BATON ROUGE – Six current and future members of the LSU Track & Field program will look to earn their spot on Team USA competing at the IAAF World Junior Championships later this summer when they travel to Eugene, Oregon, this weekend for the 2014 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships beginning Saturday at Hayward Field.
The USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held on Saturday and Sunday at the University of Oregon as the top two finishers in each event will earn the right to represent the United States at the IAAF World Junior Championships, which will also be held at Oregon’s Hayward Field later this month from July 22-27.
Four Lady Tiger freshmen highlight the action as Nataliyah Friar (long jump), Jada Martin (100 meters, 200 meters), Bryiana Richardson (400 hurdles) and Rebekah Wales (javelin) will compete this weekend.
Friar is coming off an outstanding rookie season with the Lady Tigers as an NCAA Championships qualifier in the long jump during both the indoor and outdoor seasons. She set a lifetime personal record indoors with a seasonal-best mark of 20 feet, 8 inches in the event en route to a ninth-place finish overall at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Martin will line up this weekend with seasonal bests of 11.35 wind-legal in the 100 meters and 22.96 wind-aided in the 200 meters as one of the premier freshmen sprinters in the NCAA ranks for 2014.
Richardson ended her rookie season with the Lady Tigers with a run to the NCAA quarterfinals in the women’s 400-meter hurdles as she ran her two fastest times in the event at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds held in Jacksonville, Florida. Richardson clocked a PR of 58.63 in the first round of qualifying before running 58.64 for 20th place overall in the quarterfinal round at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds.
Wales, who threw a personal best of 166-10 in her collegiate debut in the javelin at Louisiana Tech’s Jim Mize Invitational, was also an NCAA Championships qualifier in her debut season as she finished in 19th place with her performance at the NCAA Championships as she returns to the site of her NCAA debut at Oregon’s Hayward Field.
Two members of the Lady Tigers’ heralded recruiting Class of 2014 will also be competing at the USA Junior Championships this weekend with hurdler Kymber Payne (Compton, California) joining Richardson in the 400-meter hurdles and Sidnie Wilder (Cameron, Wisconsin) competing in the hammer throw.
Payne is currently the nation’s No. 5-ranked prep hurdler in the 300 hurdles with a seasonal best of 41.35, while also owning her personal best of 41.32 in the event. Wilder ended her senior season of high school rated as the No. 4-ranked high school hammer thrower for the 2014 season with a personal best of 181-8 in the event as both look forward to one of the premier meets of their prep careers.