Track & Field Begins Indoor Postseason With SEC Championships
Baton Rouge, La. – The LSU track and field program begins its 2022 indoor postseason action this weekend at the SEC Championships February 25-26 at the Gilliam Indoor Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M in Bryan-College Station, Texas.
LSU is taking 39 athletes to the indoor conference meet as 20 women and 19 men will represent the Tigers. The two-day meet begins on Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. CT and concludes on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Both days of the meet will be streamed on SEC Network+ (links below), while a two and a half hour re-air of the championship meet will be shown on the SEC Network Sunday evening at 7 p.m. CT.
Friday’s action will mostly consist of qualifying events on the track. Points will be scored in 10 events on Friday with finals of the 5,000 meters (m&w), distance medley relay (m&w), women’s weight throw, men’s long jump, men’s pole vault, women’s long jump, men’s weight throw, and women’s pentathlon being contested. Saturday’s action will see 24 finals being contested. A linked schedule for the whole meet is viewable above.
The LSU women enter the SEC meet ranked No. 4 in the nation in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Ratings Index; the men are No. 21. In the SEC ratings index, the LSU women are projected to finish third, while the men are slated ninth ahead of the meet.
LSU at the SEC Indoor Championships
The LSU women own the most SEC indoor team titles in conference history with 12 ahead of Arkansas (11) and Florida (9). Dennis Shaver has led the women’s team to SEC indoor titles in 2008 and 2011. The LSU men own four SEC indoor titles in program history.
The LSU men have captured 86 event titles all-time at SEC indoors, while the women have taken gold 81 times. Sixteen of the women’s 81 event titles have come in relays and the other 65 titles have been won by individuals. On the men’s side, 13 of the 86 conference event titles have come via relays with the other 73 being won by individuals. The men’s SEC indoor meet dates back to 1957, and the women’s conference meet commenced in 1984.
The LSU women have had at least one women’s individual SEC title at each of the last 37 SEC indoor meets.
Prior SEC Champions
LSU’s two current athletes on the 2022 roster that have won SEC indoor titles are Abigail O’Donoghue and Lisa Gunnarsson. O’Donoghue cleared a bar of 5’ 11.50” (1.82 meters) at the 2019 SEC indoor meet to claim her first career SEC title. O’Donoghue has gone as high as 6’ 1.25” (1.86 meters) this year which has her ranked No. 2 in the conference this season.
Gunnarsson claimed a SEC pole vault title at this competition site at the 2020 SEC indoor meet. She went up and over a bar of 14’ 7.50” (4.46 meters) on her first try to win on countback misses. It was her first and only SEC title.
In order to score at the SEC meet, an athlete must finish in the top eight of her/his respective event. LSU has 19 athletes who have registered a total of 26 scoring marks if the meet were to be scored today. But as we all know, you don’t win anything based off prior performances earlier in the season, you have to show up and prove it on meet day.
LSU’s athletes that are slated to score in multiple events are Alia Armstrong (60 meters/60 meter hurdles), Favour Ofili (60 meters/200 meters), Davis Bove (mile/3,000 meters), Morgan Smalls (high jump/long jump), and Leah Phillips (60 meter hurdles/200 meters).
A full list of current SEC standings can be viewed at tfrrs.org.
Four of LSU’s athlete come into the conference meet with the top marks in the SEC in their respective events. Two-time national champion and 2020 SEC indoor champion Lisa Gunnarsson has the top pole vault clearance in the league with a mark of 14’ 9.50” (4.51 meters) that came back in early February at the LSU Bayou Bengal meet.
Triple jump Sean Dixon-Bodie, who has only competed twice this season, launched himself out to an SEC leading mark of 53’ 10.50” (16.42 meters) in the triple jump at the Tyson Invitational on February 12.
It could be another sweep for LSU in the hurdles if things go as planned. Alia Armstrong (7.81) and Eric Edwards Jr. (7.60) enter with the top times so far this season in conference. A year ago, LSU hurdlers Damion Thomas and Milan Young earned an LSU sweep at the indoor conference meet. Edwards Jr. is 3-1 on the season in the event with his only defeat coming to NCAA leader Trey Cunningham of Florida State. Armstrong will have stiff competition with Grace Stark (7.86) of Florida. Armstrong is undefeated this season in the hurdles at 4-0 and defeated Stark head to head in the event two weeks ago. Armstrong and Stark are two of the five fastest hurdlers in NCAA history.
Point Scorers Returning
Abigail O’Donoghue has scored 27 points in her career at the SEC indoor high jump with three podium finishes – gold in 2019 and then silver in both 2020 and 2021. Thrower Jake Norris has racked up 17 points in the weight throw dating back to 2019 and his performances at the SEC indoor meet are highlighted by a second-place finish in 2020.
Lisa Gunnarsson (pole vault) won an SEC title in 2020 and registered a bronze showing in the event a year ago. Eric Edwards Jr. has produced back to back runner-up finishes in the 60 meter hurdles at the past two SEC indoor meets. Other LSU athletes who podiumed last year are Favour Ofili (200 meters/3rd), Jon Nerdal (weight throw/3rd), and Sean Dixon-Bodie (triple jump/3rd).
Other individual scorers from the 2021 SEC indoor meet are Davis Bove (mile), Dorian Camel (200 meters), Eric Coston (3,000 meters), Ronnie Rounds (high jump), Amber Anning (400 meters), and Nyagoa Bayak (400 meters). Three runners from LSU’s men’s distance medley relay return as well.
LSU Top 10 Marks
Nineteen all-time LSU top 10 marks have been registered by LSU athletes this indoor season highlighted by a pair of school records in Alia Armstrong and Davis Bove. Armstrong set the school record in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 7.81, and Bove lowered his previous school record in the mile with a readout of 3:56.38. A full list of the other 17 LSU top 10 times can be viewed below.
Da’Marcus Fleming – 60 Meters – 6.60@
Dorian Camel – 60 Meters – 6.62@
Kenroy Higgins II – 60 Meters – 6.66@
Davis Bove – 3,000 Meters – 7:55.95
John Meyer – Shot Put – 65’ 1.25” (19.84m)
Alia Armstrong – 60 Meters – 7.16@
Favour Ofili – 200 Meters – 7.17@
Favour Ofili – 200 Meters – 21.71@
Katy-Ann McDonald – 800 Meters – 2:03.73
Michaela Rose – 800 Meters – 2:04.70
Alicia Stamey – Mile – 4:46.37
Alicia Stamey – 3,000 Meters – 9:32.69
Addison Stevenson – 3,000 Meters – 9:49.24
Nyagoa Bayak – High Jump – 6’ 0.75” (1.85m)
Morgan Smalls – High Jump – 5’ 10.75” (1.80m)
Kyndal McKnight – Triple Jump – 42’ 11” (13.08m)
Amber Hart – Shot Put – 51’ 6.25” (15.70m)
Directly support LSU Track & Field student-athletes by donating to the Track & Field Excellence Fund!