Track & Field Opens Outdoor Season in Lafayette
BATON ROUGE - After wrapping up the 2013 indoor season at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships last weekend, the LSU Track & Field teams will make their annual trip to the Ragin' Cajuns Track Stadium on Friday and Saturday as they open the outdoor campaign at the Louisiana Classics.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers are only slated to throw the javelin on Friday afternoon beginning at 3 p.m. CT, while Saturday's action continues at 10 a.m. with the field events and the first finals on the track beginning at 2:50 p.m. Live results of this year's Louisiana Classics will be available online at www.ragincajuns.com.
This weekend will give LSU's athletes not competing at the NCAA Indoor Championships last weekend an opportunity to get off to a fast start to the outdoor season.
The Lady Tigers are coming off their fourth-straight third-place finish in the final women's team standings at the NCAA Indoor Championships after totaling 43 points in two days of action at the University of Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Center last weekend. The Tigers scored 15 points of their own for a 15th-place team finish in the event.
"This is always an important weekend for our teams because it gives our athletes returning from the NCAA Indoor meet a chance to rest up and others the opportunity to get off to a fast start outdoors," said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. "The athletes we're taking to Lafayette are able to show us what they can do early on.
"This meet is always an important step in our transition outdoors. Our plan is that all of our athletes will see some kind of action next weekend when we host our first meet with the LSU Relays."
Each year, the Louisiana Classics features strong performance from members of the LSU throws group competing in such events as the discus, hammer and javelin not offered indoors.
Sophomore Rodney Brown is anxious to open his outdoor season as an All-America candidate in the men's discus in 2013 after establishing himself as one of the nation's top young discus throwers with a strong freshman campaign with the Tigers a season ago. Brown actually earned a runner-up finish in his collegiate debut in the discus at the Louisiana Classics last spring when he threw a collegiate best of 190 feet, 8 inches for one of the leading performances in the NCAA during the 2012 season.
Brown's PR of 190-8 not only ranked No. 13 among all discus throwers at the collegiate level and No. 3 among freshmen a year ago, but it also put his name in the LSU record books as the No. 5 thrower of the discus in the storied history of the LSU Track & Field program.
Brown followed his freshman season by smashing the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships meet record with a throw of 206-9 using the 6-kg. junior implement to win the national title before wrapping up the 2012 campaign by representing the United States at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Fellow All-SEC and All-America hopeful Jeremy Tuttle is set to compete in the hammer throw this weekend as he looks to build upon an impressive freshman season a year ago.
Tuttle scored nine points for the Tigers in their second-place finish at the 2012 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships as he was fourth place in the hammer throw and fifth place in the javelin as one of the SEC's top young throwers. The 2012 NCAA semifinalist in the javelin opens the season with personal bests of 188-9 in the hammer and 227-6 in the javelin throws.
Shermund Allsop returns for his junior season after anchoring the Tigers to the national championship in the 4x100-meter relay a year ago as he is set to line up in the 100-meter dash on Saturday.
Allsop, a 2012 NCAA quarterfinalist in the 200-meter dash, ran back-to-back PRs of 10.29 seconds in the 100 meters at the Sagicor National Open Championships in Trinidad & Tobago in his final dash of the 2012 season. Joining Allsop in the field for Saturday's 100-meter dash is sophomore Joshua Thompson and freshman Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake.
Freshman Fitzroy Dunkley is another SEC Championships scorer slated to open the outdoor season on Saturday as he competes in the men's high jump after finishing his first indoor season at LSU with an impressive lifetime PR of 6-10 ¾ at the LSU NCAA Indoor Qualifier after earning seventh place in the event in his SEC debut.
Full results and a final meet recap of the Louisiana Classics will be available at www.LSUsports.net following Saturday's action in Lafayette.
After competing at the Louisiana Classics in Lafayette this weekend, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will return to the Bernie Moore Track Stadium in Baton Rouge as they play host to their home opener March 22-23 with the running of the LSU Relays. They then make their annual trip to Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, to compete at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays running March 27-30.