TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — After claiming the javelin title in the Southeastern Conference championships a year ago, LSU junior Rebekah Wales couldn’t secure a second consecutive win Friday.
But it wasn’t all bad for Wales on a breezy day at Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium.
On her sixth and final attempt of the competition, she had a throw of 180 feet, 7 inches — a personal record — to finish third behind Texas A&M’s Maggie Malone (195-2) and Florida’s Marija Vucenovic (189-8).
“I can’t complain about a PR,” Wales said after moving from fourth place to third.
Wales’ previous PR was 179-11, which she recorded a year ago to move to second on LSU’s all-time list in the event.
“I don’t like to get beat,” Wales said. “But on that last throw, it didn’t feel like it was that far. I was disappointed, but then they measured it and it was like, ‘Wow.’ ”
Two weather delays and a power outage didn’t deter LSU thrower Johnnie Jackson from scoring the Tigers’ first points of the SEC championships early Friday morning.
In the hammer, originally set to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jackson unleashed a final throw of 215-11 to vault from ninth place to sixth and give third-ranked LSU three points.
Lightning delayed the meet briefly Thursday afternoon, pushing back the start of the women’s hammer from 4 p.m. and men’s hammer. Severe thunderstorms shut things down again just after 7 p.m. and a 35-minute power outage also came into play.
Still, the throw by Jackson matched his second-longest of the season and put LSU on the scoreboard despite the uncertainty of when he would throw.
“We faced some adversity with the weather, especially in the field events, but I thought we came through it pretty well,” LSU coach Dennis Shaver said. “Our athletes approached today with the right mindset and it showed.”
Two LSU athletes who came into the meet with the top times in the SEC this spring will be seeking titles on the final day of the championships Saturday.
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake will try for a double when he lines up in the short sprints. He led the SEC and nation in the 200 at 20.14 seconds and was the conference leader in the 100 as well with a best of 10.09.
Morgan Schuetz will go in the 800 meters, an event in which she leads the conference and ranks third in the nation at 2 minutes, 2.29 seconds.
There were no weather concerns on Day 2 after a line of severe thunderstorms cleared the area late Thursday night, producing bright, sunny skies when the meet resumed with the second day of the multi-events Friday morning.