Track & Field Teams Hold Top Spot in Rankings

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Track & Field Teams Hold Top Spot in Rankings

BATON ROUGE — The rest of the collegiate track and field world is looking up at LSU once again as the Tigers and Lady Tigers have held their No. 1 position in the latest ranking released by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

This marks the second consecutive week that the squads have topped the organization’s weekly power ranking as it is based on the seasonal best performances of collegiate athletes nationwide and their ranking on the NCAA men’s and women’s performance lists.

LSU is fresh off a dominating weekend at the 114th Penn Relays in Philadelphia in which it set a combined record for Championship of America relay titles won in a single weekend with six.

The Tigers won a pair of Penn’s coveted wagon wheels during the competition by winning the 4×100 and sprint medley relays, while the Lady Tigers racked up four wagon wheels of their own after taking top honors in the 4×100, 4×800, shuttle hurdle and sprint medley relays. LSU’s six titles between the men and women breaks the meet record of five previously held by Villanova.

The Lady Tigers set two records in the relay events as they established a new meet record in the 4×100-meter relay with the third-fastest time in the history of women’s collegiate track and field at 42.59 seconds. They also set a new collegiate record of 52.77 to win the shuttle hurdle relay, breaking the previous time of 52.85 set by Illinois in 2001.

Sophomore LaTavia Thomas returned to her hometown and anchored the Lady Tigers to victory in both the 4×800 and sprint medley relays en route to being named the College Women’s Athlete of the Meet for relay events at this year’s relay carnival.

Thomas, who was named the SEC Female Track Athlete of the Week for her effort, joins a select group of Lady Tigers to be named the College Women’s Athlete of the Meet for relay events that includes the likes of Cheryl Taplin (1994), D’Andre Hill (1996) and Muna Lee (2003).

She is a graduate of West Catholic High School in Philadelphia and currently boasts the nation’s fastest time in the 800-meter run at 2 minutes, 3.22 seconds.

Fellow sophomore Katelyn Rodrigue enjoyed a history-making weekend of her own as she accomplished Thursday what no Lady Tiger has ever done by breaking her own school record in the pole vault to win the championship section of the event at the Penn Relays.

Rodrigue went over the bar at 13 feet, 7 ? inches to set a new overall personal best and raise her outdoor school record of 13-3 ? that was set at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships a year ago. She was named the SEC Female Field Event Athlete of the Week as she wrapped up the competition ranked No. 2 in the SEC and No. 9 in the NCAA in the pole vault.

The squads are now preparing for the postseason as they will travel to Auburn, Ala., in two weeks to compete in the 2008 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships from May 15-18. The Lady Tigers look to defend their team title from a year ago, while the Tigers hope to win their first SEC Outdoor championship since 1990 after finishing runner-up in 2007.

USTFCCCA Top 25

MEN
1. LSU, 278.93
2. Texas A&M, 273.05
3. Florida State, 266.48
4. Florida, 245.31
5. Texas, 184.78
6. Auburn, 182.38
7. UCLA, 176.05
8. Arkansas, 174.68
9. Baylor, 164.85
10. Southern California, 160.87
11. Arizona State, 160.50
12. Tennessee, 147.43
13. TCU, 139.56
14. Oregon, 127.41
15. Kentucky, 122.32
16. UTEP, 118.22
17. Liberty, 114.96
18. Clemson, 108.30
19. Colorado, 107.97
20. BYU, 105.71
21. Wisconsin, 104.23
22. Texas Tech, 102.40
23. Georgia, 100.25
24. California, 100.04
25. Washington State, 96.99

WOMEN
1. LSU, 343.80
2. Arizona State, 315.25
3. Texas A&M, 294.80
4. Virginia Tech, 200.60
5. Southern California, 190.83
6. Texas Tech, 179.36
7. Florida, 161.89
8. Miami (Fla.), 154.95
9. UTEP, 151.72
10. Minnesota, 140.82
11. UCLA, 138.48
12. Penn State, 130.61
13. Oregon, 122.48
14. Tennessee, 120.97
15. TCU, 118.80
16. Auburn, 116.07
17. Florida State, 112.19
18. Oklahoma, 109.81
19. Texas, 103.78
20. Stanford, 102.40
21. Michigan, 97.37
22. Arkansas, 97.12
23. Arizona, 96.63
24. Baylor, 96.19
25. Ole Miss, 95.40