The LSU track and field program’s list of qualifiers for the Olympic Games rose to seven Saturday and Sunday at the Jamaican national championships in Kingston.
After former Lady Tigers middle distance runner Natoya Goule and former Tigers long jumper Damar Forbes qualified on Saturday night, two former LSU standouts joined them Sunday when Fitzroy Dunkley and Nickiesha Wilson earned spots on the Jamaican team.
Dunkley, the runner-up in the 400 meters at the NCAA championships and the anchor for the Tigers’ winning 4x400-meter relay team at the NCAA indoor and outdoor meets this season, took second in the 400 with a time of 45.35 seconds to secure his first Olympics berth.
A little later, Wilson, a former NCAA champion for the Lady Tigers in the 400-meter hurdles, earned a third opportunity to represent Jamaica when she took third in the 100 hurdles finals in 12.97 seconds.
Earlier in the day, Wilson nailed down a spot in the final by finishing second in her semifinal heat in 13.49 seconds.
Late Saturday, Goule, a four-time NCAA champion for the Lady Tigers at 800 meters, won that event in 2 minutes, 00.23 seconds and Forbes was second in the long jump with a leap of 24 feet, 113/4 inches.
Two other Jamaicans with LSU ties — Samantha Henry-Robinson and Renard Howell — both failed Sunday in their bid to earn Olympic berths in the 200 meters. Henry-Robinson ran sixth in the final in 23.06 seconds and Howell, a senior-to-be for the Tigers, was seventh in 20.52.
The news also wasn’t good at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, on Sunday for former LSU star Kimberlyn Duncan and former Louisiana Tech long jumper Jarvis Gotch, a Lafayette native.
Duncan ran seventh in her semifinal heat of the 100 meters in 11.46 seconds and did not advance to the final. She will have one more chance next weekend in the 200 meters, an event in which she won six NCAA indoor and outdoor titles from 2010-12.
Gotch, who earlier this spring jumped 27 feet, 31/4 inches, fouled on all three of his attempts in the finals after finishing 11th in Saturday’s qualifying with a best of 25-101/4.
Goule, Forbes, Dunkley and Wilson will join three former LSU sprinters at the Rio de Janeiro Games: Richard Thompson and Kelly-Anne Baptiste (both Trinidad & Tobago) and Gabriel Mvumvure (Zimbabwe).