Track & Field Teams Set for NCAA Title Run

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Track & Field Teams Set for NCAA Title Run

DES MOINES, Iowa – The LSU Track & Field teams have wrapped up two days of training at Drake Stadium and are now ready to make their run at a national championship as the semifinal and final rounds at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships begin Wednesday at Drake University.

This marks the second year in a row that Drake Stadium will play host to the NCAA Championships after the Lady Tigers finished in third place and the Tigers finished in fourth place a season ago.

The Lady Tigers also return to the site of their last national championship when they captured the outdoor crown at Jim Duncan Track at Drake Stadium to wrap up the 2008 season. That is when the team scored a total of 67 points for a four-point victory over defending NCAA Outdoor champion Arizona State.

The semifinal rounds of this year’s NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships are slated to begin Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. CDT. Thursday’s action is also set for a 2:30 p.m. start, while Friday’s action kicks off at 2 p.m. and Saturday championship finale is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

ESPNU will air a live two-hour broadcast of Saturday’s finale from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. CDT as LSU fans will watch the Tigers and Lady Tigers compete for a pair of national championships this weekend.

Live streaming video will also be available online during the first three days of action in Des Moines with NCAA.com streaming Wednesday’s action and ESPN3.com streaming events on Thursday and Friday.

Live results from the semifinal and final rounds of the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be provided by Flash Results and can be found online at www.flashresults.com. Fans can also receive behind-the-scenes coverage of the Tigers and Lady Tigers competing this weekend while liking LSU Track & Field on Facebook and following @LSUTrackField on Twitter.

The Lady Tigers enter the meet as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team for the third-straight week following an impressive victory at the 2012 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships held May 10-13. The Tigers are also among the national championship contenders as they boast a No. 2 national ranking from the final U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Top 25 power ranking released May 29.

“We’re excited about day four of what is a seven-day NCAA meet,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “Our athletes have really performed to the best of their ability to this point, but our focus is solely on what we need to do here on Wednesday to give us an opportunity for the rest of the week.

“We’ve got a great group of athletes with us this week. This is what they have worked all year to achieve. They understand that these are the moments they’ll always remember as a member of our program.”

LSU has established itself as the most decorated combined track and field program in the country winning 18 NCAA Outdoor Championships all-time between the men’s and women’s teams. The Tigers and Lady Tigers own a total of 31 NCAA team titles all-time between the indoor and outdoor seasons.

The Lady Tigers are competing for their first NCAA Outdoor crown since 2008 when they struck gold for their performance at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. The Tigers are in search of their first NCAA Outdoor title since wrapping up the 2002 season with a win on their home track at Bernie Moore Stadium.

While it has been nine seasons since the Tigers have been crowned the NCAA Outdoor Champions, they own an impressive run with 11 top-five finishes at the NCAA Outdoor meet over the past 12 season. That includes runner-up finishes in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and third-place finishes in 2004 and 2005.

While the Tigers have proven to be the most consistent men’s team in the nation over the past 12 seasons, the Lady Tigers have finished outside the top seven in the team standings just once during that span.

LSU will have 33 scoring opportunities between the two teams at the national meet this week, including a total of 17 chances to score for the men and 16 chances to score for the women.

The semifinal round of the NCAA Championships will include the top 24 finishers in each event from the NCAA Preliminary Rounds held May 24-26. That includes the top 12 finishers in each event at the East site held at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., and the top 12 finishers in each event at the West site on Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, in the preliminary and quarterfinal rounds.

LSU Track & Field proved to be the most successful program in qualifying during the NCAA Preliminary Rounds as its 33 total entries is the national leader as teams prepare for the semifinal and final rounds this week in Des Moines. Oregon follows with 30 total entries between its men’s and women’s teams.

With 17 semifinalists competing, the Tigers rank No. 1 among all men’s programs in Des Moines, leading the 14 semifinalists for Virginia Tech and 13 semifinalists for Florida State, Texas and Texas A&M.

The Lady Tigers feature the second-highest representation on the women’s side with their 16 semifinalists this week, trailing only the 18 semifinalists by the No. 3-ranked Oregon Ducks. Stanford trails with a total of 15 semifinalists, while Texas also features a strong contingent with 14 entries this week.

The Texas A&M Aggies have swept the men’s and women’s national titles in three-straight seasons at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with their performance in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“We certainly have the numbers and the kind of firepower we need to make a run at the title,” Shaver said following Tuesday’s training session. “Our athletes must be ready to match the seasonal-best performance it took to get here the first time they compete this week in order to make it to the next round.”

LSU looks to cap another successful campaign with its appearance at the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships this week. The Lady Tigers followed a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships by winning their fifth SEC Outdoor crown in six years. The Tigers also secured its top-five finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a fifth-place national finish.

LSU’s Qualifiers for the NCAA Championships Semifinals in Des Moines, Iowa

Note: All marks and places are seasonal bests achieved during the 2012 outdoor season

Tigers
Name, Event, Time/Mark
Ade Alleyne-Forte, 400 Meters, 46.22
Kyron Blaise, Long Jump, 25-11 ½
Kyron Blaise, Triple Jump, 54-1 ¼
Quincy Downing, 400 Meters, 46.18
Andreas Duplantis, Pole Vault, 17-5 ½
Aaron Ernest, 100 Meters, 10.15w
Aaron Ernest, 200 Meters, 20.39w
Damar Forbes, Long Jump, 26-8 ¼
Riker Hylton, 400 Meters, 45.89
Michael Lauro, Hammer, 217-10
Aaron Moore, Javelin, 229-6
Barrett Nugent, 110 Hurdles, 13.37w
Howard Shepard, 800 Meters, 1:47.87
Robert Simmons, 400 Meters, 45.99
Jeremy Tuttle, Javelin, 227-6
Nugent, Ernest, Talley, Allsop; 4×100 Relay; 39.49
Downing, Simmons, Alleyne-Forte, Hylton; 4×400 Relay; 3:03.20

Lady Tigers
Name, Event, Time/Mark (Place)
Rebecca Alexander, 400 Meters, 51.83
Jonique Day, 400 Meters, 52.11
Kimberlyn Duncan, 100 Meters, 10.94w
Kimberlyn Duncan, 200 Meters, 22.12w
Semoy Hackett, 100 Meters, 11.10
Semoy Hackett, 200 Meters, 22.55
Shanekia Hall, 100 Hurdles, 13.11
Brieanna Kennedy, Hammer, 205-3
Rachel Laurent, Pole Vault, 13-11 ¾
Charlene Lipsey, 800 Meters, 2:02.60
Brittany Porter, Long Jump, 20-9 ¼w
Samia Stokes, Discus, 181-0
Jasmin Stowers, 100 Hurdles, 12.92
Cassandra Tate, 400 Hurdles, 56.40
Pinckney, Hackett, Alexander, Duncan; 4×100 Relay; 42.99
McDermott, Alexander, Tate, Day; 4×400 Relay; 3:29.25