Eight members of the 2014 LSU track and field teams, who wrapped up their collegiate season two weeks ago, are vying for honors again this week in the USA outdoor championships that began Wednesday in Sacramento, California.
The five-day competition also includes eight former Tigers and Lady Tigers. That list is topped by Kimberlyn Duncan, a six-time NCAA champion in the indoor and outdoor 200 meters during her four-year run at LSU from 2010-13.
The athletes who competed this past season and helped the Tigers to a fourth-place tie competing this week are Aaron Ernest (200), Vernon Norwood (400), Quincy Downing (400 hurdles) and Rodney Brown (discus).
Downing and Norwood each finished third at the NCAA meet and ran a leg on the Tigers’ third-place 4x400-meter relay team, while Ernest, who was fourth in the 200, ran the second leg on the 4x100 relay team that placed third.
Downing clocked a personal best of 49.97 in the 400 hurdles final and Norwood ran a 45.52 in the open 400 final.
Richard Jones (800) is the only former Tiger competing this weekend.
Lady Tigers continuing their season this week are Jasmin Stowers (100 hurdles), Tori Bliss (shot put), Denise Hinton (hammer)and Lynnika Pitts (triple jump). They helped LSU to a sixth-place finish in the NCAA meet.
Bliss and Stowers each claimed second places in their signature events at the NCAAs, while Hinton and Pitts, who had a lifetime best of 44-1¼, both finished fourth.
Bliss produced a personal-record throw of 57 feet, 4¼ inches, while Stowers had a wind-aided time of 12.54 seconds — the fastest time of her four-year career under any conditions.
Joining Duncan at the USA championships are three former NCAA champions: Lolo Jones (100 hurdles), Cassandra Tate (400 hurdles) and LaTavia Thomas (800).
Other former Lady Tigers competing are Tenaya Jones (100 hurdles), Charlene Lipsey (800) and Kenyanna Wilson (100).
NBC will provide live coverage of the final two days of the meet from 3-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.