Gunnarsson, Smalls Contribute Points For LSU at NCAA Championships
Eugene, Ore. – Lisa Gunnarsson (pole vault) and Morgan Smalls (long jump) were the two scorers for LSU track and field on day one of women’s competition at the NCAA Championships on Thursday at Hayward Field. Gunnarsson placed third in the pole vault and Smalls took sixth in the long jump. LSU also advanced a total of five entries on the track to Saturday’s finals.
Lisa Gunnarsson closed out her LSU career with a bronze finish. She cleared a must make bar of 14’11 (4.55 meters) to earn herself a medal as she moved up from fourth to third after the clearance. She’s now a seven-time All-American and will go down as the unquestioned best vaulter in school history.
Morgan Smalls was the first women’s LSU athlete to score points at the national meet. She used a jump of 20’ 8” (6.30 meters) on her first three attempts to place herself inside the top nine spots and earn an additional three jumps. It was a fifth round leap of 21’ 2.75” (6.47 meters) that launched her up the leaderboard into a sixth place finish. The sixth place showing earned LSU three points in the event.
In the sprints, Favour Ofili qualified individually in both the 100 meters and 200 meters on the track. She ran a time of 11.07 in the 100 before finishing her night individually with a readout of 22.13 in the 200 meters. Ofili will run three races for LSU Saturday.
Alia Armstrong ran a career best wind legal time of 12.55 to win her heat in the 100 meter hurdles and auto advance to Saturday’s finals. The time improves her position on the LSU all-time list in the No. 2 spot from 12.61 to 12.55. The readout of 12.55 also makes her the 11th fastest performer in collegiate history. Katy-Ann McDonald clocked a 2:02.51 in the 800 meter run and to finish second in her heat to lock up a position in Saturday’s finals.
The women’s 4×100 meter relay of Alia Armstrong, Favour Ofili, Tionna Beard-Brown, and Thelma Davies teamed up to clock a season best of 42.59 in heat one of the event to win the race. They’ll look to win the first women’s 4×100 meter relay title for LSU since 2018 on Saturday.
The nine points by Gunnarsson and Smalls have LSU in 10th place after the first day of women’s competition. Full team scores can be viewed at ncaa.com.
4x400m Relay (Ofili, Douglas, Rose, White) – 11th – 3:32.13
Garriel White – 14th – 400m Hurdles – 57.78
Serena Bolden – 18th – Long Jump – 19’ 8” (5.99m)
Tionna Beard-Brown – 20th – 100 Meters – 11.29
Symone Mason – 23rd – 100 Meters – 11.51
The LSU men will close out their 2022 season on Friday night. The Tigers will have six scoring chances on Friday night. TV coverage will air on ESPN2. Below is the list of LSU’s competitors in action on Friday.
8:20 p.m. – Sean Dixon-Bodie – Triple Jump
8:20 p.m. – Apalos Edwards – Triple Jump
8:42 p.m. – Eric Edwards Jr. – 110m Hurdles
8:52 p.m. – Da’Marcus Fleming – 100 Meters
9:27 p.m. – Sean Burrell – 400m Hurdles
10:21 p.m. – 4x400m Relay