Track & Field Athletes Earn State's Top Honors

by Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Track & Field Athletes Earn State's Top Honors

Written for The LSWA

BATON ROUGE – NCAA Indoor and Outdoor 400 meter champion Vernon Norwood of LSU led the special award winners on the Louisiana Sports Writers Track and Field College Team announced this weekend by the organization.

The winners for various special awards were voted on by the SIDs of the various four-year schools in the state based on nominations provided. Sports Information personnel could not vote for athletes from their own schools. The top times list was based on information provided by the nation’s Top 500 times and verified by the various schools.

Norwood was named the men’s track athlete of the year while teammate Rodney Brown was named the field athlete of the year. Southeastern Louisiana had athletes chosen the men’s freshman (Devin King) and newcomer of the year (Alex Young), with LSU’s Dennis Shaver chosen as the men’s coach of the year.

On the women’s side, Aleia Hobbs of LSU was named the track and freshman athlete of the year, while teammate Tori Bliss of LSU was the field athlete of the year. Katerina Vodova of Tulane was the women’s newcomer of the year and Joseph Moses of Xavier was the women’s coach of the year.

Norwood not only swept the NCAA titles in the 400 meters, but also anchored the winning 4X400 meter relay team at the outdoor championships. The senior from Morgan City clocked in at 45.31 in the indoor final and 45.10 in the NCAA outdoors. Norwood ran a personal best of 44.44 to win the 400 meters at the LSU Alumni Gold meet and was No. 5 in the World rankings for the 2015 outdoor season.

Brown was the top-ranked discus thrower with a season and personal best mark of 213-5, winning the Penn Relays with that throw to go with titles at the SEC Outdoor Championships and the Texas Relays. The senior from Chappell Hill, Texas won eight discus titles in all in his final season and was ninth in the discus final at the NCAAs

Southeastern’s King, the state’s freshman honoree from Kentwood, posted Louisiana’s best pole vault performance to win the LSU Alumni Gold meet with a leap of 17-7. King qualified for the NCAA Outdoors where he finished 18th in the East Preliminary. In all would win five pole vault competitions in his first season.

Young of Southeastern also earned Southland Conference newcomer honors to go with his state honors. The junior from Nashville represented SLU in the NCAA Championships in the hammer throw, finishing 10th in the outdoor and 15th in the indoor championships. He also won the SLC outdoor title in the shot put. Young had the best shot-put performance and the third-best hammer throw in the state this season.

Shaver, in his 11th season as head coach, took the Tigers to a fourth-place finish in the NCAA outdoors and seventh place indoors with 16 All-America honors. The Tigers won three NCAA titles. LSU sprinters, hurdles and relay teams accounted for all 64 points at the two NCAA meets combined in 2015.

On the women’s side, Hobbs was the only double winner as track athlete and freshman of the year after her opening year as one of the NCAA’s leading sprinters in 2015. The New Orleans product was an NCAA finalist in the 100-meters, earning sixth place All-America honor in the NCAA outdoors after posting a personal best of 11.13 in the semifinals to earn spot in the finals. She also earned A-A honors as the second leg of LSU’s 4X100 relay that finished fifth at NCAAs.

On the field side, Bliss posted second in the shot put in the NCAA indoors (60-7.25) and third in the NCAA outdoors in the event (58-6). She posted 60-1 to win the SEC indoor title and broke her own outdoor school record with a career-best throw of 60-8 at the LSU Invitational.

Newcomer Vodova from Tulane transferred in from east Tennessee State for her senior season. She scored a total of 12 points for the Wave at The American outdoor championships, claiming second in the long jump (19-11) and fifth in the pole vault (12-10.25) and she competed in both events at the NCAA Regionals.

Coach Moses of Xavier was named the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in leading the Gold Nuggets to the GCAC women’s team championship for the third consecutive year and the fourth time in five years. Moses had qualifiers for the NAIA outdoor championships in four events and had two athletes who were CoSIDA Academic All-Americans.

Here is the list of state’s best times for men and women based on information from the Top 500 national times and provided by the school track and field SIDs:


Special Awards Voting

Men’s Track Athlete of the Year – Vernon Norwood – LSU
Voting – Norwood 6; Constant Pretorius, UNO 1

Men’s Field Athlete of the Year – Rodney Brown – LSU
Voting – Brown 4; Alex Young, Southeastern 2; Isaac Grieder, ULM 1

Men’s Freshman of the Year – Devin King, Southeastern Louisiana
Voting – King 6, Joseph Moses III, Xavier 1

Men’s Newcomer of the Year – Alex Young, Southeastern Louisiana
Voting – Young 4, Jordan Moore, LSU 2; Jarrett Samuels, Louisiana Tech 1

Men’s Coach of the Year – Dennis Shaver, LSU
Voting – Shaver 6; Eric Peterson, Tulane 1

Women’s Track Athlete of the Year – Aleia Hobbs, LSU
Voting – Hobbs 5; Alexis Fortenberry, UNO 1; Simone Johnson, McNeese State 1

Women’s Field Athlete of the Year – Tori Bliss, LSU
Voting – Bliss 6; Jermisha Frazier, Southeastern 1

Women’s Freshman Athlete of the Year – Aleia Hobbs, LSU
Voting – Hobbs 6; Tylor Row, Xavier, 1

Women’s Newcomer of the Year – Katerina Vodova, Tulane

Women’s Coach of the Year – Joseph Moses, Xavier
Voting – Moses 4; Dennis Shaver, LSU, 2; Eric Peterson, Tulane, 1



100 Meters
Athlete, School/CL/Time/Meet
Aaron Ernest, LSU/Sr./10.09/SEC Championships
Tremayne Acy, LSU/So./10.12/Texas Relays
Hanoj Carter, UL-Lafayette/So./10.20/LSU Alumni Gold

200 Meters
Tremayne Acy, LSU/So./20.04/NCAA Finals
Aaron Ernest, LSU/Sr./20.11/NCAA Finals
Hanoj Carter, UL-Lafayette/So./20.66/SBC Championships

400 Meters
Vernon Norwood, LSU/Sr./44.44/LSU Alumni Gold
Darrell Bush, LSU/Jr./45.49/Jim Click Shootout
Quincy Downing, LSU/Sr./45.70/LSU Invitational

800 Meters
Julian Parker, LSU/Sr./1:46.17/SEC Championships
Blair Henderson, LSU/So./1:47.03/LSU Invitational
Michael Batson, UNO/So./1:49.66/Battle on Bayou

1500 Meters
Blair Henderson, LSU/So./3:46.52/Alumni Gold
Oliver James, McNeese/So./3:52.40/Bryan Clay Inv.
Vinnie Van Puyvelde, ULM/So./3:57.89/Texas Relays

5000 Meters
Nathan Jones, McNeese/Fr./14:36.51/Texas Relays
Moses Aloiloi, Tulane/Fr./14:43.70/Alabama Relays
Anthony Plourde, Louisiana Tech/Sr./15:10.71/Jace LaCoste Inv.

10,000 Meters
Travis Pope, LSU/Jr./30:33.11/SEC Championships
Moses Aloiloi, Tulane/Fr./30:45.16/Drake Relays
Nathan Jones, McNeese/Fr./31:42.61/SLC Championships

110 Meter Hurdles
Joshua Thompson, LSU/Sr./13.34/NCAA Finals
Jordan Moore, LSU/So./13.47/SEC Championships
Morgan Cormier, UL-Lafayette/Jr./14.42/Louisiana Classic

400 Meter Hurdles
Quincy Downing, LSU/Sr./49.63/SEC Championships
Constant Pretorius, UNO/Jr./51.54/SLC Championships
Jamel Sams, ULM/Sr./51.71/NCAA Regionals

3000 Meter Steeplechase
Brock Moreaux, McNeese/Sr./9:09.52/SLC Championships
Christian Johnson, LSU/Fr./9:20.38/Alumni Gold
Beau Robinson, UL-Lafayette/Fr./9:26.97/SBC Championships

4 X 100 Meter Relay
LSU/Thompson, Norwood, Acy, Ernest/38.62/NCAA Finals
UL-Lafayette/Hughes, Carter, Davis, Brazil/39.89/NCAA Regional
Louisiana Tech/Gotch, Hicks, Henderson, Statham/39.94/Texas Relays

4 X 400 Meter Relay
LSU/Downing, Grayson, Dunkley, Norwood/3:01.63/SEC Championships
Northwestern State/Jackson, White, James, Taylor/3:07.91/SLC Championships
ULM/Cribbs, Sams, Demus, Tate/3:09.47/SBC Championships

High Jump
William LeBlanc, UL-Lafayette/Jr./6-11/Texas Relays
Dionte Heath, UL-Lafayette/So./6-9.75/Northwestern St. Inv.
Clarence Robinson, Southeastern Louisiana/Jr./6-9/Rice Twilight
Kadarius Williams, Southeastern Louisiana/Jr./6-9/Rice Twilight

Pole Vault
Devin King, Southeastern Louisiana/Fr/17-7/Alumni Gold
Andreas Duplantis, LSU/Sr./17-3/Alumni Gold
Isaac Grieder, UL-Monroe/Sr./16-7.5/SBC Championships

Long Jump
Emmanuel Williams, Northwestern State/Jr./25-6.75/Alumni Gold
Jarrett Samuels, Louisiana Tech/Jr./25-2.5/C-USA Championships
Corey Wesley, ULM/Jr./25-1.25/Northwestern St. Invitational

Triple Jump
Emmanuel Williams, Northwestern State/Jr./50-11/SLC Championships
Jonathan Pitt, LSU/So./50-10/Alumni Gold
John Lemke, McNeese/So./50-7.25/SLC Championships

Shot Put
Alexander Young, Southeastern Louisiana/Jr./58-10/SLC Championships
Brett Olsen, Southeastern Louisiana/Sr./54-4/SLC Championships
Cedric Paul, Northwestern State/Fr./53-10.25/Northwestern State Inv.

Rodney Brown, LSU/Sr./213-5/Penn Relays
Brett Olsen, Southeastern Louisiana/Sr./184-9/Bobcat invitational
Jevaughn Shaw, ULM/So./183-7/SBC Championships

Jonathan Kinchen, Southeastern Louisiana/Sr./222-2/SLC Championships
Justin Victor, UL-Lafayette/Sr./219-8/McNeese Relays
Alexander Young, Southeastern Louisiana/Jr./218-2/NCAA Finals

Derek Hampton, Southeastern Louisiana/Sr./228-6/SLC Championships
Joey Womack, ULM/Jr./219-9/Texas Relays
Collin Rowland, Southeastern Louisiana/Jr./212-5/NCAA Regionals

Isaac Grieder, ULM/Sr./7301/SBC Championships
Tanner Owens, Northwestern State/Fr./6249/SLC Championships
Jacob Pruitt, McNeese/Fr./5991/SLC Championships



100 Meters
Aleia Hobbs, LSU/Fr./11.13/NCAA Semifinals
Mikiah Brisco, LSU/Fr./11.24/NCAA Semifinals
Jada Martin, LSU/So./11.34/Alumni Gold

200 Meters
Jada Martin, LSU/So./22.76/NCAA Semifinals
Charla Craddock, Louisiana Tech/Sr./23.27/NCAA Semifinals
Lilla McMillan, Tulane/Jr./23.50/NCAA Preliminaries

400 Meters
Lilla McMillan, Tulane/Jr./51.86/American Championships
Travia Jones, LSU/So./54.10/SEC Championships
Creshonda Carter, Grambling/So./54.59/SWAC Championships

800 Meters
Morgan Schuetz, LSU/So./2:03.12/LSU Invitational
Michelle Kreutzberg, Tulane/Sr./2:08.71/Alumni Gold
Kelci Lyons, UL-Lafayette/Jr./2:09.57/Alumni Gold

1500 Meters
Morgan Schuetz, LSU/So./4:22.83/Alumni Gold
Tessni Carruthers, Nicholls State/Sr./4:33.42/Battle on the Bayou
Catherine Fakler, Xavier/Sr./4:51.07/Miss. College Opener

5000 Meters
Andria Aguilar, LSU/Jr./17:15.54/Louisiana Classic
Katja Woelfl, McNeese/Fr./17:46.39/Victor Lopez Classic
Catherine Fakler, Xavier/Sr./18:54.34/Bobcat Invitational

10000 Meters
Ashley Irwin, UL-Lafayette/Jr./36:36.11/SBC Championships
Gemma Bridge, McNeese/Jr./37:43.35/SLC Championships
Courtney Musgrove, UL-Lafayette/So./38:55.06/SBC Championships

100 Meter Hurdles
Chanice Chase, LSU/Jr./12.95/NCAA Finals
Daeshon Gordon, LSU/Fr./13.04/NCAA Semifinals
Alexis Fortenberry, UNO/So./13.14/SLC Championships

400 Meter Hurdles
Chanice Chase, LSU/Jr./57.01/SEC Championships
Daeshon Gordon, LSU/Fr./57.24/NCAA Semifinals
Kymber Payne, LSU/Fr./58.14/NCAA East Rounds

3000 Meter Steeplechase
Claire Hodges, UL-Lafayette/So./11:06.37/SBC Championships
Mikayla Sonneborn, Tulane/Jr./11:22.32/Alumni Gold
Danielle Jones, McNeese/Sr./11:28.21/Alumni Gold

4 X 100 Meter Relay
LSU/Harvey, Hobbs, Martin, Brisco/42.80/SEC Championships
Louisiana Tech/James, Wade, Adams, Craddock/44.76/Northwestern St. Inv.
McNeese State/Epps, Thompson, Johnson, Moore/45.04/SLC Championships

4 X 400 Meter Relay
LSU/Gordon, Martin, Jones, Chase/3:30.74/NCAA Championships
Louisiana Tech/Every, Craddock, Adams, Wade/3:37.09/C-USA Championships
Grambling/Pierce, Jones, Green, Carter/3:48.30/Texas Relays

High Jump
Madalyn Trisler, UL-Lafayette/Sr./5-9.25/Northwestern State invitational
Shanice Hall, LSU/Jr./5-8.75/SEC Championships
Chloe Lautric, Louisiana Tech/So./5-8/Florida Relays

Pole Vault
Nicole Casper, McNeese/Jr./13-8.25/SLC Championships
Mary Carson Pitts, Tulane/13-3.75/Longhorn Invitational
Katerina Vodova, Tulane/13-1.5/USA Invitational

Long Jump
Nataliyah Friar, LSU/So./21-10.75/SEC Championships
Katerina Vodova, Tulane/Sr./20-7/Longhorn invitational
Stacy Imagbe, UL-Lafayette/Sr./20-6.5/Cowboys Relays

Triple Jump
Nataliyah Friar, LSU/So./43-10/SEC Championships
Porsha Thomas, Northwestern St./Jr./42-6.25/Alumni Gold
Tamika Brazzel, Tulane/Jr./41-7.25/American Championships

Shot Put
Tori Bliss, LSU/Sr./60-8/LSU Invitational
Jermisha Frazier, Southeastern Louisiana/Jr./50-1.75/SLC Championships
Taylor Potts, Tulane/So./50-1.25/Battle of the Bayou

Tori Bliss, LSU/Sr./178-4/Texas Relays
Rechelle Bessard, Northwestern State/Jr./174-11/Demon Triangular
Alexis Gordon, ULM/So./167-5/SBC Championships

Jermisha Frazier, Southeastern Louisiana/Jr./196-1/Cowboy Relays
Rechelle Bessard, Northwestern State/Jr./184-8/Cowboy Relays
Gabrielle Figueroa, LSU/Fr./184-1/Penn Relays

Rebekah Wales, LSU/So./179-11/NCAA Championships
Mayme Cook, LSU/Jr./165-11/Texas Relays
Annie Simoneaux, LSU/Sr./165-6/NCAA Championships

Farydah Inoussa, UNO/So./5248/Texas Relays
Jasmin Fusilier, UL-Lafayette/Jr./5137/SBC Championships
Tiffany Kenney, Tulane/Jr./4871/American Championships