Outdoor T&F Rankings - March 18

by Aaron Hyder
Outdoor T&F Rankings - March 18

Baton Rouge, La. – The first batch of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association outdoor rankings came out on Monday (March 18), and it has the women of LSU ranked third nationally, while the men check in at No. 9.

LSU opened up the 2019 outdoor season last weekend at the Louisiana Classics and captured 11 titles at the season-opening meet.

2019 Outdoor Primer

The LSU men’s squad returns 26.5 of 28 points scored from last year’s NCAA outdoor championships that they finished eighth at. Jake Norris (hammer throw) and Damion Thomas (110m hurdles) both registered third-place showings in their events during their freshman seasons at the national meet. Norris set the school record in the hammer throw at the NCAA meet with a career best heave of 240′ 3” to earn his bronze. Thomas ran a 13.45 in the finals of the 110 meter hurdles to capture his bronze; he was just three hundredths of a second off the national title pace in that final.

Jaron Flournoy, a 8x All-American, scored for LSU last season in both the 200 meters and 4×400 meter relay at the NCAA Championships. He clocked a time of 20.43 seconds in the finals of the 200 meters to place fourth and he anchored the 4×400 meter relay – Jahnoy Thompson, Correion Mosby, Renard Howell, Flournoy – to a bronze medal with the third-fastest time in program history, a 3:00.55. Thompson, Mosby and Flournoy all return for their senior campaigns this spring. Rayvon Grey, who just won his first ever NCAA title last weekend in the long jump at the NCAA indoor meet, will look to better his finish from the 2018 national meet. Grey leaped out to a mark of 26′ 1.50” in the long jump to earn fourth-place honors at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

On the women’s side, Kortnei Johnson, Rachel Misher, Tonea Marshall, Zakiya Denoon and Cassondra Hall are the returning scorers from the 2018 NCAA outdoor meet. Johnson and Misher were a part of the unquestioned best 4×100 meter relay in collegiate history as they teamed up with Aleia Hobbs and Mikiah Brisco to win LSU’s NCAA-leading 15th national title in the event with a winning readout of 42.25 in the finals. Johnson and Misher will assuredly factor into the 2019 relay picture. Misher was one of only three women in the nation to earn three All-America honors at the NCAA meet in 2018. She made the finals in the 4×100 meter relay, 4×400 meter relay and the 400 meter dash to score points for LSU in all three events. Johnson, an 8x All-American, scored as a member of the aforementioned 4×100 meter relay last season and she placed fifth in the finals of the 200 meter dash with a readout of 23.20 at NCAAs.

Marshall ran to a sixth-place showing in the 100 meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a readout of 13.09. Denoon and Hall ran the last two legs of the 4×400 meter relay squad that finished sixth with a time of 3:32.08.

JuVaughn Harrison, who recently just finished second at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the high jump, will look to replicate or better that performance at the NCAA outdoor meet to score points for LSU. Abby O’Donoghue is another high jumper who has never scored at the NCAA outdoor meet, but she finished sixth at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships.

2019 Newcomers

Tyler Terry (JUCO transfer), Mercy Abire (Oral Roberts), and Lisa Gunnarsson (Virginia Tech) are three transfers who have a chance to score on the national level for the Tigers. Freshmen are not included in these rankings until they register a mark on the collegiate level, so Mondo Duplantis (pole vault), Sha’Carri Richardson (sprints), and Katy-Ann McDonald (mid-distance), freshmen who all competed at the NCAA indoor meet for the Tigers, do not factor into these rankings yet.