T&F Hosts Purple Tiger Invitational on Friday
Baton Rouge, La. – The LSU track and field program will host the Purple Tiger Invitational on Friday at Carl Maddox Fieldhouse to officially get the 2020 season underway. Admission is free to the public.
The Tigers are under the direction of head coach Dennis Shaver, who enters his 16th season as the head man for one of the most respected track and field programs in the country. Shaver led the LSU men to an SEC outdoor title in 2019, and both the men’s (indoors) and women’s (outdoors) squads earned podium finishes at the NCAA Championships a year ago.
Purple Tiger Invitational
The meet is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. with the men’s weight throw and will run until 6 p.m. with the final race of the day, the men’s 4×400 meter relay. LSU will have 48 athletes lined up to compete in a number of events on Friday. Jake Norris will kick things off for the Tigers in the weight throw at 10 a.m.
Running events will begin at 1 p.m. with the men’s and women’s 60 meter hurdles. Fifteen athletes will make their LSU debuts at the meet: Emma Robbins (weight throw), Eric Edwards Jr. (60m hurdles), Alia Armstrong (60m hurdles), Camille Hensarling (60m dash/long jump), TJ Bleichner (600m run), Nyagoa Bayak (high jump), Thelma Davies (60m dash), Symone Mason (60m dash), Charles Lewis (60m dash), Adele Broussard (3,000m run), Shayna Luna (3,000m run), Amber Hart (shot put), Hannah Carroll (400m dash), Davis Bove (800m run), and Ronnie Rounds II (triple jump/high jump). A full competition guide can be viewed at the link above.
Rayvon Grey and JuVaughn Harrison will open up their 2020 campaigns in the long jump that begins at 2:30 p.m. Grey (indoor) and Harrison (outdoor) swept NCAA long jump national titles during the 2019 season becoming the first duo from the same school to accomplish that feat since 1972.
2020 Season Primer
The men’s squad has two returning scorers from the 2019 NCAA indoor meet – Rayvon Grey and JuVaughn Harrison. Grey scored 10 points in the long jump for the Tigers by winning the national title, and Harrison added seven points to the Tigers’ team total with a tie for silver in the high jump. On the women’s side, junior Abby O’Donoghue is the only returning scorer from NCAAs. She placed sixth in the high jump with a clearance of 5′ 11.25″ to register three points for the Purple and Gold. Interestingly enough, all three of the aforementioned Tigers won SEC titles indoors last year and will look to do the same in 2020.
Damion Thomas and Tonea Marshall, two of LSU’s hurdlers, will look to get back to their NCAA scoring ways in 2020. Thomas, then a freshman, and Marshall, then a sophomore, both scored points for the Tigers at the 2018 NCAA indoor meet. Eric Edwards Jr. and Arthur Price, two athletes who have never competed at the NCAA indoor meet, are talented enough to make it to the NCAA meet and factor in if clicking on all cylinders. Same goes for senior hurdler Brittley Humphrey, who has advanced to the NCAA meet in the 60 meter hurdles in each of the last two seasons. Other returners who competed at the NCAA indoor meet in 2019 but were unable to score are Katy-Ann McDonald and Dylan Peebles. Rising junior Lisa Gunnarsson, who had to sit out the NCAA meet in 2019 due to injury, can play a role for the women’s side at the NCAA Championships; during her freshman season at Virginia Tech, Gunnarsson placed fourth at the NCAA meet in the pole vault. Miami junior transfer Symone Mason scored points as a member of Miami’s 4×400 meter relay squad at the NCAA indoor meet in 2019.
The NCAA Championships will take place March 13-14 in Albuquerque, N.M., at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
The 2019 preseason U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association rankings came out on Wednesday afternoon. The LSU men begin the season ranked No. 2 in the land, while the women’s squad checked in at No. 16. The rankings will next be updated on Jan. 27.
JuVaughn Harrison was one of 10 men named to The Bowerman preseason watch list on Tuesday afternoon. Harrison enters his junior season for LSU as a two-time national champion, two-time SEC champion and three-time All-American after his first two seasons of competition in Baton Rouge. The long and lanky, multi-talented jumper became the first man in NCAA history to sweep the high jump and long jump national titles in NCAA history last June.
Two posters will be given out to fans at Friday’s season-opening meets. Fans can grab a poster of Sha’Carri Richardson featuring her iconic pose as she crossed the finish line at the 2019 NCAA Championships in a blazing 10.75 seconds on her way to setting the collegiate record. A 2020 poster featuring eight of LSU’s student-athletes with the full 2020 schedule will also be given out. Both posters will be available starting at 1 p.m. inside of the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse.
— LSU Track & Field (@LSUTrackField) January 8, 2020
2020 posters have arrived! You can get them at any of our five home meets this season or you can order them online at https://t.co/QiIz0eK0P5.
— LSU Track & Field (@LSUTrackField) January 6, 2020
LSU will be competing against Grambling, Hinds Community College, New Orleans, Nicholls State, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern, Southern-New Orleans, Tulane, Louisiana Monroe, ULM, ULL, and Xavier.