FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Lady Tigers picked up their first points of this year's SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships during Friday's pentathlon at the Randal Tyson Track Center as freshman Therese Jernbeck smashed her personal-best score as one of the Top 10 performers in school history en route to a sixth-place finish in the competition.
Jernbeck's 3,864 points ranks No. 8 on LSU's all-time pentathlon list and gives the Lady Tigers their first three points in their race for the SEC Indoor title.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Moreau joined her teammate in Friday's pentathlon as she tallied 3,501 points for a 14th-place finish in her first career appearance at the SEC Indoor Championships.
Jernbeck got off to a fast start as she broke her previous personal best in the 60-meter hurdles by nearly three tenths of a second with a run of 9.36 seconds for 836 points in the event. She followed with a pair of indoor personal records by clearing 5 feet, 4 ¼ inches on her third attempt for 771 points in the high jump and throwing 40-2 ¼ on her second attempt for 678 points in the shot put.
Jernbeck then took flight with a lifetime PR on her first attempt in the long jump as she soared 18-0 ½ from the board to add 700 points to her score. With a mark of 18-0 ½ on Friday, Jernbeck leaped past her previous lifetime wind-legal best of 17-11 she set while competing in the heptathlon at the 2011 European Junior Athletics Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.
The Swedish international then went out with a bang as she won the 800 meters in a time of 2 minutes, 15.99 seconds, finishing just one one-hundredth of a second off of her lifetime PR of 2:15.98 run in her first collegiate pentathlon as a Lady Tiger at the Razorback Invitational on Jan. 25.
A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Jernbeck finished Friday's competition 290 points better than the 3,574 points scored in her collegiate debut at the Razorback Invitational.
"I've felt in practice that I had it in me to perform. I've been waiting for that moment to show it in competition," Jernbeck said. "It's hard when you're at a new school with a new coach in an environment like this for the first time. But I feel like I've learned so much in my short time at LSU. I've been changing some of my techniques with some of the events that are really starting to help me. I'm more used to them than I was at the start. I just felt great competing today. It's a lot of fun to do that for the team.
"I tried to compete as hard as I could. It feels so good to be able to give back to the team. As a freshman, it's hard to see yourself coming here and winning an event like this. So, I went out there and gave it everything I had. I'm very happy to be able to score points in my first (SEC) championship."
Moreau totaled 3,501 points while earning a 14th-place finish in her debut at the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships.
She opened the competition with back-to-back PRs as she sprinted to an indoor best of 8.73 for 836 points in the 60-meter hurdles before clearing a lifetime best of 5-3 for her first attempt for 736 points in the high jump. She then threw 34-11 ¼ for 572 points in the shot put, jumped 17-0 ½ for 612 points in the long jump and ran 2:36.46 for 614 points in the 800 meters.
With their performance, the Lady Tigers emerged with three points in what is certainly one of the SEC's strongest events on the women's side.
Arkansas senior Makeba Alcide made history as she set a collegiate record with 4,569 points to claim the SEC Indoor pentathlon title, breaking the previous mark of 4,555 set by former Oregon Duck multi-event star Brianne Theisen in 2011. Georgia's Lucie Ondraschkova scored the silver medal with 4,208 points and Texas A&M's Jena Hemann took home the bronze medal with 4,017 points.
The action continues for the Tigers and Lady Tigers at the 2013 SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday as the field events are set to start at 10 a.m. CT followed by the first preliminary rounds on the track at 1:30 p.m. Live results of the meet can be found online at www.flashresults.com.