Henning, Nugent Named SEC Athletes of the Week

Henning, Nugent Named SEC Athletes of the Week

BATON ROUGE — Two members of the No. 2-ranked LSU men’s track and field team have been rewarded by the Southeastern Conference for their outstanding performance at the 116th Penn Relays this past weekend with SEC Athlete of the Week honors announced Tuesday afternoon.

LSU junior All-American and NCAA Indoor champion Walter Henning has received the SEC Male Field Athlete of the Week honor for an impressive fourth time during the 2010 indoor and outdoor seasons with his dominating victory in the hammer throw at the Penn Relays on Saturday.

Sophomore All-American Barrett Nugent has earned his first career selection as the SEC Male Runner of the Week following his victory in the 110-meter hurdles on Saturday at historic Franklin Field.

This marks the fifth week in a row that at least one LSU track and field athlete has earned an SEC weekly award. The Tigers and Lady Tigers have been a staple in the voting for SEC weekly awards this season as they have combined for 11 SEC Athlete of the Week honors between the indoor and outdoor campaigns.

After winning his second-straight Penn Relays title in the championship hammer throw in dominating fashion, Henning was named the College Men’s Individual Athlete of the Meet in the 116th running of the world’s premier relay carnival. He is the second Tiger in as many seasons to receive the meet’s top award for an individual as former LSU standout Jeremy Hicks accomplished the feat in 2009.

Henning unleashed his second-longest throw of the season on his final attempt of the competition with an impressive mark of 237 feet, 9 inches to finish more than 22 feet farther than his nearest competitor.

Henning’s winning mark of 237-9 is less than one meter shy of his seasonal best of 239-5 and is the No. 5 ranked throw in Penn Relays history and is the longest throw in the meet than more than 15 years.

LSU has now won the men’s championship hammer throw at the Penn Relays in three-straight years with former Tiger Rabun Fox taking the title in 2008 followed by Henning in 2009 and 2010.

While the Tigers have won three straight hammer throw crowns at the Penn Relays, Nugent made history as the first LSU Tiger to take the title in the 110-meter hurdles with his impressive performance Saturday. After qualifying for the final with the fastest preliminary time at 13.76, Nugent dominated the final with a new wind-legal personal best of 13.58 seconds to finish in first place.

He shattered his previous personal record of 13.66 that was set in winning the event at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships during his freshman season a year ago.

Not only did Nugent win the event title with a new PR at the Penn Relays, but he did so against an NCAA Championships caliber field that featured three other hurdlers who currently rank among the Top 10 in the NCAA in the event. That includes No. 6-ranked Lehann Fourie of Nebraska (13.62), No. 9-ranked Johnny Dutch of South Carolina (13.73) and No. 10-ranked Domonick Sylve of Army (13.79).

With his performance, Nugent now ranks No. 1 in the SEC and No. 3 in the NCAA this spring, while also moving into the No. 4 spot on LSU’s all-time outdoor performance list in the 110 hurdles. He is only .08 seconds shy of former LSU national champion Eric Reid’s school record of 13.50 set back in 1987.

LSU’s SEC Athlete of the Week Selections for 2010

SEC Male Runner of the Week
Barrett Nugent, April 27

SEC Male Field Athlete of the Week
Walter Henning, Feb. 3
Walter Henning, Feb. 9
Damar Forbes, March 30
Walter Henning, April 6
Walter Henning, April 27

SEC Female Runner of the Week
Samantha Henry, March 30
LaTavia Thomas, April 20

SEC Female Freshman of the Week
Takeia Pinckney, Feb. 9
Takeia Pinckney, April 13
Kimberlyn Duncan, April 20