DES MOINES, Iowa — The LSU men’s track and field team extended an impressive streak at the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Saturday when Barrett Nugent raced to a victory in the 110-meter hurdles at Drake Stadium.
With Nugent’s win, LSU has had at least one champion — either individual or in relays — in 14 consecutive NCAA outdoor meets dating to 1998.
Before being shut out in 1997, the Tigers had at least one winner in 10 straight seasons from 1987-96. That means they won at least one title in 24 of the last 25 NCAA outdoor meets and now have a total of 45 all-time.
Nugent, who won in 13.28 seconds, also became the first LSU athlete to win the men’s 110 hurdles crown in 24 years. Eric Reid claimed the title in 1987 when the meet was held in LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
Back on track
LSU’s women’s team had two winners Saturday as the Lady Tigers won the 4x100-meter relay, ending Texas A&M’s streak of four consecutive victories in the event, and Kimberlyn Duncan won the 200 meters.
The Lady Tigers came into the meet with an NCAA-record 51 individual and relay wins, but hadn’t won since 2008 when they also claimed their 14th outdoor team title in 2008 in Drake Stadium.
After not winning a single event in the past two outdoor meets, LSU earned two victories in 38 minutes when the 4x100 relay win in 42.64 seconds and Duncan came back to win the 200 in a world-leading time of 22.24 seconds.
Henry and history
Former LSU coach Pat Henry added two more titles to his résumé when Texas A&M, which he’s coached since 2005, swept the men’s and women’s championships for the third straight year.
It’s the first time that’s happened in NCAA history although Henry, the first coach to sweep the men’s and women’s outdoor titles with LSU in 1989 and the indoor titles on both sides in 2004, said he doesn’t look at it that way.
“I look at it as each one of these groups being a different group,” said Henry, who now has 33 NCAA titles counting the 27 he won while at LSU. “I get my enjoyment from working with different groups (of athletes). They’re great to be around and they’re involved. They want to win so bad.”
After winning the women’s discus in an upset Wednesday, Northwestern State’s Trecey Rew couldn’t make a return trip to the awards stand after the shot put on Saturday.
Rew, the only athlete from a state school other than LSU to compete Saturday, had a best of 52 feet, 8Ø inches but didn’t advance to the finals and placed 15th in the 24-woman field.
After winning the 5,000 meters on Friday night, Villanova’s Sheila Reid returned to Drake Stadium only 16 hours later on Saturday to claim the title in the 1,500.
Reid clocked a time of 15 minutes, 37.57 seconds Friday night, then won the 1,500 in 4:14.57 to become the first woman in NCAA history to complete the tough 1,500-5,000 double.
The NCAA Outdoor Championships return to Des Moines for the third time in five years in 2012 with the competition scheduled for June 6-9.
After that, the championships head back to Eugene, Ore., where the meet was held in 2010, for a two-year stint in 2013 and ’14.
Alex Gochenour, an LSU signee who’ll compete next season for the Lady Tigers, watched all four days of the meet from the stands with her parents. Gochenour, a native of Missouri Valley, Iowa, is a two-time U.S. Junior champion in the heptathlon. … Saturday’s attendance was 9,054 as cool temperatures and no rain for the first time since Wednesday brought out the largest crowd of the week. Total attendance for the four days of the championships was 29,377.