FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. —As usual, one of the most-anticipated events on the final day of the Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday will be the final in the men’s 60 meters.
The eight finalists ran between 6.61 seconds and 6.73 seconds in the prelims on Saturday at Randal Tyson Track Center with Auburn’s Marcus Rowland posting the fastest time of the day. The group includes three sophomores — one of them being LSU’s Aaron Ernest (6.70) — and two freshmen.
By comparison, a time of 6.85 seconds was needed to qualify for the final at the ACC Indoor Championships. A total of 19 SEC sprinters ran that time or faster Saturday.
Ernest later ran the fastest time in the world in the 200 meters, clocking in at 20.59 seconds.
LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan and Jasmin Stowers will try to put their names in the SEC record book on Sunday when they race in the final of the 200 meters and 60-meter hurdles, respectively.
They will be going for their third consecutive SEC indoor title, which could make them only the second individuals to do that in those events.
Duncan, who is also in the 60 final, warmed up for the 200 final when she posted the top time in the prelims at 22.71 seconds, after Stowers clocked the fastest time of the day with an 8.21 in the hurdles.
The only other athletes to win three straight SEC indoor crowns in those events were also from LSU — Muna Lee in the 200 (2001-03) and Lolo Jones in the hurdles (2002-04).
Brown races into finals
Baton Rouge native Kamaria Brown, a Texas A&M sophomore, qualified for Sunday’s final in both the 200 and 400 meters.
Brown, a McKinley High graduate, posted season’s-bests in both events as she ran the 200 in 23.05 seconds about 90 minutes after clocking a 52.42 in the 400.
Her time in the 400 was nearly 11/2 seconds better than her previous best this year and was the fourth-fastest in the nation. In the next heat, Arkansas’ Regina George ran a 51.47 — the fourth-fastest time in the world so far this season.
Leleux sits out
Georgia’s Morgann Leleux, a New Iberia native who was the runnerup in the pole vault at the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships as a freshman last year, did not compete in the event Saturday.
The 2012 SEC outdoor champion is recovering from a Jan. 27 procedure to repair a detached retina she suffered in the second meet of the season.
Despite only competing twice this season, Leleux is the national leader with a personal-best of 14 feet, 9 inches.
Georgia track sports information director Leland Barrow said Leleux will try to practice this week, but it’s unknown if she’ll be able to compete in the NCAA Championships on March 8-9.
On the tube
Taped portions of the SEC Championships, which conclude Sunday with 12 finals in both the men’s and women’s divisions, will be televised by ESPNU on Wednesday, March 13, from 8:30-10 p.m.