LSU sophomore Nataliyah Friar inched closer toward qualification for the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships after soaring to a seasonal best of 20 feet, 6½ inches and claiming the long jump title at the LSU Twilight meet Friday night at the Carl Maddox Field House.
Friar’s victory headlined the team’s performance on the night as the Tigers and Lady Tigers turned in nine event wins, 13 indoor personal bests and four all-time Top 10 performances in school history.
It was a night that also saw former Lady Tiger All-Americans Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Jasmin Stowers smash Carl Maddox Field House facility records as Baptiste took home the women’s 60-meter title in 7.19 seconds and Stowers stormed to victory in the women’s 60-meter hurdles with a personal best of 7.90 to rank among the World’s best for the 2015 indoor season.
LSU’s freshman trio of Gabby Figueroa, Sidnie Wilder and Marvalyn Vernon got the ball rolling in the field events as each turned in a seasonal best in the women’s weight throw in the first event for the afternoon.
Wilder also cracked LSU’s all-time Top 10 list with her performance on Friday afternoon when she let loose a personal-best throw of 58-10 ¼ in the fourth round to follow Figueroa in fourth place overall. Vernon posted her career-best throw of 51-7 in the fourth round as well as she rounded out the Lady Tigers in the field with a sixth-place finish.
“We picked up a few good performances here tonight, particularly in the field events,” said LSU coach Dennis Shaver of Friday’s LSU Twilight meet. “Nataliyah, especially, got herself just a little bit closer to making sure she’s in the NCAA meet. All of our athletes across the board know they’ll have to raise their game next week when we have our last chance to qualify at SECs.”
Swimming and diving
WEIL WINS PLATFORM AT SEC MEET: In Auburn, Ala., diver Cassie Weil captured gold on platform and broke the school record to become the program’s ninth Southeastern Conference Champion on platform and 34th overall.
“On the women’s side today, the platform event was really the culmination of the goals we set at our first team meeting,” LSU diving coach Doug Shaffer said. “Our divers embraced the goal and worked together to get two on the medal stand.”
Swimmer Alex Bettridge earned her third medal of the championships with the second-highest score in school history (307.10). The senior earned bronze on platform. Bettridge ends the meet by accounting for 87 point, which is the most in LSU Swimming and Diving history.
“Alex’s performance at the SEC Championships was impressive,” Shaffer said. “She had a gold, silver, bronze, a personal best in each event, school record, SEC record and I don’t think you could ask for anything else.”
The men’s relay team of Logan Rysemus, Silas Dejean, Frank Greeff and Alex Linge swam an ‘A’ cut and set the school record in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:09.23.
The LSU women’s team of Caley Oquist, Colleen O’Neil, Amber Carter and Leah Troskot also swam to an ‘A’ cut and broke the school record with a time of 3:35.32.
With just one day remaining, LSU sits in fourth place with 614 points on the women’s side and the men are in seventh with 420 points.
“We capped off the evening with a win on platform and two school records for our 400 medley relay teams,” LSU swimming coach Dave Geyer said.