Lady Tigers Indoor Track & Field Preseason No. 1

LaTavia Thomas, Nickiesha Wilson and Deonna Lawrence
LaTavia Thomas, Nickiesha Wilson and Deonna Lawrence
Bryan Wayne (@LSUsports) (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- The season opener is right around the corner for the LSU track and field teams, and the Lady Tigers are the favorite to win their 12th indoor national championship as they are ranked No. 1 in the preseason coaches’ poll released Thursday.

The Tigers are also among the national favorites in the indoor season as they have been ranked No. 5 by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, which held its annual convention in Phoenix, Ariz., this past week.

The Lady Tigers look to continue their success from a season ago when they were the national runners-up during both the indoor and outdoor seasons.

They return five national champion athletes and nine All-Americans from last year’s squad and will be led by the likes of senior sprinter Kelly Baptiste and senior hurdler Jessica Ohanaja. Both are sure to contend for national titles this year as Baptiste was the NCAA runner-up in the indoor 200 meters last season, while Ohanaja was the national runner-up in the 60-meter hurdles.

Junior Nickiesha Wilson returns as one of the nation’s top performers in the 60 hurdles and is a key member of LSU’s 4x400-meter relay team after earning a pair of All-America honors in the events during the indoor season in 2007.

The Lady Tigers’ 1,600-meter relay is the national favorite during the indoor season as Wilson will team with seniors Juanita Broaddus, Deonna Lawrence and Brooklynn Morris, sophomore LaTavia Thomas and freshman Brittany Hall to form one of the deepest relay pools in the nation.

The Tigers are also looking to build on last season’s success as they followed a 10th-place finish at the indoor national meet with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Leading the way for the Tigers will be sophomore Trindon Holliday, who is among the favorites to win the NCAA title in the 60-meter dash. Holliday did not compete during the indoor season in 2007 but was the NCAA runner-up in the 100 meters during the outdoor season.

Other LSU athletes who will be competing for individual All-America honors during the indoor season are seniors Reggie Dardar (400 meters) and Richard Thompson (60 meters), juniors Jeremy Hicks (long jump) and Reuben Twijukye (800 meters) and sophomores Will Coppage (long jump) and Jamaal James (800 meters).

The USTFCCCA Division I indoor track and field rankings are compiled solely using the NCAA descending order lists, and this year’s preseason rankings are based on returning athletes and their position on the final descending order list of the 2007 season.

The Tigers and Lady Tigers open the indoor season Jan. 19 as they play host to the Purple Tiger Classic at the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse. The Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., will play host to both the SEC and NCAA Indoor Championships as the SEC meet is set for Feb. 29-March 2 with the NCAA meet following on March 14-15.

USTFCCCA Division I Women’s Indoor Preseason Rankings
1. LSU
2. Arizona State
3. Tennessee
4. Michigan
5. Stanford
6. South Carolina
7. Texas Tech
8. Texas A&M
9. Arkansas
10. Virginia Tech
11. Texas
12. Penn State
13. Florida
14. UCLA
15. Minnesota
16. North Carolina
17. Ole Miss
18. Villanova
19. California
20. Southern Illinois
21. Hampton
22. BYU
23. Georgia
24. Iowa
25. Illinois

USTFCCCA Division I Men’s Indoor Preseason Rankings
1. Florida State
2. Washington
3. Tennessee
4. Florida
5. LSU
6. Louisville
7. Stanford
8. Northern Iowa
9. Arkansas
10. Baylor
11. Kansas
12. Nebraska
13. Oregon
14. Clemson
15. Wisconsin
16. Georgia
17. Oklahoma
18. Texas
19. Arizona State
20. Idaho
21. Texas A&M
22. Auburn
23. Missouri
24. Oral Roberts
25. Virginia Tech





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