LSU looking for more rings
Tigers head to Penn Relays as new No. 1 team in the nation
If LSU ever needed incentive for winning this year’s Southeastern Conference Outdoor championship, it need look no further than their hand.
Last Friday night, at LSU’s second-annual LSU Track & Field Team Awards and Alumni Recognition Banquet, the Lady Tigers were presented with championship rings for their 2010 championship. It was their third SEC Outdoor championship in four seasons (2007, 2008 and 2010).
Last year at Tennessee’s Tom Black Track and LaPorte Stadium, the Lady Tigers scored 132 points for the three-day competition. In second place, with 107.5 points, was defending champion Florida.
Their chance to defend their SEC Outdoor crown will be May 12-15 at the University of Georgia. A win there would give the Lady Tigers a sweep this season after claiming the SEC Indoor crown in March.
But first things first. LSU will be in Philadelphia this weekend for the Penn Relays and will go in strong.
Need to Know
• Reputation and respect have been replaced by results with this week’s NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field rankings by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Through this week, team rankings had been determined by preseason numbers. This week all that is done away with as positions were earned by showings this season. With that in mind, LSU and Texas A&M flipped spots giving the Lady Tigers their first No. 1 ranking this season. Texas A&M, two-time defending national champions, had been ranked in the top spot since the preseason. Oregon remains No. 3, while Oklahoma and Southern California switched spots at No. 4 and No. 5.
• After her effort at the Michael Johnson Classic, Tia Brooks is now owner of the women’s shot put record at Oklahoma. Brooks’ winning throw of 57-9.00 (17.60) on her second attempt, topped the previous record of 57-2.25 (17.43) set by classmate Karen Shump in 2010. Brooks’ throw is the third best in the nation this season and leads the Big 12 Conference.
• The Texas women’s track and field team’s dominance at the Penn Relays is well noted. The Longhorns have won 21 Relays titles since 1985, and the 2003 4x400m quartet of Keasha Downer, Moushaumi Robinson, Raasin McIntosh and Sanya Richards still hold the Penn Relays record with their winning time of 3:27.64. Texas’ nine 4x400-meter relay titles is the most ever at the Penn Relays.
• Northern Iowa’s Holli Hosch was named Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Track Athlete of the Week. Hosch, a Walker, Iowa, native, won the 800m for the second consecutive year at the Musco Twilight in Iowa City, this time taking the title in 2:10.21. Hosch set the meet and facility records in the event at last year's Musco Twilight, and took this year’s title by a one-second margin over competitors from Iowa, Iowa State and Minnesota, among other schools. Hosch leads the MVC and is ranked No. 31 in the West Region in the event.
• Coastal Carolina ended the nearly two-year reign of Liberty as it won the 2011 Big South Women's Outdoor Track and Field title, on the final day of action VMI in Lexington, Va. Coastal's 228 points were 61.5 better than Liberty's 166.5. Charleston Southern was third once again, finishing with 83 points, while High Point had 81. Gardner-Webb was fifth at 77.5 markers, while Winthrop (62.5), Radford (47.5), UNC Asheville (38) and VMI (33) completed the standings.
• Without the benefit of competing last weekend, the UCF outdoor track & field team made a return appearance to the Top 25 in the latest USTFCCCA weekly rankings at No. 17 – up 10 spots. UCF last ran on April 16 at Florida’s Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville. Junior Jackie Coward broke two school records at the event and earned Conference USA Female Track & Field Athlete of the Week honors. Coward set new UCF marks in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles in 12.96 and 57.78, respectively. Her 12.96 in the 100-meter hurdles is the fastest wind-legal mark in the nation this season.