2013 Track & Field Preview: Hurdles
- Part 1: Sprints, Relays
- Part 2: Hurdles
- Part 3: Distance, Middle Distance
- Part 4: Jumps, Pole Vault
- Part 5: Throws
After earning a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships and defending their crown at the SEC Outdoor Championships during the 2012 season, the Lady Tigers are poised for another championship run as they return six All-Americans and one of the nation's top recruiting classes that will provide the foundation for one of the NCAA's most talented teams this spring. Like the men's team, the Lady Tigers feature a balanced squad with All-America hopefuls in each of the five event areas, including the sprints, hurdles, jumps, throws and middle distances. That firepower is sure to lead the Lady Tigers into the championship chase again in 2013.
Seventh in a 10-part series previews a the women's hurdlers who will be competing in 2013.
While the Lady Tigers are sure to score most of their points in the sprints and relays as they compete for SEC and NCAA championships again this spring, they will also pack a punch in the hurdle events featuring national title and All-America contenders in both the sprint hurdles and intermediate hurdles during the 2013 season.
Jasmin Stowers has certainly earned her reputation as one of the NCAA's elite performers in the 60-meter hurdles and 100-meter hurdles with her performance in two seasons with the Lady Tigers. A three-time All-American and four-time SEC champion, Stowers is sure to contend for a national title in each event as one of the nation's top returning hurdlers from a year ago.
Stowers enjoyed her best races in defending her conference titles last season as she ran an impressive personal best of 8.03 seconds to win her second SEC Indoor title in the 60 hurdles and a seasonal best of 12.92 to win her second SEC Outdoor title in the 100 hurdles in as many seasons. She also set her PR of 12.88 in the 100 hurdles in winning the SEC Outdoor crown as a freshman in 2011.
Stowers is unmatched against her SEC rivals as she has won all four hurdle finals in which she has raced at the SEC Championships in her two seasons at LSU. She wrapped up her sophomore year in 2012 with a fifth-place finish nationally in the 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Senior Shanekia Hall also returns as an NCAA qualifier during the indoor and outdoor seasons a year ago as she is poised to reach All-America status as an NCAA scorer in 2013. Hall set PRs of 8.15 in the 60 hurdles and 13.11 in the 100 hurdles in her first year with the Lady Tigers after transferring from Essex County College as part of LSU's recruiting Class of 2011.
While Stowers and Hall return as All-America contenders in the sprint hurdles, LSU must fill the void left by NCAA champion Cassandra Tate as the nation's leading 400-meter hurdler during her senior season a season ago. Tate became the fourth Lady Tiger in team history to claim the NCAA Outdoor crown in the event with her winning run of 55.22 in last year's NCAA final.
Two-time NAIA national champion Nikita Tracey joins the program following two years at Oklahoma Baptist University where she dominated the competition as a member of the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics. A native of Clarendon, Jamaica, Tracey has run a PR of 56.89 in the 400 hurdles as one of the emerging talents in her native country.
The Lady Tigers also signed 2011 junior college national champion Shana-Gaye Tracey (no relation) to a National Letter of Intent as part of their Class of 2012 last spring. A fellow Jamaican international, Shana-Gaye Tracey set her personal best of 57.74 in the 400 hurdles during her stint at South Plains College where she claimed the junior college national title as a freshman.
Check back later today as Part 7 of LSU Track & Field's 2013 Season Preview will feature the women's middle distance and distance runners.