BATON ROUGE -- Members of the LSU track and field teams will compete with one goal in mind this weekend at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships, and that is to qualify for the 2009 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships next month.
The meet kicks off Friday at Cardinal Park Stadium on the campus of the University of Louisville with the action coming to a dramatic conclusion on Saturday afternoon.
This marks the seventh year of the regional format in which athletes qualify for the national meet based on their individual placement in regional competition.
In order to automatically qualify for this year’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, an athlete must finish in the top five in an individual event or finish in the top three while running as a member of a relay team. The NCAA meet is scheduled for June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.
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“We always treat this meet as the first stage of the NCAA Championships,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “No team is able to win a national championship this weekend, but it can put a team in good position two weeks from now. It’s important that our athletes advance this weekend so they can help our teams compete for a national championship.”
While all athletes will be looking to finish in the top five of their specialty event this weekend, there is still a chance that an athlete can earn a trip to the NCAA Championships even if he or she fails to qualify automatically in regional competition.
The NCAA will issue an additional four at-large to individuals and relay teams placing within the top 12 at the regional meet based on their position on the national descending order list.
“Our athletes have performed very well all year long, and they have certainly put themselves in a position to qualify for the national meet without finishing in the top five,” Shaver said. “However, we don’t want to leave anything to chance. They understand where they need to finish to ensure a spot at the NCAA meet. That is the goal for each of our athletes as they compete this weekend.”
LSU will be well-represented in regional competition on again this year as 26 men and 17 women join both 4x100 and 4x400-meter relay teams in Louisville, Ky. Four athletes and four relays own the top mark in nine different events in the Mideast Region heading into the weekend.
Senior Trindon Holliday has proven to be the NCAA’s fastest man to this point in the season with his time of 10.01 seconds in the 100 meters ranking No. 1 in the NCAA and No. 5 in the world. Holliday set his personal best of 10.01 in winning his second career SEC title two weeks ago.
The Tigers will also be led this weekend by senior Jeremy Hicks, who boasts a seasonal best with a mark of 26 feet, 3 inches in the long jump to rank No. 1 in the region and No. 2 in the NCAA.
Junior Samantha Henry is the region’s top-ranked performer in both the 100 and 200 meters with top times of 11.19 and 23.06, respectively. She also ranks in the Top 10 in the NCAA in both as she enters the weekend ranked No. 6 in the 100 meters and No. 9 in the 200 meters.
The Lady Tigers also feature one of the region’s top jumpers heading into the meet with standout sophomore Brittani Carter owning a seasonal-best clearance of 6-0 to tie for the top spot in the Mideast Region. Carter, who earned All-SEC honors with a runner-up finish at the SEC meet two week ago, is competing in the NCAA Mideast Regional for the second-straight season.
LSU has been impressive in the relays once again this year and enters the meet with all four of its relay teams ranked No. 1 in the Mideast Region in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
The Tigers rank No. 4 nationally in the 4x100-meter relay with a seasonal-best time of 38.86, and also No. 6 in the NCAA this season in the 4x400 relay with a top time of 3 minutes, 4.75 seconds. The Lady Tigers rank No. 2 in the NCAA in the 4x100 relay with an impressive time of 43.39 on the year, as well as No. 1 nationally in the 4x400 relay with a time of 3:31.81.
Live results from the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships can be found online at the official website for the University of Louisville at www.uoflsports.com.
LSU’s Qualifiers for the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships
Athlete, Event, Time/Mark
Chris Bless, Hammer, 197-2
Will Coppage, Long Jump, 25-3 ¼
Mark DeBlanc, Javelin, 216-4
Josh Dominguez, Pole Vault, 17-0 ¾
Rabun Fox, Hammer, 205-4
Reggie Haslom, Triple Jump, 51-0 ¼w
Armanti Hayes, 400 meters, 45.67
Walter Henning, Hammer, 235-11
Jeremy Hicks, Long Jump, 26-3
Jerel Hill, 100 meters, 10.54
Trindon Holliday, 100 meters, 10.01
Jamar Howard, 400 meters, 47.11
Jamaal James, 800 meters, 1:48.86
Richard Jones, 800 meters, 1:48.85
Michael Lauro, Hammer, 205-0
Patrick Lee, 400 hurdles, 51.18
Anthony Martel, Javelin, 221-7
Marcus McGehee, Pole Vault, 16-6 ¾
Aaron Moore, Javelin, 220-3
Gabriel Mvumvure, 200 meters, 20.89
Barrett Nugent, 110 hurdles, 13.84w
Ross Roubion, Hammer, 188-1
Ryan Roubion, Javelin, 210-10
Robert Simmons, 400 meters, 46.08
Zedric Thomas, Long Jump, 24-9 ¾
Zedric Thomas, Triple Jump, 51-0 ¼
Adam Wilcox, Shot Put, 55-5
Hayes, Coppage, Mvumvure, Holliday; 4x100 Relay; 38.86
Simmons, Alleyne-Forte, Howard, Simmons; 4x400 Relay; 3:04.75
Athlete, Event, Time/Mark
Monique Cabral, 100 meters, 11.62
Brittani Carter, High Jump, 6-0
Kristina Davis, 100 meters, 11.65w
Kristina Davis, 200 meters, 23.85
Brittany Hall, 800 meters, 2:03.68
Samantha Henry, 100 meters, 11.19
Samantha Henry, 200 meters, 23.06
Tenaya Jones, 100 hurdles, 13.28
Liann Kellman, 100 meters, 11.69
Liann Kellman, 200 meters, 23.78
Rachel Laurent, Pole Vault, 14-1 ¼
Anna Lyons, Javelin, 168-11
Melissa Ogbourne, Long Jump, 20-4 ½
Melissa Ogbourne, Triple Jump, 41-8 ½
Katelyn Rodrigue, Pole Vault, 13-6 ¼
Cassandra Tate, 200 meters, 23.68
LaTavia Thomas, 800 meters, 2:02.77
Kayann Thompson, 800 meters, 2:03.64
Kim Williams, Hammer, 190-11
Kenyanna Wilson, 100 meters, 11.31
Kenyanna Wilson, 200 meters, 23.45
Cabral, Tate, Henry, Wilson; 4x100 Relay; 43.39
Hall, Tate, Thompson, Thomas; 4x400 Relay; 3:31.81