mark of 15-7 set a season best for the Tigers. The former high school All-American finished fourth in the competition for the Tigers.
On the oval for the Tigers, Ryan Fontenot ran extremely in both the 60-meter dash and hurdles. Fontenot placed second in the men's 60-meter hurdles, sprinting to a personal best of 7.99 in the event.
"He's (Fontenot) what we're all about," said Shaver. "He works hard, he's a steady guy. He had two quality races tonight."
Senior Megan Kliebert ran a personal best on route to a third place finish in the women's 800-meter, finishing in 2:17:92. The Thibodaux, La. native led for most of the last lap before finally being nipped at the line.
Next up for LSU, both teams will travel to Gainesville, Fla. for the SEC Indoor Championships. The three day event will be held Feb. 24-26 at the Stephen O'Connell Center on the University of Florida campus.
"I feel good because we're pretty healthy going into the meet," said Shaver. "You've got to get them there before they can score. We've got a little more depth than last year. I would expect the teams to be right up there in the top half of the conference."