LSU women’s track qualifies four for June’s NCAA outdoor national championships

LSU's Katy Ann McDonald celebrates Thursday at the NCAA East Preliminaries in Jacksonville after advancing to Saturday's 800 meter quarterfinals. McDonald was timed in a personal best 2:02.54, the seventh best 800 time in LSU history and 10th best time in the NCAA in 2021.

LSU women’s track standouts Lisa Gunnarsson, Emma Robbins, Aliyah Whisby and Mercy Abire Matanmi clinched spots in the June’s NCAA outdoor championships on day two of the NCAA East Preliminaries Thursday at Jacksonville’s Hodges Stadium.

Gunnarsson, the 2021 NCAA indoor champion in the pole vault, only had to clear two bars to solidify her spot in the nationals. She cleared a final bar of 14 feet to move on and had no misses on the day.

SEC champion Robbins threw the hammer 216 feet, 9 inches to finish third in the field of 48 competitors and advance to the NCAA championships for the first time in her career.

Long jumpers Whisby and Abire Matanmi finished third and eighth respectively. Whisby registered a jump of 21 feet, 9 inches on her first attempt of the day, and Abire Matanmi leaped a personal best of 21 feet, 1¼ inches on her second attempt.

The NCAA outdoor championships are June 9-12 at the University of Oregon’s Haywood Field.

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