Past, Present Athletes Set for USA Outdoor Meet
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Track & Field teams only just ended the 2015 collegiate season at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships two weeks ago, but 21 Tigers and Lady Tigers past and present are set to return to Eugene, Oregon, this week for the four-day USA Outdoor Championships beginning Thursday at Hayward Field.
These Tiger and Lady Tiger greats are looking to earn their trip to Beijing, China, to represent the United States at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Athletics being held Aug. 22-30.
The top three finishers in each event at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championship that have met the “A” qualifying standard in their respective events will earn the right to compete for Team USA in Beijing later this summer. Defending World Champions will receive an automatic exemption to defend their titles at this year’s World Championships, regardless of their finish in Eugene.
The 2015 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will feature live television coverage during the final three days of the competition as fans have their first opportunity to catch the championship on Friday night from 9-11 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network. Saturday’s events will air live on NBC from 3-5 p.m. with Sunday’s events broadcast on Universal Sports from 2-3 p.m. and NBC from 3-5 p.m.
USA Track & Field will also provide live streaming video at http://usatf.tv for selected events Thursday (12-11 p.m. CT), Friday (11:15 a.m.-9 p.m.), Saturday (12:15-2:30 p.m., 5-8:30 p.m.) and Sunday (12:45-2 p.m.).
Among those making their return to Hayward Field after competing at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships two weeks ago are six athletes who wrapped up their collegiate seasons as All-American athletes for the Tigers and Lady Tigers. Two Tigers who were also crowned SEC Champions before competing at the NCAA Championships will also be in action.
Just as he had done for the Tigers throughout the 2015 season, senior Vernon Norwood looks to set the pace again this weekend as he returns to the site where he was crowned the NCAA Champion in the 400 meters dash before anchoring the Tigers to the national championship in the 4×400-meter relay. His was a performance that spearheaded the Tigers to a trophy-winning fourth-place team finish nationally.
Norwood has emerged as one of the world’s leading 400-meter sprinters with his performance this spring as his seasonal-best and personal-best time of 44.44 seconds ranks No. 5 worldwide for 2015.
Tori Bliss, the NCAA Indoor Silver Medalist and NCAA Outdoor Bronze Medalist in the women’s shot put, will also be in action as she headlines the current crop of Lady Tigers scheduled to compete this weekend. She is the No. 17-ranked shot putter worldwide and the No. 8-ranked American in the field with a seasonal best and personal best of 60 feet, 8 inches to her credit this spring.
Three Tigers and Lady Tigers who just missed the medal podium at the NCAA Championships as the fourth-place finishers in the final of their events make their return to Hayward Field with senior Quincy Downing (400 hurdles), senior Joshua Thompson (110 hurdles) and sophomore Rebekah Wales (javelin) all in action this week. Senior sprinter Aaron Ernest will also line up in both the 100 meters and 200 meters this weekend after a third-place finish in the 4×100-meter relay and fifth-place finish in the 200-meter dash at the NCAA Championships.
LSU’s former athletes competing for a spot on Team USA will be Kimberlyn Duncan in both the women’s 100 and 200 meters; Kenyanna Wilson in the women’s 100 meters; Muna Lee in the women’s 200 meters; Ricard Jones in the men’s 800 meters; Charlene Lipsey and LaTavia Thomas in the women’s 800 meters; Lolo Jones, Tenaya Jones and Jasmin Stowers in the women’s 100 hurdles; Cassandra Tate for the women’s 400 hurdles; Jeremy Hicks in the men’s long jump; and Keri Emanuel and Lynnika Pitts in the women’s triple jump.
Stowers enters the meet as a favorite to punch her ticket to Beijing as the World’s fastest sprint hurdler for the 2015 season with a career-best time of 12.35 to her credit. Stowers became the No. 7-ranked 100 hurdler in World history with her win at the Doha Diamond League Meeting back on May 15. She has run 12.40 or faster three times this spring as the No. 1-ranked hurdler globally.
Tate is also one of the Top 10 performers worldwide in the 400-meter hurdles this season after running her seasonal-best time of 54.73 at the Birmingham Diamond League Meeting on June 7. She is squarely in the mix to earn a spot on Team USA as she enters the weekend as the No. 4-ranked American in the field in the intermediate hurdles.
Hayward Field will also play host to the 2015 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships along with the senior meet as Lady Tiger freshmen Mikiah Brisco and Aleia Hobbs will line up in the 100 meters. Hobbs took home All-America honors as the sixth-place finisher nationally in the 100-meter dash, while also joining Brisco on LSU’s All-American 4×100-meter relay to cap their debut seasons in Baton Rouge.
Athletes competing at the USA Junior Championships this weekend are running for a place on Team USA that will be competing at the 2015 Pan American Junior Championships scheduled to run later this summer from July 31-Aug. 2 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
A complete list of the current and former LSU Track & Field athletes competing at the USA Championships this weekend along with a daily event schedule and summary of live television coverage is listed below. Events listed are subject to change based on round-by-round qualifying and weather delays during the meet.
Time Schedule for LSU Entries at the 2015 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships
Note: Times are Central and subject to change based on round-by-round qualifying and weather delays.
Thursday, June 25
5:40 p.m. – Women’s 800 Meters First Round (Charlene Lipsey, LaTavia Thomas)
6:00 p.m. – Men’s 800 Meters First Round (Richard Jones, Julian Parker)
6:45 p.m. – Men’s 400 Meters First Round (Vernon Norwood)
7:00 p.m. – Men’s Long Jump Final (Jeremy Hicks)
7:10 p.m. – Men’s 400 Hurdles First Round (Quincy Downing)
7:35 p.m. – Women’s 100 Meters First Round (Kimberlyn Duncan, Kenyanna Wilson)
8:00 p.m. – Men’s 100 Meters First Round (Aaron Ernest)
8:00 p.m. – Men’s Discus Throw Final (Rodney Brown)
8:25 p.m. – Women’s Shot Put Final (Tori Bliss)
Friday, June 26
Television Coverage (Live): 9-11 p.m. CT (NBC Sports Network)
1:00 p.m. – Junior Women’s 100 Meters First Round (Mikiah Brisco, Aleia Hobbs)
5:38 p.m. – Junior Women’s 100 Meters Final (Mikiah Brisco, Aleia Hobbs)
7:00 p.m. – Women’s 100 Meters Semifinal (Kimberlyn Duncan, Kenyanna Wilson)
7:15 p.m. – Men’s 100 Meters Semifinal (Aaron Ernest)
7:30 p.m. – Women’s 100 Hurdles First Round (Lolo Jones, Tenaya Jones, Jasmin Stowers)
8:00 p.m. – Women’s Triple Jump Final (Keri Emanuel, Lynnika Pitts)
8:40 p.m. – Women’s 400 Hurdles First Round (Cassandra Tate)
9:00 p.m. – Women’s Javelin Final (Rebekah Wales)
9:04 p.m. – Men’s 400 Hurdles Semifinal (Quincy Downing)
9:21 p.m. – Women’s 100 Meters Final (Kimberlyn Duncan, Kenyanna Wilson)
9:30 p.m. – Men’s 100 Meters Final (Aaron Ernest)
9:53 p.m. – Men’s 400 Meters Semifinal (Vernon Norwood)
10:27 p.m. – Women’s 800 Meters Semifinal (Charlene Lipsey, LaTavia Thomas)
10:44 p.m. – Men’s 800 Meters Semifinal (Richard Jones, Julian Parker)
Saturday, June 27
Television Coverage (Live): 3-5 p.m. CT (NBC)
1:40 p.m. – Men’s 110 Hurdles First Round (Joshua Thompson)
2:05 p.m. – Men’s 200 Meters First Round (Aaron Ernest)
2:30 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meters First Round (Kimberlyn Duncan, Muna Lee)
3:05 p.m. – Women’s 100 Hurdles Semifinal (Lolo Jones, Tenaya Jones, Jasmin Stowers)
3:37 p.m. – Women’s 400 Hurdles Semifinal (Cassandra Tate)
4:11 p.m. – Men’s 400 Hurdles Final (Quincy Downing)
4:42 p.m. – Men’s 400 Meters Final (Vernon Norwood)
4:52 p.m. – Women’s 100 Hurdles Final (Lolo Jones, Tenaya Jones, Jasmin Stowers)
Sunday, June 28
Television Coverage (Live): 2-3 p.m. CT (Universal Sports); 3-5 p.m. CT (NBC)
1:50 p.m. – Men’s 200 Meters Semifinal (Aaron Ernest)
2:05 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meters Semifinal (Kimberlyn Duncan, Muna Lee)
2:22 p.m. – Men’s 110 Hurdles Semifinal (Joshua Thompson)
3:03 p.m. – Women’s 400 Hurdles Final (Cassandra Tate)
3:48 p.m. – Women’s 800 Meters Final (Charlene Lipsey, LaTavia Thomas)
3:57 p.m. – Men’s 800 Meters Final (Richard Jones, Julian Parker)
4:22 p.m. – Men’s 200 Meters Final (Aaron Ernest)
4:31 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meters Final (Kimberlyn Duncan, Muna Lee)
4:52 p.m. – Men’s 110 Hurdles Final (Joshua Thompson)