LAFAYETTE, La. - Just as he did as a freshman a year ago, Tiger sophomore Rodney Brown opened the outdoor season with a personal-best performance in his discus debut as he scored a dominating victory with a winning mark of 197 feet, 1 inch at the Louisiana Classics meet held Saturday afternoon at the Ragin' Cajuns Track Stadium.
Brown finished nearly 24 feet clear of the rest of the field as he followed marks of 178-7 on his first throw and 183-10 on his third throw with a career-best of 197-1 on his fourth throw to take the early NCAA lead as an early-season All-America contender. Southeastern Louisiana's Jeff Milliron finished runner-up with a best of 173-5 in Saturday's competition.
Not only is Brown the NCAA leader following the first weekend of the 2013 outdoor season, but he climbs into the No. 3 spot on LSU's outdoor performance list in the men's discus throw.
The Chappell Hill, Texas, native shattered his previous best of 190-8 posted in his collegiate debut in the discus at the Louisiana Classics a season ago.
Senior Daniel Obioha followed Brown in fourth place with a season-opening throw of 161-4, while sophomore Jeremy Tuttle trailed in fifth place overall with a personal-best throw of 153-3 set on each of his second and sixth throws of the competition. Tuttle opened the outdoor season with two personal bests as he also finished runner-up in the men's hammer throw with a career-best of 193-6.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers actually swept discus titles in Saturday's Louisiana Classics as sophomore Tori Bliss won the women's crown with a personal-best throw of 157-2 as the No. 10-ranked thrower in program history while eclipsing her previous PR of 149-6 set last season by more than seven feet.
Doren Welch wasted no time in writing her name in the school record books after unleashing a throw of 153-2 on her very first javelin throw of the campaign to clinch the victory in the women's event on Saturday afternoon. The sophomore transfer from LSU-Eunice became the No. 8-ranked javelin thrower in school history as she took the title over Nicholls State's Jaimee Springer (147-7).
Lady Tiger freshman Kelsey Carlsen followed Welch in fourth place in the javelin final after throwing 140-2 in the fourth round of her collegiate debut at the Louisiana Classics.
Junior Toshika Sylvester set the tone on the track as she sprinted to an easy victory in the women's 100-meter dash with a season-opening wind-aided run of 11.58 to finish well in front of McNeese State sprinter Jasmine Webb (11.96) for her third career 100-meter crown. Sylvester is the two-time defending champion at the LSU Relays.
Freshman Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake sprinted to the finish line in a wind-aided 10.40 (+2.6) for second place in his first collegiate 100-meter dash, while junior Shermund Allsop followed in third place in his season-opening run of 10.48 in the same heat. Southern's Devin Jenkins took the men's title in a wind-aided 10.38.
Sophomore Philip Primeaux and freshman Andria Aguilar each added distance titles to LSU's trophy haul at the Louisiana Classics as Primeaux won the men's 1,500 meters with his season-opening time of 4 minutes, 0.50 seconds and Aguilar claimed the women's 800 meters with an outdoor personal best of 2:13.18.
Also setting a personal best in her outdoor opener was Lady Tiger sophomore Kaitlyn Moreau, who crossed the finish line in 14.14 (+2.0) for a fourth-place finish in the women's 100-meter hurdles.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers will return to action next weekend as they play host to their first of three home events of the 2013 outdoor season with the LSU Relays set for March 22-23 at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium in Baton Rouge. They will also play host to the Battle on the Bayou on April 13 and the LSU Alumni Gold on April 20 in back-to-back weeks.