Track & Field Returns Home to Host LSU Twilight

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
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Track & Field Returns Home to Host LSU Twilight

BATON ROUGE — After opening up their 2015 indoor season by playing host to the LSU Indoor Invitational back on Jan. 9, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will return home to the Carl Maddox Field House for the first time in more than a month on Friday night while headlining their annual LSU Twilight meet that kicks off at 2:30 p.m. CT in Baton Rouge.

This year’s LSU Twilight will serve as the team’s final tune up for the championship season as they will compete at the 2015 SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships in Lexington, Kentucky, next weekend.

A full slate of events will be on offer for fans attending the meet as the action kicks off with the field events at 2:30 p.m. CT followed by the first preliminary races on the track at 4 p.m. The LSU Twilight will run through the women’s distance medley relay that is scheduled to end at approximately 7:20 p.m. on Friday night.

Fans of the LSU Track & Field program can receive live updates of the Tigers and Lady Tigers competing at the LSU Twilight by following @LSUTrackField on both Twitter at http://twitter.com/lsutrackfield and Instagram at http://instagram.com/lsutrackfield and also by liking the official LSU Track & Field team page on Facebook at http://facebook.com/lsutrackfield.

LSU’s squads are ranked among the nation’s elite as the Tigers are No. 6 on the men’s side and the Lady Tigers are No. 18 on the women’s side in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Top 25 power rankings released on Monday afternoon. This is the first week in which only performances achieved during the 2015 indoor season are factored into the USTFCCCA’s ranking calculation.

As it does each season, the LSU Twilight will feature a Louisiana flavor with such in-state programs as Loyola-New Orleans, McNeese State, New Orleans, Nicholls State, Northwestern State, Southeastern Louisiana and Tulane making the trip to Baton Rouge on Friday night. Rounding out the field from outside the state borders are Rice, Hinds Community College and Meridian Community College.

A number of Tigers and Lady Tigers will be looking to improve their qualifying marks for the NCAA Championships during Friday’s competition as they seek a Top 16 ranking nationally in their respective events.

For the Tigers, senior Joshua Thompson and sophomores Jordan Moore and Tremayne Acy already rank among the NCAA’s Top 16 this season as they will run to solidify their NCAA qualification on Friday night. Thompson is coming off a victory in the men’s 60-meter hurdles at Arkansas’ Tyson Invitational where he clocked a personal record of 7.73 seconds to rank No. 5 nationally in the event. Moore owns the nation’s No. 13 time in the 60 hurdles this season at 7.80, while Acy is the No. 16-ranked 60-meter sprinter with a 6.65 seasonal best.

Joining Acy in the 60-meter dash on Friday is senior All-American Aaron Ernest, who checks in at No. 22 in the national rankings in the event with a personal best of 6.67 set at the Tyson Invitational last weekend. Senior Rodney Brown also looks to improve upon his seasonal-best mark in the men’s weight throw as he ranks No. 20 nationally in the event with a best of 69 feet, 3 ¼ inches this season.

Three LSU Lady Tigers are also on the verge of NCAA qualification in the 60 meters this season as freshman Aleia Hobbs (7.29) ranks No. 12, freshman Mikiah Brisco (7.30) ranks No. 13 and sophomore Jada Martin (7.34) ranks No. 21 in the event heading into Friday’s competition. They will surely battle one another for the women’s even title on Friday night.

Already cracking the NCAA’s Top 16 this season is sophomore Nataliyah Friar, who ranks No. 16 nationally in the women’s long jump with a top jump of 20-5 ¾ in 2015. Freshman Daeshon Gordon looks to improve upon her time of 8.30 in the 60 hurdles that ranks No. 19 nationally, while sophomore Morgan Schuetz will line up hoping to drop her seasonal best of 2:06.32 in the 800 meters that ranks No. 21 nationally in 2015.

After playing host to their annual LSU Twilight meet at the Carl Maddox Field House on Friday, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will kick off the championship season next weekend with a return trip to Lexington, Kentucky, in the 2015 SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships running Feb. 27-28 at the Nutter Field House at the University of Kentucky. It will be LSU’s second appearance this season at Kentucky’s Nutter Field House as they also competed at the Rod McCravy Invitational back on Jan. 23-24 in the third week of the season.