Dunkley Sets Top-10 Mark at NCAA Qualifier
BATON ROUGE - Tiger freshman Fitzroy Dunkley leaped into the Top 10 of the school's all-time rankings with a lifetime personal-best clearance of 6 feet, 10 ¾ inches in winning the high jump competition to highlight Friday's action at the LSU Invitational qualifier held at the Carl Maddox Field House.
Dunkley breezed through the competition while clearing the bar at 6-8 on his first attempt and passing at 6-9 ¾ before attempting 6-10 ¾ for the first time.
He only needed one jump to clear a lifetime PR of 6-10 ¾ as he sailed over the bar without contact to secure his first collegiate victory in the high jump. Dunkley then fouled out of the competition with three misses at a height of 7-0 ¼.
After joining the program in January for the start of the semester, Dunkley has shown steady progress in both the high jump and triple jump with little more than a week to prepare for the indoor season with his teammates. He has set lifetime personal bests of 6-10 ¾ in the high jump and 49-5 in his first indoor season with the Tigers.
A native of Trelawny, Jamaica, Dunkley even scored two points for the Tigers with a seventh-place finish in the high jump in his first career appearance at the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships over the last weekend while entering Friday's competition with a previous lifetime best of 6-9 set at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 9.
Junior All-America candidate Keri Emanuel led the way for the Lady Tigers at the LSU Invitational as she won the women's long jump title with a series-best mark of 20-1 ¾.
Emanuel has already earned All-SEC honors in the triple jump in her first season at LSU after jumping a lifetime best of 44-2 in the event in a runner-up finish at the SEC Indoor Championships a week ago. She will head to the NCAA Championships next weekend tied as the nation's No. 3-ranked performer and an All-America threat in the triple jump.
Freshman Andria Aguilar was also an event winner Friday night as she took the women's 800-meter title with a lifetime PR of 2 minutes, 14.18 seconds, which converts to 2:12.65 on a banked track.
"Our teams have done about all they can do to this point to put themselves in the best position to compete at the NCAA Championships next weekend," said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. "We've got a pretty good idea about what kind of team we'll be taking to Arkansas next week, so there wasn't much of a need for those athletes to compete here tonight.
"I'm very pleased with the progress both our teams have shown this indoor season. We'll have an opportunity to compete for a championship beginning one week from tonight."
The Tigers and Lady Tigers will solidify their postseason rosters on Monday night when official entries are announced for the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. The teams return to the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., for their indoor finale being held March 8-9 at the University of Arkansas.