NEW YORK – LSU junior Charlene Lipsey made a triumphant return to her home state Friday afternoon as she took down the New Balance Collegiate Invitational meet record by claiming the women’s 1,000 meter championship during the opening day of competition at The Armory Track & Field Center.
While running in the fifth of five heats of the 1,000-meter run, Lipsey led wire-to-wire while claiming LSU’s first event championship of the meet with her winning time of 2 minutes, 44.34 seconds. Lipsey outkicked BYU standout Katie Palmer (2:44.78) to the finish line on the bell lap as the Cougar All-American faded down the homestretch in a runner-up effort.
With the win, Lipsey eclipsed the previous meet record of 2:45.73 by more than a second as BYU’s Sarah Edwards held the mark that was set during the New Balance Collegiate Invitational a year ago.
Lipsey continues to display an All-America form in the first month of the indoor season as she has set two PRs in both the 800 meters (2:03.79) and mile (4:45.04) already on the campaign. Her personal-best effort of 2:03.79 in the 800 meters is currently the NCAA’s fastest time for 2012.
“The more I run, the more confidence I get. These races have been a huge confidence boost for me since I am finally winning,” Lipsey said. “Since I’ve gotten here, my indoor season has usually been horrible, but I always pick it up outdoors. With me having such a good start indoor, it gives me so much confidence for the rest of the season. I’m happy with the way it’s turning out right now.”
Lipsey signed with the Lady Tigers as the No. 1-ranked 800-meter recruit in the country with the Class of 2009 following a brilliant prep career at Hempstead High School in Hempstead, N.Y.
“It’s really special,” Lipsey said of returning home to New York and setting a meet record. “Each of those other two times I came here, I didn’t run well at all. So, I was really discouraged coming home because of those performances. For me to finally win something like this at home really means a lot to me.”
Lady Tiger sophomore Jasmin Stowers finished runner-up in the consolation final of the women’s 60-meter hurdles with a seasonal-best time of 8.11 that moved her into the No. 5 spot on the NCAA list for 2012 and only .01 seconds off the NCAA automatic-qualifying standard of 8.10 in the event.
Junior Kimberlyn Duncan added a sixth-place finish of her own in the championship final of the women’s 60-meter dash with a 2012 best of 7.35, while fellow junior Takeia Pinckney took second in the consolation final with a time of 7.36.
Lady Tiger freshman Tori Bliss kicked off the meet for LSU with a strong PR for fourth place in the championship division of the women’s shot put.
Bliss, who posted a previous PR of 50-11 ½ in her victory at the Texas A&M Dual Meet on Jan. 21, went 51-5 ½ on her fifth throw and 51-7 on her sixth throw of the competition to move into fourth place overall and finish the competition among the nation’s leading freshmen in the event. Her series-best of 51-7 ranks No. 2 overall in the SEC and No. 3 among freshmen in the NCAA for the 2012 indoor season.
In addition, junior pole vaulter Lacey Sanchez shattered her indoor PR in her specialty with a clearance of 12-9 ½ as she took home 10th place in the women’s championship pole vault. Sanchez strengthened her position at No. 3 on LSU’s all-time performance list after entering the meet with a previous PR of 12-1 ½.
Rebecca Alexander cruised to victory in her qualifying heat of the women’s 400 meters with a time of 53.74 to finish well ahead of Tennessee’s Ellen Wortham (54.14) in the section. Alexander trailed only the time of 53.71 by Clemson’s Marlena Wesh in Friday’s preliminary action in the 400-meter dash.