O’Donoghue Matches NCAA Best, Laird Makes LSU Debut With NCAA No. 2 Time

by Aaron Hyder | Assistant Communications Director
O’Donoghue Matches NCAA Best, Laird Makes LSU Debut With NCAA No. 2 Time

Albuquerque, N.M. Abby O’Donoghue cleared 6′ 0.75″ (1.85 meters) to match the NCAA lead for 2020 and JUCO transfer Terrance Laird made his LSU debut in sizzling fashion with time of 20.70 in the 200 meters to rank No. 2 in the NCAA this season on day one of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational at the Albuquerque Convention Center on Friday night.

Live Results | Day One Results (PDF) | Heat Sheets | Competition Guide

For O’Donoghue it was her third-straight win in the high jump to begin her junior season. After clearing a personal best height of 6′ 0.50″ in the season opener on Jan. 10, O’Donoghue upped herself once again and reclaimed a share of the NCAA lead in the high jump with a personal-best clearance of 6′ 0.75 (1.85 meters) on Friday night. O’Donoghue was almost flawless as she cleared five of her six heights on the way to her third victory of the season. The mark of 6′ 0.75 is tied for the NCAA lead and it is also tied for the fourth best jump in LSU history. O’Donoghue attempted a height of 6′ 1.50″ but was unable to clear it in three tries.

Laird, a transfer from Hinds Community College, was competing for the first time in the Purple and Gold. Running in the second heat of the 200 meter dash, he came out and dropped a 20.70 to stake a claim to the second-fastest time this season in the NCAA and world. Texas’ Micaiah Harris won the event with a 20.53. The time of 20.70 ranks as the ninth fastest in LSU history. An event that featured 61 runners, LSU owned four of the top six spots with Akanni Hislop (21.07/3rd), Dylan Peebles (21.23/5th) and Tyler Terry (21.31/6th) following Laird.

In the men’s long jump, Rayvon Grey and JuVaughn Harrison jumped to a two-three finish in the event. Grey had a jump of 25′ 5.25″ (7.75 meters) and Harrison registered a mark of 25′ 3.25″ to earn their spots on the podium. Nyagoa Bayak, a freshman high jumper, cleared a season best of 5′ 10″ (1.78 meters) to take silver behind O’Donoghue and move into a tie for ninth on the all-time LSU list.

Jurnee Woodward won the unseeded portion of the women’s 400 meter dash. Woodward circled the track twice a personal best time of 54.79 to win the race. Emma Robbins (second place/59′ 11.25″/18.27 meters) and Jake Norris (third place/69′ 4.25″/21.14 meters) earned podium finishes in the women’s and men’s weight throw, respectively.

The LSU women closed out day one of the meet with four top-10 finishers in the 200 meter dash event that featured over 90 competitors. Thelma Davies won her heat and was LSU’s top finisher with a readout of 23.63 for third place. Amber Anning (23.71/fifth place), Symone Mason (23.74/sixth place) and Tonea Marshall (23.81/eighth place) were the other top-10 finishers wearing Purple and Gold.

All track times in this release will be converted for NCAA qualifying purposes come March since Albuquerque is at altitude. The following formulas are what will be added/subtracted to times:
60 Meters/60 Meter Hurdles | +.02
200 Meters | +.07
400 Meters | +.11

Up Next

Day two of the MLK Jr. Invitational will begin at 10 a.m. CT with Amber Hart in the women’s shot put.