Track & Field’s Men Punch 13 Tickets to the NCAA Outdoor Championships
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The LSU men’s track and field team closed out their final day of competition at the NCAA East Preliminaries on Friday at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.
Over the two days of competition for the men, the team solidified 13 spots at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin. Tigers with multiple entries (including relays) for the championships are Brandon Hicklin (3), Dorian Camel (3), Da’Marcus Fleming (2), Godson Oghenebrume (2), and Sean Burrell (2).
Starting the day off for LSU was Claudio Romero hitting a distance of 60.01 meters (196′ 10″) on his first discus throw of the afternoon. Romero entered his first season with LSU as the reigning national champion in discus, is will now be on the way to his third outdoor NCAA Championship in-a-row. This season he has reached a mark of 61.30 meters (201’ 1”) twice and is still looking to reach his PR of 67.02 meters (219’ 10”) that he reached at last year’s Penn Relays.
The LSU men’s 4×100-meter relay took first in the third and final heat with a time of 39.09 to auto-qualify for the NCAA Championships. The squad of Hicklin, Fleming, Camel, and Oghenebrume currently hold the collegiate record of 37.90 from the SEC Championships two weeks ago, and will look to rewrite that record in Austin.
The men’s 100 meter saw a lot of wind and a lot of speed for the Tigers. Fleming led the way with the fastest time of the day coming in at 9.85 seconds (+5.5 m/s). His time is the fastest all-conditions time in NCAA East Prelims history. Not far behind was Oghenebrume with a time of 9.94 seconds (+2.7 m/s), a new all-conditions best. And right behind Godson was Hicklin with his first ever all-conditions sub-10 at 9.96 seconds (+4.4 m/s). LSU is the only team in the East advancing more than two runners in the 100.
An hour after the 100, Camel qualified in the men’s 200 meter. Camel clocked a time of 20.23 seconds (+5.2 m/s) to punch his second ticket of the weekend (200, 4×100).
The Squirrel World Tour continues as Burrell punched his ticket to Austin in the 400-meter hurdles. Burrell clocked a time of 50.29 seconds in the first heat to auto-qualify for the next round. The junior will be looking to claim his third NCAA title in the 400mH event after claiming the last two in 2021 and 2022.
Apalos Edwards punched his ticket in triple jump on his first leap of the night. Edwards went 15.83 meters (51’ 11.25”) to qualify for the NCAA Championships, and went 15.38 meters (50’ 5.5”) on his final jump which also would’ve qualified him. This will be his fourth NCAA Championship appearance since the 2022 indoor season.
In his first season with the Tigers, freshman Matthew Sophia was able to qualify by time in the 110-meter hurdles. His time of 13.69 seconds (+5.8 m/s) was the 10th fastest time of the afternoon in Jacksonville.
To close out the night, the men’s 4×400-meter relay team consisting of Camel, Ashton Hicks, Shakeem McKay, and Burrell were able to get the big Q. The team clocked a time of 3:06.23 to take second in their heat and fourth overall in the East.