Five Tigers win firsts in SEC indoor track and field championships

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey hands LSU long jumper and high jumper JuVaughn Harrison the 2021 Cliff Harper Trophy as the highest scorer at the SEC indoor track and field championships on Feb. 27. Harrison won both events and now will go after national titles at this week's NCAA indoor championships.

The LSU men finished second and the Tigers’ women took fourth place in the three-day SEC indoor track and field championships that concluded Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.

Led by five first-places including double-winner JuVaughn Harrison, the LSU men scored 93 points finishing behind host Arkansas which scored 116 points.

The Tigers’ women, with 60-meter hurdler Mlian Young as the lone champ, scored 62 and finished behind Arkansas (141), Florida (81) and Georgia 69.

“I’m really proud of how our athletes represented us this weekend,” LSU head coach Dennis Shaver said.”To have five athletes win SEC individual titles is special and I’m so proud of them. And not just those who won either, I thought all of our athletes came out here and put it on the line. We’ll get back to Baton Rouge and prep for the NCAA championships.”

Harrison, a senior from Huntsville, Ala., added more wins to his legendary career on Friday.

He became only the third man in SEC history to sweep the high jump and long jump SEC indoor titles, joining LSU’s Thomas Dukes (1957) and Florida’s Michael Morrison (2006) of Florida. Harrison now has five career SEC event titles: 2019 indoor high jump, 2019 outdoor high jump, 2020 indoor high jump, 2021 indoor high jump, and 2021 indoor long jump.

Harrison won the high jump with a clearance of 7 feet, 2½ inches and the long jump with a leap of 27 feet, 4 inches in about a 90-minute period on Friday.

He needed just three jumps to secure the high jump win.

“The high jump was a good, smooth start for me,” Harrison said. “Coming into the event, I knew I had two events on the schedule so I was trying to be as efficient as I could be. It meant a lot to me (to win a third straight SEC title) and after I cleared that last bar my focus was on to the long jump.”

Then in the long jump, his first effort was good enough for the win and more. It broke the SEC and LSU records and was the fifth best indoor jump in NCAA history.

Harrison broke the school’s 17-year-old mark in the long jump previously held by John Moffitt (27-1 3/4) set in 2004.

“I was a little surprised by the mark,” Harrison said. “The run felt good, the takeoff felt good, but I didn’t think it was as far as that. I saw the 27′ 4″ mark on the board and that made me happy. I knew I had that in me and it felt awesome to get it out there in competition.”

Here’s the list of LSU’s SEC champions:

Men’s

JuVaughn Harrison, 1st in the long jump 27 feet, 4 inches and 1st in high jump 7 feet, 2½ inches: Won his first SEC indoor long jump title on his first jump, breaking the SEC meet record of 27 feet,¼ inch set in 2013 by Florida’s Marquis Dendy. It also set an LSU record, was the fifth best indoor jump in NCAA history and ties Harrison for the world lead in the event in 2021. He also won the SEC indoor high jump title for a third straight year.

Terrance Laird: 1st in 200 meters, 20.28: It was an SEC meet record time and an LSU school record as well as the 10th fastest collegiate 200 meters time ever and is the fastest in the world in 2021.

Noah Williams, 1st in 400 meters, 45.26: It was an LSU school record as he became LSU’s first champion in the event since Robert Simmons in 2009.

Damion Thomas, 1st in 60-meter hurdles, 7.60: He finished just ahead of teammate Eric Edwards Jr., who ran a season-best 7.67.

Women

Milan Young, 1st in 60-meter hurdles, 8.03: Ran a personal best and her time is the ninth fastest in LSU history. Her win makes it 37 years in a row that a woman from the LSU program has won an SEC individual title.

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