Track & Field’s Women Punch 11 Tickets to the NCAA Outdoor Championships
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The LSU women’s track and field team closed out their final day of competition at the NCAA East Preliminaries on Saturday at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.
Over the two days of competition for the women, the team solidified 11 spots at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin. Tigers with multiple entries (including relays) for the championships are Alia Armstrong (2), Favour Ofili (2), Brianna Lyston (2), Michaela Rose (2), and Morgan Smalls (2).
Starting the day off for LSU was Smalls clearing a height of 1.77 meters (5’ 9.75”) in high jump. Heading into the NCAA Championships, she holds a season and personal-best height of 1.86 meters (6’ 1.25”) in high jump. The Morrisville, N.C., native also punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships in long jump on Wednesday.
The 4×100 team punched their ticket to Austin with a heat-winning time of 43.54 seconds. The team consists of an all-star cast that includes Armstrong, Ofili, Lyston, and Thelma Davies.
Armstrong led the way for the Tigers in the 100-meter hurdles as usual. The New Orleans native ran the fastest-legal time of the day with 12.59 seconds (+2.0 m/s) in the second heat. This was Alia’s second ticket punched on Saturday after producing a heat win in the 4×100 to start the afternoon. In heat one, Leah Phillips was also able to qualify with 12.86 seconds (+4.4 m/s).
Two Tigers punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships in the women’s 800 meter. Rose led the East with the only sub-2:03 in the 2:02.01, winning her heat by over two seconds. In heat two, Cindy Bourdier qualified for her first NCAA Championship with a time of 2:04.70, good enough for second in the heat.
Shani’a Bellamy punched her ticket to Austin in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 57.48 in the second heat. This will be Bellamy’s second trip to the NCAA Championships, punching her first ticket last year before transferring to LSU.
LSU was able to get two more sprinters to the national stage, after Ofili and Lyston were both able to punch their second ticket of the day in the 200 meter. Ofili was able to auto-qualify after taking third in heat one with a time of 22.77 seconds (+2.1 m/s). Lyston was right behind her in fourth with 22.92 seconds (+2.1 m/s), which qualified her by time in the 12th and final spot of the East.
To close out the night for LSU, the women’s 4×400-meter relay team consisting of Ella Onojuvwevwo, Rose, Garriel White, and Hannah Douglas won the third heat with a time of 3:31.51. The time shaved .23 seconds off of their season best from the SEC Championships two weeks ago.