FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A primary target for the LSU Track & Field teams competing at the Tyson Invitational this weekend was to improve their NCAA qualifying position in both the men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relays, and that is exactly what they did while racing to a pair of seasonal bests in Saturday’s finale at Arkansas’ Randal Tyson Track Center.
The Tigers took home the men’s relay title with a top time this season of 3 minutes, 4.60 seconds, while the Lady Tigers also dropped their seasonal best to 3:34.89 in the final women’s event of the meet.
The Lady Tigers also cracked the Top 10 of the NCAA rankings in the women’s 4×400-meter relay with their performance on Saturday night while slashing more than three seconds off their previous seasonal best while entering the meet with a top time of 3:38.22 set at the New Mexico Team Invitational on Feb. 1.
After freshman Jada Martin led off the squad with a 54.20-second split on the leadoff leg, senior Nikita Tracey took the stick and turned in one of her most impressive races indoors as a Lady Tiger with a 53.08 effort for the second leg. Freshman Bealoved Brown followed with a 54.35-second split on the third leg before sophomore Chanice Chase anchored in 53.28 as the Lady Tigers crossed the finish line in 3:34.89 for second place for their heat and sixth place overall in the final event standings with the NCAA’s No. 9-ranked performance this season.
Texas won the women’s relay title with a time of 3:30.12 in the following heat, followed by Texas Tech (3:34.15), Kentucky (3:34.41), Southern California (3:34.51), Arkansas (3:34.70) and LSU (3:34.89) in the event.
“We could not have anticipated a better ending to this meet this weekend,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “Our athletes knew one of our main objectives in coming to this meet was to run a little faster in both of our (4×400) relays than we have to this point of the season, and I thought they gave it everything they had to get the job done for us here today.”
Meanwhile, Jamaican sophomore Shanice Hall also cracked LSU’s all-time Top 10 list with her victory in the women’s college high jump as she soared to an indoor personal best of 5-9 ¾ on her second attempt to share the event title with Baylor’s Lauren Cook. It was a neck-and-neck competition throughout as both Hall and Cook posted first-attempt clearances at 5-3 ¾, 5-5 ¾ and 5-7 ¾ before fouling out with three misses at 5-11 ½. Hall’s clearance of 5-9 ¾ eclipsed her previous indoor best of 5-8 set at the New Mexico Team Invitational two weeks ago and tied her for the No. 10 spot on LSU’s all-time indoor list in the women’s high jump.