2013 Track & Field Preview: Distance
- 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.
Eighth in a 10-part series previews a the women's middle distance and distance runners who will be competing in 2013.
Women's Middle Distance & Distance
The Lady Tigers have produced some of the nation's leading performers in the middle distance events in recent years, and they are sure to contend for postseason recognition once again in 2013 as Hempstead, N.Y., native Charlene Lipsey returns for her senior season to lead the team as a national championship contender in the 800 meters.
Lipsey, who signed with the Lady Tigers as the No. 1-ranked 800-meter recruit in the country for the Class of 2009, has certainly lived up to the hype as she enters her senior season as the reigning NCAA Outdoor silver medalist in the event. She has now claimed three All-America honors in her career, which also includes a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor meet in 2011 and a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Indoor meet a season ago.
Lipsey has her sights set on taking down LSU's school records in the women's 800 meters as she already ranks No. 3 indoors at 2:03.79 and tied for No. 2 outdoors at 2:01.40 among Lady Tigers all-time.
Samantha Levin also returns as one of the nation's leading freshmen in the 800-meter run as an SEC scorer and NCAA qualifier in the event a year ago. Levin boasts a PR of 2:06.74 set in her senior year of high school at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis.
And by signing Jamaican international Natoya Goule to a National Letter of Intent as one of the top recruits joining the NCAA ranks in the Class of 2012, the Lady Tigers are sure to compete with one of the deepest stables of 800-meter runners during the 2013 season. A native of Clarendon, Jamaica, and product of South Plains College, Goule joined the Lady Tigers as a 10-time junior college national champion while setting PRs of 51.52 in the 400 meters and 2:01.45 in the 800 meters in the two seasons prior to her arrival in Baton Rouge.
Leading the Lady Tigers in the distance races is Laura Carleton as she returns for her senior season as one of the elite distance runners in the SEC and NCAA. Carleton missed earning a spot in the national semifinal in the 5,000 meters by just one spot with her 13th-place finish at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in 2012, while she was also a scorer for the 1,500 meters outdoors and 3,000 meters indoors at the SEC Championships.
Carleton will run in 2013 with personal bests of 4:22.31 in the 1,500 meters, 4:43.12 in the mile, 9:29.44 in the 3,000 meters and 16:28.08 in the 5,000 meters that she set as a junior last spring.
Check back Wednesday as Part 9 of LSU Track & Field's 2013 Season Preview will feature the women's jumpers.