Two Relays Advance on Day 1 at Penn
PHILADELPHIA – The fourth-ranked Lady Tigers opened the 119th running of the Penn Relay Carnival by earning their spot in two Championship of America relay finals in the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays with two of the fastest times of the day during Thursday’s action at Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Lady Tigers were easy winners in the second of nine qualifying heats in the women’s 4x100-meter relay on Thursday afternoon after senior Latoya McDermott, senior Kimberlyn Duncan, junior Takeia Pinckney and junior Toshika Sylvester combined to run 44.36 seconds to cross the finish line ahead of Johnson C. Smith (45.04) and Hampton (46.45) in the race.
Thursday’s prelims sets up a heated Championship of America final at 11:50 a.m. CT on Friday as the Lady Tigers ran the third-fastest time of the day behind heat winners Texas A&M (44.33) and Oregon (44.34).
The Lady Tigers also earned their spot in Saturday’s Championship of America final of the 4x400-meter relay with a runner-up finish in the third heat while running the fourth-fastest time of the day.
With the foursome of senior Siedda Herbert, junior Nikita Tracey, sophomore Montenae Roye-Speight and junior Natoya Goule, the Lady Tigers carried the stick around the track in the four-lap race in 3 minutes, 36.81 seconds to cross the finish line behind the winning 3:35.22 turned in by University Tech of Jamaica.
The Lady Tigers were the fourth-fastest qualifiers into the 4x400 relay final to run Saturday at 4:50 p.m. CT as they followed a trio of heat winners in Texas A&M (3:34.72), University Tech (3:35.22) and Oregon (3:35.37).
LSU’s women also ran their first Championship of America relay final during Thursday’s action at Franklin Field as senior Laura Carleton, senior Latoya McDermott, freshman Andria Aguilar and senior Charlene Lipsey ran the fourth-fastest distance medley relay in the history of the Lady Tiger program.
With Lipsey anchoring the team in 4:46 on the 1,600-meter leg, the Lady Tigers crossed the finish line in 11:22.71 for an eighth-place finish in the event. Villanova defended its Penn Relays title in 10:58.84, while LSU also trailed Kentucky (11:04.45), Columbia (11:07.68), Princeton (11:10.13), North Carolina (11:12.92), Penn State (11:17.53) and Georgetown (11:22.08) across the finish line.
Their run of 11:22.71 is a new seasonal best in the distance medley relay as it improves upon their 11:23.55 set in defending their DMR crown at the Texas Relays back on March 29.
“We achieved what we came here to achieve today, as far as getting both of our relays through to the final. Qualifying well on the first day at Penn is so important because it really sets up the weekend for us,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “We also saw a good run from our DMR team. It’s not easy to crack our top 10 list in really any event, so it shows they ran well today in a very competitive field.”
Junior Denise Hinton scored a silver-medal in the women’s hammer throw championship to lead the Lady Tigers in the field events during Thursday’s action as she threw 192 feet, 6 inches on her second attempt of the competition for a runner-up finish to Connecticut’s Victoria Flowers. The Husky standout posted a winning mark of 210-7 in the fifth round for a comfortable victory.
Fellow junior Karen Henning followed her Lady Tiger teammate in fourth place in the final hammer throw standings while throwing 190-0 in the fifth round of the competition.
Also earning a fourth-place finish with her performance on Thursday was Lady Tiger freshman Shanice Hall, who cleared 5-7 ¾ for fourth place in the college section of the women’s high jump. The Jamaican claimed the silver medal in the high school high jump championship at the 118th Penn Relays a year ago during her senior season at Wolmer’s Girls.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers are set for an early start to Friday’s action at Franklin Field as they compete in the field events beginning at 9 a.m. CT followed by the first events on the track at 11:35 a.m. Live results are now available at the official website of the Penn Relays at www.thepennrelays.com. Fans of the LSU Track & Field program can also receive live updates for the Tigers and Lady Tigers competing throughout the weekend by liking LSU Track & Field on Facebook and following @LSUTrackField on Twitter.