LAFAYETTE — Wile there's still 2 1/2 months to go before getting to the one that counts the most, the LSU women's track and field team started the 2017 outdoor season Saturday the same way they ended last season.
The Lady Tigers, the reigning NCAA champion in the 4x100-meter relay, got the stick around in 43.12 seconds to claim the title in the Louisiana Classics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Ragin' Cajuns Track Complex.
The season-opening time posted Saturday by Mikiah Brisco, Kortnei Johnson, Jada Martin and Aleia Hobbs was less than a half-second slower than the 42.65 the Lady Tigers ran in claiming the NCAA crown last June in Eugene, Oregon.
In setting a stadium record, LSU won by nearly 3 1/2 seconds over UL-Lafayette, which clocked in at 46.51.
LSU's Nataliyah Friar also collected a win in her season opener Saturday, taking the triple jump title with a best of 42 feet, 3/4 inches.
Back on the track, Lady Tigers freshmen Tonea Marshall and Brittley Humphrey raced to a 1-2 finish in the 100-meter hurdles.
Marshall won the event in 13.40 seconds, while Humphrey was next in 13.51 seconds.
LSU also swept the top three places in the women's 400 and 100 meters.
Travia Jones won the 400 with a stadium-record time of 52.31 seconds, with Rachel Misher and Kymber Payne following in 53.04 and 53.75, respectively.
Then, freshman Cassondra Hall won the 100 in 11.39 seconds, with Rushell Harvey (11.51) and Shayna Yon (11.79) following her to the finish line.
Hollie Parker and Morgan Schuetz took the top two spots in the 5,000 meters. Parker won in 17:28.15 and Schuetz was the runner-up in 17:41.02.
Also, LSU's Erika Lewis won the 800 in 2:10.18 and Bryiana Richardson claimed the title in the 400 hurdles with a time of 57.85 seconds.
In the high jump, sisters Brittany and Briana Kelly tied for second with a leap of 5-5 3/4 and teammate Kaitlyn Walker was fourth at the same height.
On the men's side, Blair Henderson, who won a special 1,500 meters race on Friday night, came back to the track Saturday to take the 800 in 1:47.58, while teammate Jack Wilkes was second in 1:50.75.
Jaron Flournoy led a 2-3-4 finish for the Tigers in the 100. Flournoy was timed in 10.56 seconds, while Akanni Hislop (10.60) and Tinashe Mutanga (10.61) followed.
Also, freshman Rayvon Grey was second in the triple jump with a best of 49-3 1/2.
Fifth-ranked LSU is the highest-ranked team at the Valspar Collegiate Invitational, which begins a three-day run Sunday at the Floridian Golf Club in Palm City, Florida.
LSU is among six top-25 and eight top-50 teams among the 13 programs, joining No. 12 Wake Forest, No. 13 Texas, No. 18 Texas A&M, No. 23 Georgia Tech, No. 25 Arkansas, No. 31 Florida State and No. 35 South Carolina. Rounding out the field with tournament host Houston is Memphis, Minnesota, North Texas and South Florida.
LSU coach Chuck Winstead will line up the same starting five that placed third at the rain-shortened General Hackler Championship last weekend: seniors Brandon Pierce and Eric Ricard, sophomores Sam Burns and Luis Gagne and freshman Philip Barbaree. Sophomore Nathan Jeansonne will compete as an individual.
Swimming and Diving
INDIANAPOLIS — Leah Troskot, Colleen O’Neil and Kara Kopcso concluded their careers Saturday morning on the final day of the NCAA Championships.
Troskot placed 20th overall in the country with a time of 48.24 seconds to garner a personal best in her final event, retaining second on LSU’s top-time list. Troskot caps off her career logging three top-three times on LSU’s all-time list in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events.
In the 200 breaststroke, Colleen O’Neil finished at 2:12.09 in the prelims for 41st.
Kopcso took 25th during the 200 fly prelims with a time of 1:56.72.
In the diving portion, sophomore Lizzie Cui notched a 17th-place finish with a career-high score of 248.00 on platform.