Track & Field Announces Class of 2014: Sprinters

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Track & Field Announces Class of 2014: Sprinters

The LSU Track & Field program has signed an outstanding group of recruits to National Letters of Intent for the Class of 2014 that will compete for the first time next year. Monday’s announcement is the first in a five-part series announcing the signing of the team’s sprint recruits for the 2015 season.

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Track & Field program features a deep stable of sprinters year in and year out, and the Lady Tigers have announced the signing of three elite high school sprinters to National Letters of Intent on Monday to bolster their squad for the 2015 season in the first of a five-part series featuring LSU’s recruiting Class of 2014.

Joining the program as true freshmen for the 2015 season are a pair of Louisiana products in Mikiah Brisco (Baton Rouge, La.) and Aleia Hobbs (New Orleans, La.) and Ohio native Oksana Lawrence (Dayton, Ohio).

Brisco and Hobbs have signed National Letters of Intent as two of the nation’s top performer in the 60-meter dash indoors and 100-meter and 200-meter dashes outdoors, while Lawrence has established herself as an elite performer nationally in the 400-meter dash. The trio is sure to impact LSU’s strength and depth in each of the sprints and relays during their debut season.

“We’re very excited to sign three young women of such quality to add immediate strength and depth to our sprint group next season,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “This is the type of class we had to bring in to help us compete on a national level for years to come. They will line up in each of the sprinting events while also providing our team with immediate depth in the relays when we line up in 2015.”

Brisco will join the Lady Tigers following her senior season in 2014 in which she is the No. 1-ranked high school sprinter in the United States regardless of classification with her performance indoors.

The Baton Rouge native put an exclamation point onto the end of her senior season indoors this past weekend when she was crowned the New Balance Indoor Nationals Champion in the 60-meter dash with a record-breaking performance in the national championship held at The Armory Track & Field Center in New York City.

Brisco brought home the gold when she sprinted to the finish line with a personal-best time of 7.26 seconds in the 60-meter final at the 2014 New Balance Indoor Nationals, breaking the 15-year-old meet record run of 7.29 that was last set by Alexis Joyce in 1999. By running a PR of 7.26, she also tied the 8-year-old high school record at The Armory that was last set by Olympian Bianca Knight back in 2006.

Brisco has enjoyed a historic high school career at local Baton Rouge Magnet High School, where she has won 22 state championships in the sprints, hurdles and relays since her freshman season in 2011.

Brisco signed her National Letter of Intent as the nation’s No. 1-ranked high school sprinter in the 60-meter dash regardless of class during the 2014 indoor season after winning the Louisiana Division I state title with an impressive time of 7.31 as her previous PR in the event. She also clocked a personal best of 8.45 in winning the 2014 state title in the 60-meter hurdles to rank No. 4 nationally among high school seniors in the event.

Brisco burst onto the national and international stages with a breakout junior campaign at Baton Rouge Magnet High School in 2013 during which she was named the Gatorade Louisiana Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year and a member of the American Family Insurance All-USA Girls Track & Field Team.

She swept Class 5A state titles in the 100 meters (11.55), 200 meters (23.85w) and 100 hurdles (13.87) to receive Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet honors for the 2013 Louisiana High School Athletics Association Class 5A Outdoor State Championships. Her personal best of 11.55 in the 100 meters ranked No. 10 nationally among all classifications and No. 3 among members of the Class of 2014, while her PR of 13.87 in the hurdles ranked No. 11 nationwide in her graduating class for the 2013 outdoor season.

Brisco then sprinted into the summer when she brought home the bronze medal for the United States in the 100-meter hurdles at the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships held in Donetsk, Ukraine.

After earning her spot on Team USA with a runner-up finish in the final of the 100-meter hurdles at the USA Track & Field World Youth Trials, Brisco lined up in the final at the IAAF World Youth Championships and ran a personal best of 13.29 in the youth hurdles to bag the bronze medal in her international debut for the United States to wrap up the 2013 outdoor season.

Like Brisco, Hobbs is one of the most decorated sprinters in the history of high school track and field in the state of Louisiana in the wake of her brilliant career at Eleanor McMain High School in New Orleans.

A former USA Track & Field Youth Outdoor Championships gold medalist in both the 100 meters and 200 meters and USATF National Junior Olympics silver medalist in the 100 meters, Hobbs capped her junior season in 2013 with a sweep of Class 3A state championships in the 100 meters (11.68) and 200 meters (23.99w) at the 2013 LHSAA Class 3A Outdoor State Championships held at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

Hobbs followed her performance at the state meet with an appearance at the 2013 USATF National Junior Olympics in Greensboro, N.C., where she matched her wind-legal PR of 11.68 in taking the silver medal for the 100 meters while also setting a wind-legal PR of 23.80 in the qualifying round of the 200 meters to finish the season as one of the elite dual sprinters in the country.

She finished the 2013 outdoor season as the nation’s No. 8-ranked prep performer in the 200 meters and the No. 15-ranked prep performer in the 100 meters among members of the Class of 2014.

Hobbs followed with a brilliant senior season indoors in 2014 as she captured the Louisiana Division II indoor state championship in the 60-meter dash while clocking a personal record of 7.49 in the state final. Her effort cracked the Top 10 of the national rankings for the 2014 indoor season as the No. 10-ranked time among all classifications and the No. 8-ranked time among members of her graduating class.

While both Brisco and Hobbs will bolster the Lady Tigers in the short sprints, Lawrence is another key addition as she will compete in the 400-meter dash and add depth to LSU’s 4×400-meter relay pool in 2015.

A product of Meadowdale High School in Dayton, Ohio, Lawrence joined Hobbs by winning the young women’s silver medal in the 400-meter final at the 2013 USATF National Junior Olympics last summer as she posted a personal-best run of 53.61 after clocking the fastest time in the qualifying round of 53.79 to advance to the national final. That performance established Lawrence as one of the top 400-meter recruits in the country as she ended the 2013 outdoor season as the nation’s No. 9-ranked prep performer among all classifications and the No. 3-ranked performer among the Class of 2014.

Lawrence wrapped up her junior season at Meadowdale High School by winning the Ohio Division II state crown in the 400 meters with a 54.04 clocking in the state final. She has also anchored her school’s 4×400-meter relay team to Ohio’s Division II outdoor state title in 2013 and Division II indoor state title in 2014 with her performance at the state meet.

Monday’s announcement of LSU’s sprint recruits is the first in a five-part series as the program announces its Class of 2014 this week. On Tuesday, Shaver and his staff will announce the signing of an outstanding group of hurdlers to National Letters of Intent that will compete for the first time during the 2015 season.