LSU’s Gunnarsson achieves NCAA’s fourth-best pole vault mark; Armstrong, Edwards register notable efforts

PHOTO BY: LSU athletics.

AUSTIN, Texas – Lisa Gunnarsson of LSU track and field became equal to the fourth best performer in collegiate history on Saturday at the Texas Relays as she cleared a lifetime best bar of 15 feet, 3 inches in the pole vault at the Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Alia Armstrong became the fastest collegiate hurdler in all-conditions in the 100-meter hurdles with a wind-aided time of 12.33 seconds to win the 100-meter hurdle title as well.

Gunnarsson, a two-time NCAA champion, was one of six collegiate athletes in the event, while four professionals also competed as well. She took the top collegiate spot and fourth place overall with her career best clearance, bettering her previous record mark of 14-9 was the highest ever by a collegian at the Texas Relays.

It also made her the third best vaulter outdoors in Swedish history only behind Angelica Bengtsson (4.80 meters) and Michaela Meijer (4.83 meters). Lastly, it’s the fourth best vault outdoors this year in the world, and it’s an NCAA lead and has her qualified for the NCAA East Preliminaries in May.

“I always love jumping at Texas Relays and I’m really happy with today’s jumps,” Gunnarsson said. “It was great conditions, I felt fast, and I got on big poles. From the time I started warming up, I felt I had some high heights in me today, so I just went out there and executed.

“This PR (personal record) means a lot to me. I’ve been stuck on my previous career best for a couple years now, so for me to get this height and a new PR is a big confidence boost for me. I look forward to the rest of the season.”

Armstrong burst out the blocks in her first outdoor 100-meter hurdle final of the season and pulled away from the competition with an aiding wind of 2.5 meters per second to win. Since the wind was above the allowable wind aid (+2.0 or higher), the time cannot be counted as a collegiate or LSU school record. It’s still the fastest time ever in collegiate history under all conditions.

The wind was low enough however to be counted for NCAA qualifying purposes and is the fastest time in the nation.

Eric Edwards Jr., a native of Houston, Texas, won his first career Texas Relays title in the 110-meter hurdles shortly after Armstrong’s triumph. Edwards won his title in a windy time of 13.24 seconds with a helping wind of 2.6 meters per second. That mark is eligible for NCAA ranking purposes and its leads the nation.

The women’s 4×800 meter relay squad of Hannah Carroll, Katy-Ann McDonald, Lorena Rangel, and Katy-Ann McDonald claimed the title in the event with a winning time of 8:34.54. Rose opened with a leg of 2:06.50 followed by Rangel’s split of 2:10.49.

Carroll carried the baton third running a leg in 2:11.01 before McDOnald closed out the dub with a split of 2:06.56. It’s LSU’s first win in the 4×800 meter relay at the Texas Relays since 2017, and the seventh title overall for the program. It was the eighth fastest time in LSU history.

The men’s 4×400 meter relay of Dorian Camel, Sean ‘Squirrel’ Burrell, Aaron Smith, and Ashton Hicks notched another season best in as many days with a time of 3:04.78 for the gold medal. The women’s quartet of Amber Anning, Garriel White, Michaela Rose, and Favour Ofili clocked a 3:31.66 to finish fourth in the final event of the meet for LSU. Both times are NCAA top 10 times by the LSU relays.

The women’s 4×100 meter relay quartet of Alia Armstrong, Leah Phillips, Tionna Beard-Brown, and Favour Ofili dipped below 43 seconds for the first this season with a time of 42.97 for the silver medal. It ranks No. 2 in the NCAA this season.

In the women’s high jump, both Nyagoa Bayak and Abigail O’Donoghue finished in a three-way tie for second with clearances of 5’ 11.50” (1.82 meters). Amber Hart took fourth in the ‘B’ section of the women’s discus with a best throw of 165’ 11” (50.59 meters) on her sixth and final attempt of the day.

Up Next

LSU’s road swing has come to a close and the Tigers will be at home four out of the next five weeks. LSU will host the Battle on the Bayou on April 2 at Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

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