Arkansas sweeps SEC men’s and women’s track championships as LSU men’s and women’s teams finish third and second respectively

LSU's Terrance Laird captured both the 100 and 200 meters during the Southeastern Conference outdoor championships Saturday at Texas A&M. Photo courtesy of LSU athletics.

The LSU men and women’s track teams were positioned for a late run toward the Southeastern Conference outdoor championships at Texas A&M.

The Tigers’ sprinter phenomenon Terrance Laird had just put the finishing touches on his sweep of the 100 and 200 meters with a blazing time of 19.8 seconds to capture the 200-meter dash, lifting his team to the top spot in the men’s standings with 100.5 points with two events remaining.

Laird’s time set a meet record, eclipsing the time of 19.86 of Tennessee’s Justin Gatlin in 2002.

LSU’s women also made a late breakthrough on the strength of a 1-2-4-6 finish in the 400 hurdles with Brittley Humphrey leading the way with a season’s best time of 56.14 second, just ahead of teammates Milan Young (56.54), Jurnee Woodward (57.69) and Leah Phillips (57.87).

The Tigers dominance in the race gave them the lead in the women’s race with three events remaining.

LSU’s women were able to maintain their lead after the 200 meters which the Tigers had a 2-3 finish from Favour Ofili (22.16) and Symone Mason (22.37) for a 12.5 points lead over second-place Arkansas.

However, Arkansas rode a finish of 2-4-6 in the 5000 meters and a fourth place in the 4×400 relay, one spot ahead of LSU, to capture the women’s team title with 127 points. The Tigers were next with 120.5 points, the most points they’ve scored in the SEC meet since 2012.

Arkansas’ men also flexed their muscle in the 5,000-meter race where the Razorbacks parlayed a 1-2-4 finish and 22 points to overtake LSU and wind up with a winning total of 132 points to edge both Alabama (109) and LSU (108) for the men’s championship.

Laird was a catalyst for LSU with wins in the spring double, winning the 100 (9.80) and 200, and running the anchor leg where he took the baton in third place and help win the 4×100 relay (39.03). He was joined on the winning unit by Dylan Peebles, Dorian Camel and Noah Williams.

Laird became the first LSU athlete since Nathaniel Mitchell-Blake in 2016 to sweep the 100 and 200 meters and run a leg on a victorious 4×100 relay.

LSU finished 2-3 in the 110 hurdles with Damion Thomas (13.25) and Eric Edwards (13.27), while Williams (44.37) and Tyler Terry (45.45) finished first and fourth, respectively, in the 400. Williams became the first runner from LSU to win the 400 since Xavier Carter in 2006.

Freshman Sean Burrell of Zachary, who ran a personal best time, was edged out in a close to finish second in the 400 hurdles (48.92).

Tonea Marshall provided LSU with its other individual title in the 100 hurdles (12.62), while the Tigers also captured the 4×100 relay along with Ofili, Symone Mason and Thelma Davies in a world-leading time of 45.52.

The Tigers picked up runners-up finishes from Katy-Ann McDonald in the 800 (2:05.23), Mason in the 100 (11.06) and Ofili in the 200.

LSU also went 4-5 in the high jump with Abigail O’Donoghue (6-0) and Nyagoa Bayak (5-10 ¾) and Lorena Rangel was sixth in the 800 (2:07.55).

After a week off, LSU’s track teams return to action May 26-29 in the East Regionals in Jacksonville, Fla.

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William Weathers

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