LSU track and field set for NCAA East prelims _lowres

Photo provided by Bryan Wayne/LSU Sports Information -- LSU's Rodney Brown goes into the NCAA East preloiminary rounds, which started Thursday, with the top discus throw in the nation.

The LSU men’s and women’s track and field teams will have 43 entries in the NCAA East preliminary rounds, which begin a three-day run Thursday in Jacksonville, Florida.

The preliminary rounds serve as the first two rounds of the NCAA outdoor championships with the top 12 finishers in individual events as well as relays advancing to the national semifinals and finals June 10-13 in Eugene, Oregon.

The fourth-ranked Tigers had 16 athletes accepted into the meet for 20 berths, while the eighth-ranked Lady Tigers qualified 18 individuals for 23 berths.

The NCAA selection committee accepts the top 48 individuals from each event and the top 24 relay teams from the national performance lists to compete at the East and West sites. The West preliminary rounds will be held in Austin, Texas, also next Thursday through Saturday.

LSU’s list of competitors is headed up by three individuals who lead the region in their respective events.

Rodney Brown leads the East region and the nation in the men’s discus, Vernon Norwood tops the region in the 400 meters and the Lady Tigers’ Tori Bliss ranks first in the region and nation in the shot put.

LSU’s 4x100-meter relay team of Joshua Thompson, Norwood, Tremayne Acy and Aaron Ernest also have the top time in the East region going into the preliminary rounds.

Bliss, Parker honored

LSU seniors Tori Bliss and Julian Parker were named to the Southeastern Conference Community Service Team for the 2015 season Thursday, the league office announced.

Bliss, who finished second in the shot put at the SEC championships last weekend, and Parker, a Baton Rouge native who won the men’s 800 meters title, were honored for their countless hours of service on and off the campus during the 2014-15 academic year.