BATON ROUGE – Members of the LSU Track & Field teams will look to position themselves for NCAA Championships qualification this weekend when they make their one and only trip to Fayetteville, Ark., to compete as part of an outstanding field at this year’s Tyson Invitational being held Friday and Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Friday’s action kicks off at noon CT with the afternoon session followed by the evening session at 5:45 p.m. Saturday’s action kicks off in the field at noon and on the track at 1 p.m.
Live results from the meet will be provided by Flash Results and available online at http://www.flashresults.com/. Fans can also receive live up-to-the-minute and behind-the-scenes coverage of the Tigers and Lady Tigers this weekend by liking LSU Track & Field on Facebook and following @LSUTrackField on Twitter.
The No. 18-ranked Tigers are among 11 men’s teams and the No. 10-ranked Lady Tigers are among nine women’s teams nationally-ranked in the latest Top 25 power ranking released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association released on Tuesday of this week.
This year’s Tyson Invitational will feature the nation’s No. 1-ranked teams on both the men’s and women’s sides as the top-ranked Arkansas men and Texas women headline the meet with the Tigers and Lady Tigers.
Other teams joining the Tigers in the field this weekend are No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 6 Florida State, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 11 Alabama, No. 13 Texas, No. 17 Mississippi State, No. 23 Illinois and No. 24 Southern California. The Lady Tigers are joined by No. 6 Arkansas, No. 7 Kentucky, No. 11 Kansas, No. 14 South Carolina, No. 17 Mississippi State, No. 24 Oklahoma State and No. 25 Baylor.
LSU’s athletes look to improve their qualifying position for the 2014 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships this weekend while competing against an NCAA-caliber field at the Tyson Invitational. The Top 16 individuals and Top 12 relays who declare for the NCAA Indoor Championships will compete in the event being held on March 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers boast a combined seven performances that are currently in qualifying position for the NCAA Championships through only four meets of the 2014 indoor season.
Senior All-American and national championship contender Jasmin Stowers is the top-ranked LSU athlete in the national rankings this season as she enters the weekend as the nation’s No. 2-ranked 60-meter hurdler in the women’s event with a seasonal-best and personal-best time of 8.01 seconds set two weeks ago at the New Mexico Team Invitational on Feb. 1. Stowers is looking to run her winning streak to five-straight victories in the 60-meter hurdles as she has been crowned the event champion in each of LSU’s first four meets of the season.
In addition, senior Denise Hinton is the nation’s No. 5-ranked athlete in the women’s weight throw with a seasonal best of 70 feet, 1 inch set at the Aggie Invitational last weekend and senior Lynnika Pitts is the NCAA’s No. 7-ranked triple jump with her top jump of 42-9 set at the New Mexico Team Invitational two weeks ago.
The Tigers are led by their sprint squad as they head into this weekend’s action at the Tyson Invitational with four performances that are currently among the NCAA Championships qualifiers in their events.
The Tigers feature the NCAA’s No. 4-ranked 4x400-meter relay on the men’s side with a top time this season of 3 minutes, 6.62 seconds run by the team of sophomore Darrell Bush, junior Quincy Downing, sophomore Cyril Grayson and junior Vernon Norwood. Norwood is also the nation’s No. 7-ranked performer in the men’s 400-meter dash with a time of 46.31 run in his season debut in the event last weekend.
Two Tigers also find themselves in qualifying position in the 200-meter dash following their performance at the Texas A&M Triangular on Jan. 25 as sophomore Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake ranks at No. 11 nationally with a seasonal-best time of 20.98 and freshman Tremayne Acy is tied for No. 14 in the country with a seasonal-best time of 21.03 set during the meet.
Other Tigers and Lady Tigers who rank among the nation’s Top 20 entering the weekend are Downing at No. 18 in the men’s 400 meters with an indoor PR of 46.61, the women’s 4x400-meter relay at No. 16 with a time of 3:38.22 and freshman Nataliyah Friar at No. 18 in the women’s long jump with a mark of 20-3.
After competing at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville this weekend, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will finish off the regular season of the 2014 indoor campaign on Friday, Feb. 21, when they play host to the LSU Twilight meet in the newly-renovated Carl Maddox Field House in Baton Rouge. They will then follow with a trip to College Station, Texas, for the 2014 SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships to be held Feb. 27-March 1.