Throwers, Distance Runners to Open Outdoor Season

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Throwers, Distance Runners to Open Outdoor Season

BATON ROUGE – As the dust settles on a 2014 indoor season that ended at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships last weekend, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will turn their attention outdoors as they send a group of throwers and distance runners to Ruston, La., to compete at Louisiana Tech’s Jim Mize Invitational on Saturday.

Saturday’s action kicks off at 9 a.m. CT with the first field events of the day with the men’s hammer throw, followed by the first events on the track at 2 p.m. at the Jim Mize Track & Field Complex.

Headlining LSU’s appearance at the Jim Mize Invitational this week will be junior All-American Rodney Brown, who earned a fourth-place finish nationally in the men’s discus at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships to wrap up his sophomore season a year ago. Brown was the No. 2-ranked collegian during the 2013 outdoor season after setting a personal best of 206 feet, 3 inches for his top mark of 2013.

Brown has opened each of the last two seasons impressively while competing at the Louisiana Classics in Lafayette as he finished runner-up in the discus final as a freshman in 2012 with a season-opening mark of 190-8 and won the discus title as a sophomore last season with an opening mark of 197-1 to kick off his first All-America campaign.

Brown will lead a host of Tigers in the discus that is scheduled to get underway Saturday at 11:30 a.m. as he is joined by fellow junior Jeremy Tuttle, sophomore Terry Hughes and freshman Jeremy Octeau.

Tuttle is scheduled to compete in three events in his outdoor opener on Saturday as he will also throw the hammer and javelin during the Jim Mize Invitational. He was an NCAA qualifier in the hammer and javelin with the Tigers a year ago as he was also an SEC scorer in both events for the second year in a row. Tuttle enters his junior season in 2014 with personal bests of 165-10 in the discus and 201-0 in the hammer that was set last spring, while he also owns a personal best of 227-6 in the javelin that was set in his first career SEC final as a freshman in 2012.

Two other SEC scorers from last season are also set to open their 2014 outdoor seasons as junior Philip Primeaux will line up in the men’s 1,500 meters and sophomore Doren Welch will compete in the women’s javelin on Saturday. Welch took sixth place in the javelin in her first SEC final a year ago, while Primeaux added an eighth-place finish for the Tigers in the 1,500-meter final at the conference meet.

Two promising rookies will also line up in the 800 meters on Saturday after setting lifetime personal bests in the event during the 2014 indoor season while wearing the LSU uniform for the first time in their careers.

Blair Henderson is coming off a freshman season indoors in which he raced to a lifetime best of 1 minute, 49.37 seconds in winning the men’s 800 meters at Notre Dame’s Alex Wilson Invitational on Feb. 22. Lady Tigers freshman Morgan Schuetz also enjoyed a strong rookie season indoors in which she set a lifetime best of 2:08.86 at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 14.

After selected athletes open up the 2014 outdoor season this weekend at Louisiana Tech, many of the Tigers and Lady Tigers will open up their outdoor season next weekend with a trip to Austin, Texas, to compete at the 87th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays that will run March 26-29 at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas.