BATON ROUGE – Three LSU Tigers are among USA Track & Field’s contingent of 79 athletes in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, this weekend as juniors Rodney Brown, Aaron Ernest and Vernon Norwood will compete for the United States at the 2014 North American, Central American & Caribbean Under-23 Championships that kicks off Friday.
The three-day NACAC U-23 Championships will run through Sunday as the competition features athletes from 31 nations across North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Ernest will line up in the men’s 200-meter dash and join the 4x100-meter relay pool for the United States as he makes his second career international appearance with Team USA as he scored three medals at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain, following his freshman season at LSU.
Ernest, now an eight-time All-American in three seasons with the Tigers, was a double-winning World Junior silver medalist in the 100 meters and 200 meters and ran on Team USA’s gold-medal-winning 4x100 relay for an outstanding debut on the world stage. He earned a career-best All-American fourth-place finish in the 200-meter final and ran the second leg for the Tigers in a third-place finish in the 4x100-meter relay final during the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships held in Eugene, Oregon, in early June.
Norwood is among the favorites to take home the NACAC gold medal in the 400-meter dash this weekend and will also line up in the 4x400-meter relay for the United States during the competition. Norwood enjoyed a breakout debut season with the Tigers in 2014 as he was the NCAA Indoor silver medalist and NCAA Outdoor bronze medalist in the 400 meters while earning four All-America honors on the campaign.
Norwood’s junior season was highlighted by anchoring the Tigers to a national championship in the 4x400-meter relay at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Norwood earned his spot on Team USA for the first time in his athletics career after sprinting to a lifetime personal best of 45.02 seconds for a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter final at the 2014 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships held in Sacramento, California, back in July.
An All-American discus thrower during his collegiate career with the Tigers, Brown will step into the discus ring at the NACAC U-23 Championships this weekend as he also makes his second international appearance for his young career as he also joined Ernest at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships following his freshman season.
Brown has twice set LSU’s school record in the men’s discus during his junior season, most recently with a seasonal-best throw of 212 feet, 2 inches in taking the event title at the USATF Throws Initiative Test Meet last weekend in Chula Vista, California. Brown first set LSU’s school-record mark with a meet-record throw of 210-10 as the 2014 Penn Relays champion.