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Track & Field Set to Host Season-Opening LSU Purple Tiger on Friday

by Braydin Sik
Track & Field Set to Host Season-Opening LSU Purple Tiger on Friday

BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU track and field team is back for their season-opening LSU Purple Tiger meet, hosted indoors at the Carl Maddox Field House on Friday, January 12. There will be no live streams available and the meet is free for anyone to attend.

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LSU will have 56 student-athletes (24 men, 32 women) competing this weekend at LSU Purple Tiger. The meet is set to start at 10:30 a.m. CT with the women’s weight throw Friday morning. Track events will start later on at 1:00 p.m. CT with the men’s 60-meter hurdles.

A total of 20 newcomers will be making their track & field debut for the Tigers this weekend. True freshman making their first appearances are Ambria Langley, Leah Acosta, Kaiya Key, Taylor Fingers, Isaac Onuoha, Aniyah Bigam, Tima Godbless, Jaiden Reid, Katie Johnson, Rhen Langley, Hugh Carlson, Rob Buisson, and Casey Goetschel. Transfers making their debuts will be Trey Boucher, Jahiem Stern, Sydney Clemens, Jordyn Grady, Myles Thomas, Dillon Bedell-Bass, and Alex Holbrook.

What to Watch For

This weekend’s meet includes all three Tigers on this week’s Bowerman Preseason Watch Lists. Alia Armstrong will be competing in the 60-meter hurdles for the first time since 2022 when she set the LSU record, and Godson Oghenebrume will be hitting up the 60 meter where he clocked a time of 6.58 seconds last year. Michaela Rose will debut this weekend in the mile, where she holds a PR of 4:52.70.

Stern and Matthew Sophia had great indoor seasons last year in the 60-meter hurdles. Both will be competing Friday, looking to improve their times this season and make a run at the NCAA Indoor Championships

The women’s hurdle group of Armstrong, Shani’a Bellamy, and Leah Phillips had an outrageously successful season together last year, throughout both indoors and outdoors. This season they added Clemens and Grady to the squad, and all five of them will look to push each other to the limit as things kick off tomorrow.

The No. 1 triple jumper and No. 8 long jumper in the nation for high school last year, Fingers, will be debuting this week in long jump. Alongside her will be All-American Morgan Smalls and fellow freshman Key.

The women’s 60-meter group will be a stellar display of speed, including both current Tigers and alumni. Godbless will be making her debut after joining the team last season and not being able to compete due to travel issues from her home country. Although she has not competed across 60 meters, Godbless holds a 100-meter personal-best time of 11.09 seconds, which ranks second in African U20 history. Also in the heats will be the Jamaican star Brianna Lyston, American 60-meter record holder Aleia Hobbs, Mikiah Brisco, Bigam, Grady, Thelma Davies, and Kennedi Sanders.

On the men’s side of the 60 meter, the talent is just as stellar. The fastest-returning sprinter across 100 meters, Oghenebrume, will make his season debut. The Ughelli, Nigeria, native ranks third in LSU history with his PR of 6.58 seconds. A couple heats later will be the fifth-fastest Tiger across 60 meters in Da’Marcus Fleming with a personal-best time of 6.62 seconds (adjusted for altitude). Thomas, the 2023 Sun Belt Champion and Newcomer of the Year, will make his debut in the 60 meter after cruising to a best time of 6.66 seconds as a freshman last season. Reid, a Cayman Islands native, will be making his 60 meter and collegiate debut alongside the rest of the Tigers.

Alongside Rose in the one mile will be the third-fastest miler in LSU performance-list history, Lorena Rangel-Batres, who enters this meet with a PR of 4:40.66.

Friday’s meet will mark the first of seven regular-season indoor meets before the SEC Indoor Championships and NCAA Indoor Championships. The next and final home meet of the indoor season will be the LSU Twilight on Friday, February 16.

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