BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — LSU sophomore Aaron Ernest set personal record in notching a 20.80-second in the 200 meter dash at the Crimson Tide Indoor opener Saturday night at the Birmingham Sportsplex.
Ernest paced five event winners that included Kimberlyn Duncan’s victory in the 60 meters, Denise Hinton in the weight throw, Tori Bliss in the shot put and Quincy Downing’s run in the 400 meters.
Tate, starting out of the fifth lane, chased down Mississippi State’s Tavaris Tate in the final turn ahead of the All-American, who finished in second place with a time of 21.33 and followed by Florida’s Arman Hall in 21.22
“I knew I could try to catch him at the start,” said Earnest, who bested his 21.33 performance in finishing second at the SEC Indoor Championships last season. “Once I did that, I thought I could maybe hold up through the end. I struggled running on a bank last year, but I’m so much more familiar with it now. I’ve put in a lot of work to come out and have a great start to the year.”
Ernest became the No. 5-ranked performer indoors in the men’s 200-meter dash in the history of the LSU track and field program.
The fourth-ranked Tigers got a solid start behind Hinton, whose opening throw of 64 feet, 8 inches held over for a three-foot margin of victory against runner-up Jayla Bostic’s 61-10¼ in the third round of throws, giving Hinton her fifth-career victory.
Duncan ended a two-year stretch without a victory after running 7.39 in the finals of the 60-meters, following up 7.41 finish in the preliminary round, and finished in front of Florida State in front of Florida State’s Marecia Pemberton (7.47) and Florida’s Shayla Sanders (7.47) for the win.
The reigning Bowerman Award winner is the two-time defending NCAA Indoor champion for 200 meters and enters the 2013 season with a streak of 18-consecutive collegiate wins in her signature event.
In the shot put, Bliss set personal best of 51-9 ¾ in the first round of throws and won the event crown by a margin of 8 ¾ inches over the 51-1 by Florida State’s Chelsea Whalen.
Taking home second-place finishes for the Tigers were Joseph Caraway with an indoor PR of 17-0 ¾ in the pole vault, Joshua Thompson with a time of 8.02 in the 60-meter hurdles and a squad of Downing, Cyril Grayson, freshman Darrell Bush and Caleb Williams with a run of 3:09.81 in the men’s 4x400-meter relay in the final event of the competition.
Among the Lady Tigers scoring silver medals were junior Keri Emanuel with a top effort of 19-8 ¾ in the long jump, Jasmin Stowers with a run of 8.44 in the “A” section of the 60-meter hurdles and Shanekia Hall with a time of 8.37 in the “B” section of the 60-meter hurdles.
LSU competes at the Texas A&M Tri-Meet at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium next Saturday.
LSU teams will square off against NCAA title contenders Texas A&M and Arkansas for both the men’s and women’s sides in a scored competition early in the indoor season.