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TEMPE, Ariz. – Lady Tiger senior Brieanna Kennedy added nearly two feet to her personal bests in the hammer and discus throws to highlight 14 personal-best performances by the LSU Track & Field teams at the inaugural Arizona State Tri-Meet held Saturday afternoon at Sun Angel Stadium.
Kennedy kicked of the meet in the first event of the morning session by finishing as the top collegiate and as the second-place finisher overall with a best of 204 feet, 7 inches in the women’s hammer throw.
She then followed in the afternoon by throwing a new personal record of 163-6 en route to her sixth-place finish in the women’s discus final while improving her position on LSU’s all-time list in the event.
“Coach (Derek Yush) really set us up for a good met today,” Kennedy said. “Coming out here on Tuesday allowed us some time to get in the circle and get in a good week of training. Each circle you throw in is different, so to get out here for a few days and train allowed us to find a comfort level and prepare to have a good meet today. We came in here confident based on our training this week.”
Kennedy, who entered Saturday’s competition with a hammer PR of 203-0 set during the LSU Relays, set her new mark of 204-7 with the third round of throws en route to a runner-up finish to unattached thrower Chelsea Cassulo (212-0) in the final standings of the first event of the tri-meet.
With her performance Saturday, Kennedy moved to within 16 inches of matching Britney Henry’s 8-year-old school record of 205-11 and solidified the No. 9 spot in the NCAA rankings this season.
She then followed with another personal-best performance in the women’s discus when she posted her top mark of 163-6 to take sixth place. While entering the day with a previous PR of 161-7, Kennedy extended her best by nearly two feet with the No. 6-ranked performance in the women’s discus in school history.
“Coming from my freshman year when I didn’t really feel like a qualified hammer thrower to now having a chance to work with the people I have and to be where I am now is a blessing. It’s exciting,” Kennedy said. “It just makes me want to work harder these next few weeks to improve even more as we keep going to the postseason. I don’t want to be content. I want to do even better things.”
While Kennedy took second place in the hammer throw, sophomore Denise Hinton followed in fifth place with a personal-best performance of her own as she posted a series-best mark of 191-5.
Senior standout and Tempe native Samia Stokes was the top Lady Tiger in Saturday’s discus throw as she eclipsed the 170-foot mark for the third time in five meets with a best of 171-4 to earn a third-place finish. Freshman Tori Bliss established a personal best of 149-6 en route to an eighth-place finish in the discus.
Two other Lady Tigers captured event titles during Saturday’s tri-meet with performances that move them up LSU’s all-time list with top-10 performances in school history.
Junior Laura Carleton smashed her outdoor PR in taking the women’s 3,000-meter run on Saturday with a time of 9 minutes, 37.17 seconds that moved her up four spots on LSU’s all-time outdoor performance list with the No. 4-ranked time in program history. Joining Carleton with new 3k personal records were Laura Aleman (10:29.31) in second place and Leigh-Ann Naccari (10:30.54) in third place.
Sophomore Annie Simoneaux added a victory for the Lady Tigers in the women’s javelin throw in setting a personal-best mark of 154-5 to win by nearly 30 feet over Arizona State’s Alex Hartig (126-1). She set a new PR by breaking her previous best of 152-9 set just one week ago at the “Battle on the Bayou.” That is the No. 7-ranked performance for a javelin thrower in the history of the Lady Tiger program.
The Tigers were led by their sprint group during Saturday’s tri-meet, which featured a trio of 2012 season bests in the 200-meter dash by seniors Riker Hylton and Keyth Talley and junior Caleb Williams.
Hylton slashed more than two-tenths of a second off of his 200-meter PR with his wind-legal run of 20.76 seconds to take fourth place overall. He entered the weekend with a previous best of 20.98 that was run as a sophomore at Essex County College before his arrival at LSU. Talley followed in fifth place after racing to a seasonal-best time of 20.91, while Williams won the first heat with the sixth-fastest time of the day of 21.14 in setting a new wind-legal personal record in the event outdoors.
Freshman Quincy Downing was also impressive in his second-place finish in the men’s 400-meter dash as he cut .89 seconds from his lifetime personal best with a run of 46.88 to finish behind William Henry of Arizona State (46.47). Downing held a previous PR of 47.77 set as a high school junior.
Senior James Thurn added a third-place finish in his first 400-meter hurdles race of the outdoor season, as he raced to the finish line in 52.34 out of Lane 2 to set a new personal record in the event.
Also setting lifetime personal bests on Saturday afternoon were junior Cullen Doody at 8:42.25 for a third place in the men’s 3,000-meter run and freshman Kaitlyn Moreau with a wind-legal mark of 17-0 ¾ in her ninth-place finish in the women’s long jump competition.
Other Tigers to take home individual event titles during the Arizona State Tri-Meet included senior Kyron Blaise (24-6 ½w) in the men’s long jump, senior national champion Barrett Nugent (13.68) in the men’s 100-meter hurdles and freshman Jeremy Tuttle (211-11) in the men’s javelin competition.
Among the Lady Tigers taking home event championships during Saturday’s action were senior Rachel Laurent (13-5 ¾) in the women’s pole vault, junior Kimberlyn Duncan (11.37) in the women’s 100-meter dash and sophomore Jasmin Stowers (13.50) in the women’s 100-meter hurdles.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers return home next weekend to play host to this year’s LSU Alumni Gold event on Saturday, April 21, at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium. It will be a true celebration of the history of the LSU Track & Field program as they will also host their third-annual Team Awards and Alumni Recognition Banquet at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Friday night.



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