LSU blows by SEC indoor field
Bowers captured LSU’s 10th all-time indoor sprint hurdles crown
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After scoring 135 points during the course of three days of competition at the Randal Tyson Track Center, No. 2 LSU captured yet another conference title with its dominating victory on Sunday afternoon at the 2011 SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The Lady Tigers highlighted an exciting afternoon of championship action by defeating the homestanding Arkansas Razorbacks by a final score of 135-118 to capture their 23rd conference championship all-time and their league-leading 12th SEC Indoor title in program history. The Tennessee Lady Volunteers were in a distant third place after scoring 78 points.
LSU was led by SEC event champions during Sunday’s action as sophomore Kimberlyn Duncan captured the women’s 200-meter title and freshman Jasmin Stowers dominated the women’s 60-meter hurdles.
“I continue to be impressed with the way our teams are competing right now. Our women especially did a great job and really deserved to win the championship,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “They came here knowing they would face a determined Arkansas team competing on their home track and that would create a very tight race for the team championship. It proved to be the case all the way to the end.
“Our teams just had a great meet this weekend. We’re in a better position today to compete at the national meet on both sides than we were just three days ago when we got here.”
Stowers made her presence known along with senior teammate Tenaya Jones in the very first event during Sunday’s competition as the duo cruised to a 1-2 finish in sweeping 18 points in the 60-meter hurdles.
Stowers, a freshman from Pendleton, S.C., who entered the meet with a seasonal best and personal best of 8.13 seconds set earlier this month at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York, was the first competitor to touch down over the first hurdle and never looked back as she clocked a new PR of 8.12 for the win. Jones followed in 8.18 for second place to earn her first career All-SEC accolade.
On the strength of her PR run, Stowers became the seventh Lady Tiger in program history to win the SEC Indoor crown in the sprint hurdles. The LSU women have now captured 10 indoor conference titles all-time between the 55-meter hurdles and 60-meter hurdles.
The Lady Tigers followed their performance in the 60-meter hurdles by sweeping All-SEC accolades with another 1-2 finish in the championship final of the women’s 200-meter dash.
After scoring a point with an eighth-place finish in the 60-meter dash earlier in the day, Duncan clocked a new world-leading and NCAA-leading personal best of 22.78 to capture the women’s 200-meter title ahead of junior teammate Semoy Hackett (22.84). Hackett actually set the previous world-leading and national best time of 22.86 during the 200-meter prelim on Saturday afternoon.
Like Stowers, Duncan became the seventh Lady Tiger to win her event as the LSU women have now won 12 SEC Indoor 200-meter event championships in team history. Lady Tiger great Hazelann Regis was the last to win the 200-meter dash at the SEC Indoor Championships during her senior season in 2005.
Hackett actually earned a pair of all-conference honors on the afternoon as she also picked up a runner-up finish in the women’s 60-meter dash with a time of 7.25.
The Lady Tigers also picked up big points in the 800-meter run and triple jump, led by All-SEC efforts by seniors Brittany Hall and Melissa Ogbourne. Hall established a new indoor personal record of 2 minutes, 5.50 seconds to place second in the 800-meter final, while Ogbourne posted a mark of 42 feet, 8 inches on her fourth attempt to secure a second-place finish in the final of the women’s triple jump.
The women then wrapped up the meet with an All-SEC second place finish in the 4x400-meter relay, with the foursome of sophomore Latoya McDermott, junior Cassandra Tate, Hall and junior Jonique Day combining for an NCAA qualifying time of 3:33.21 for the fourth-fastest time in the country in 2011.