Top-ranked LSU women’s track team further bolsters its national chances with 15 competitors advancing through NCAA East preliminaries

LSU 800 meter runner Katy-Ann McDonald is all smiles Saturday after turning in a personal best time of 2:01.67 to qualify for her first NCAA outdoor championships on June 9-12 in Eugene, Oregon. Photo courtesy of LSU athletics.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With a superior showing on the track LSU’s top-rated women’s track and field team increased its overall number of qualifiers for the NCAA outdoor championships to 19 athletes following a solid effort in Saturday’s NCAA East Preliminaries at Hodges Stadium.

The Tigers had 15 athletes that qualified on the final day with three athletes qualifying in the 400 hurdles, three in the 200, two in the 100 and two in the long jump.

Senior Tonea Marshall ran the second fastest time in the world this outdoor season with a personal best of 12.44 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles. It was also the fourth best time in collegiate history as well as a facility record. Alia Armstrong ran a time of 12.97 seconds to finish in the 11th position, earning her first NCAA outdoor bid.

The trio of Milan Young (56.73), Jurnee Woodward (56.77) and Brittley Humphrey (57.33) all qualified in the 400 hurdles, forming a potential windfall of points for the Tigers during the NCAA outdoor championships June 9-12 in Eugene, Oregon.

Distance runner Katy-Ann McDonald registered her second consecutive personal best in the 800 (2:01.67) to finish in the top three of her heat and earn her first NCAA bid. Her time was also the fifth best in LSU history.

Sprinter Symone Mason qualified in two individual events with a personal best in the 100 (11.03) to finish third overall in a field of 24 runners. She also added a personal best in the 200 (22.49) – the eighth fastest time in LSU history.

Freshman Favour Ofili turned in a career best (22.30) in the 200 heat after Mason and earned Ofili a tie for the fourth fastest time in school history with Zundra Feagin.

LSU also advanced two more sprinters with Amber Anning turning in a career best (51.78) in the 400 and Thelma Davies added a career best effort of (22.98) in the 200.

Senior Abigail O’Donoghue advanced on her final jump at 5-11 ¼ to finish in a tie for seventh and Nyagoa Bayak (5-9 ¾) was able to advance on fewer misses than the rest of field and wound up in a tie for 10th.

LSU was also able to qualify its 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams.

Marshall, Ofili, Mason and Davis won their 4×100 heat (42.63) to establish a facility record and rank fourth in LSU school history, while the 4×400 unit of Mason, Anning, Young and Ofili advanced after winning their heat (3:28.84).

The Tigers also advanced from Thursday’s competition: Lisa Gunnarsson (pole vault), Aliyah Whisby and Mercy Abire in the long jump and Emma Robbins in the hammer.

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