Track & Field Teams Wrap Up Indoor Season at NCAA's
BATON ROUGE - After receiving a combined 13 entries from the NCAA Selection Committee on Monday night, the LSU Track & Field teams will wrap up the indoor season this weekend with a return trip to Fayetteville, Ark., to compete at the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships beginning Friday at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Live results of the NCAA Indoor Championships will be provided by Flash Results and can be found online at www.flashresults.com.
ESPN3.com will also provide live streaming video of the championship on Friday beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT and Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. ESPNU will also air a two-hour tape-delay broadcast of the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships on Sunday, March 17, from 6-8 p.m. CT.
Junior Denise Hinton will kick off the championship for the Lady Tigers on Friday at 12:30 p.m. as she steps into the circle for the flights of the women's weight throw. Senior Damar Forbes is the first Tiger scheduled to compete as he takes flight in the men's long jump at 5:30 p.m. The teams will step onto the track for the first time on Friday at 6 p.m. in their first preliminary heats of the meet.
Saturday's action continues for the Tigers and Lady Tigers with the field events at 6 p.m. CT and the first finals on the track at 6:20 p.m. The 2013 NCAA Indoor team champions will be honored with a brief awards ceremony at approximately 8:30 p.m. after the running of the men's and women's 4x400-meter relays.
Fans can receive additional coverage of Tigers and Lady Tigers competing this weekend by liking LSU Track & Field on Facebook and following @LSUTrackField on Twitter.
The LSU women are poised to snap an eight-year drought with their first NCAA Indoor crown since 2004 as they enter the weekend as the No. 1-ranked team in the country in this week's Top 25 rankings released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. It marks the fourth-straight week in which the Lady Tigers have been recognized as the No. 1-ranked team nationally as they have also been ranked No. 1 in the Track & Field News Women's Dual Meet Top 20 rankings throughout the season.
The Lady Tigers boast 10 entries competing in eight different events as they own a streak of three-straight third-place finishes at the NCAA Indoor Championships since 2010.
The Tigers are ranked No. 15 nationally in this week's USTFCCCA Top 25 men's power rankings as they enter the weekend with a streak of five-straight top-five finishes in the men's team standings at the NCAA Indoor Championships since 2008. They will feature three entries competing in three different events during the meet.
"This indoor season has certainly flown by as we have come back to Arkansas one last time for what we expect to be a very competitive NCAA Championship," said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. "We've seen steady progress from our athletes each week in preparing themselves for this moment. I'm proud of the improvement they've shown and what they've done to get to this point.
"Our teams are prepared to compete at the highest level here this weekend. These are the meets and the moments they will always remember from their time at LSU."
The Lady Tigers have their sights set on a national championship after scoring 27 points in earning their third-straight third-place team finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships held at the Jacksons Indoor Track in Nampa, Idaho, during the 2012 season. The Tigers also scored 27 points en route to a fifth-place finish in the men's team race a year ago.
LSU has found a home on the awards podium throughout the history of the NCAA Indoor Championships as the teams have combined for 13 team titles all-time.
The Lady Tigers have captured 11 NCAA Indoor team championships and the Tigers have won a pair of team titles of their own in the meet's history. They have also combined to claim 30 team trophies en route to top-four team finishes in the final standings during the NCAA Indoor Championships.
LSU Track & Field also owns the distinction of being the first program to sweep men's and women's team titles at the NCAA Indoor meet after winning their last team championships in 2004.
"We're certainly proud of the success we've achieved at this meet over the years," Shaver said. "Our athletes have prepared themselves well to achieve great things again this season. We expect this will be a very competitive weekend to finish off the indoor season. I would not be surprised if both team races come down to the final relays on Saturday."
Senior sprint star Kimberlyn Duncan is the only LSU athlete to qualify in a pair of individual events as she looks to score big points for the Lady Tigers in the 60 meters and 200 meters.
Duncan is the two-time defending NCAA Indoor champion in the 200-meter dash as she enters the weekend as the NCAA and World leader in the event with an indoor personal record of 22.54 seconds in defending her SEC Indoor crown. She is looking to make history as the first women's sprinter in collegiate history to secure three-straight NCAA Indoor gold medals in the one-lap race. Duncan is also a national title contender in the 60-meter dash as she has run 7.16 for a No. 2 national ranking in this year's field.
Joining Duncan in the 60-meter field is fellow Lady Tiger senior Takeia Pinckney, who has run a seasonal-best time of 7.28 to rank No. 7 among NCAA qualifiers scheduled to compete during the meet.
LSU's gold-medal favorites battled one another for the SEC Indoor crown in a 1-2 finish at the SEC Championships back on Feb. 24 as Lipsey recorded a new indoor school record of 2 minutes, 2.48 seconds to defend her SEC Indoor title and Goule followed with her indoor PR of 2:03.08 to finish the race as the NCAA's No. 2-ranked performer in the event.
Making her third appearance in as many seasons at the NCAA Indoor Championships is Lady Tiger junior Jasmin Stowers, who is a two-time finalist in the 60-meter hurdles. Stowers took her third-straight SEC Indoor title in the event while running the nation's third-fastest time at 8.06 for a seasonal best.
Emanuel is tied as the No. 3 seed in the triple jump field as she has jumped a lifetime personal best of 44 feet, 2 inches. Pitts follows with the No. 6-ranked mark in the field with a lifetime best of her own at 43-9 this season. Hinton is making her second career NCAA Championships appearance in the weight throw with a school record of 70-9 ¼ set in 2013.
Like Duncan, Ernest enters the weekend as the NCAA and World leader in the men's 200-meter dash after clocking an indoor personal best of 20.53 in taking the SEC Indoor title in the event. Ernest holds a seasonal best that is more than one tenth of a second faster than the rest of the field competing this weekend.
Forbes is also seeking his first career national title this weekend after winning each of the last three silver medals in the long jump at the NCAA Championships, including two NCAA Outdoor silver medals in 2011 and 2012 and one NCAA Indoor silver medal during his junior season a year ago. Forbes is the NCAA's No. 2-ranked long jumper with a seasonal-best jump of 26-7 3/4.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers also feature the NCAA's No. 9-ranked 4x400-meter relay teams as the men have run 3:07.41 and the women have run 3:33.91 in the event during the 2013 season.
LSU's 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships Qualifiers
Athlete, Event, Top Mark/Time (NCAA Rank)
Aaron Ernest, 200 meters, 20.53 (1)
Damar Forbes, Long Jump, 26-5 ¾ (2)
Downing, Williams, Grayson, Bush; 4x400 relay; 3:07.41 (9)
Athlete, Event, Top Mark/Time (NCAA Rank)
Kimberlyn Duncan, 60 meters, 7.16 (2)
Kimberlyn Duncan, 200 meters, 22.54 (1)
Keri Emanuel, Triple Jump, 44-2 (4)
Natoya Goule, 800 meters, 2:03.08 (2)
Denise Hinton, Weight Throw, 70-9 ¼ (7)
Charlene Lipsey, 800 meters, 2:02.48 (1)
Takeia Pinckney, 60 meters, 7.28 (7)
Lynnika Pitts, Triple Jump, 43-9 (6)
Jasmin Stowers, 60 hurdles, 8.06 (3)
Herbert, Duncan, Roye-Speight, Goule; 4x400 relay; 3:33.91 (9)