TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — After a fast start on the first day of the Southeastern Conference championships, the LSU track and field teams went one better on the second day of competition Friday.
Make that two better.
The third-ranked Tigers and seventh-ranked Lady Tigers combined for 10 qualifiers in the prelims Thursday, then came back Friday and picked up a dozen more to set the table for the third and final day of the meet Saturday.
LSU had six more qualifiers each on the men’s and women’s sides Friday, a group that was led by four Lady Tigers getting through to the 100 meters final.
Sophomore Mikiah Brisco made it 2-for-2 Friday night when she raced to a win in her heat of the 100 meters in 11.34 seconds, while Jada Martin also took her heat in 11.44 seconds.
Freshman Kortnei Johnson and Rushell Harvey also earned spots in the 100 final based on time when they clocked in at 11.36 and 11.40 while running in the same heat. Johnson was third and Harvey fifth.
On the men’s side, LSU’s Jordan Moore, who has been hampered this spring by a hamstring problem, had the fastest time of the day in the 110-meter hurdles when he pushed to a heat win in 13.72 seconds.
Earlier Friday, LSU’s Rebekah Wales chalked up the first points of the meet for the Lady Tigers when she finished third in the javelin with a personal-record throw of 180 feet, 7 inches.
The Lady Tigers have six points and Tigers have three going into the final day, but both are poised to pile up the points with a total of 22 qualifiers as well as some highly-ranked relays ready to run.
Brisco started it when she ran second in her heat of the 100 hurdles with a PR of 13.10 seconds, shaving nearly a half-second off her old best of 13.58 set last month at the Texas Invitational.
Then, freshman Rachel Misher, running the 400 for the first time as a collegian, finished second and came through with a time of 53.08 seconds to claim the ninth and final spot in the final.
That set up the runs by Brisco, Martin, Johnson and Harvey to finish off a big night for the Lady Tigers.
“Our preparation coming into this meet was a little bit different,” Brisco said of the difference in her hurdles times. “We didn’t do so much heavy weights, so we were able to feel fresh coming in here and run faster times.
“My technique could have been better, but that’s something for me to work on before the final,” added Brisco, who raced to the 60 meters title at the SEC indoor meet in February.
The men had solid nights as well.
Moore wasn’t happy with the time in his third 110 hurdles race of the outdoor season but was happy to get through.
“I feel like I’m all the way back (from the injury),” he said. “We were just being extra cautious (racing only two other times), but we’ve been training heavily the past three weeks.
“That prelim is not a reflection of what we’ve been doing (in training). Tomorrow, I expect something major. It wasn’t a great prelim, but I got through. It was probably one of my worst races ever, but it got me through.”
Blair Henderson, who qualified for the 800 final Thursday, also made it through to the 1,500 final when he finished third in his heat in 3 minutes, 47.77 seconds.
In the 400, Michael Cherry ran the third-fastest time of the day in winning his heat in 45.63 seconds, and Fitzroy Dunkley also had a heat win in 45.96.
Finally, LSU finished off the night well when Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake won his heat of the 100 meters in 10.30 seconds and Tremayne Acy qualified on time with a 10.36 after taking second in his heat.
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.