Friday Track & Field Report > SEC > NEWS
  • JOIN THE SECNATION   Register / Login
  •  

    Friday Track & Field Report

    South Carolina's Scheper Nabs Share of Silver at NCAA Indoors

    FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. – Junior Jeannelle Scheper took home a share of the silver in the women’s high jump at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the first day of competition at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships.  Scheper cleared 6-02.75 (1.90m) for the honor.  
     
    “This is a big payoff from a lot of hard work over the fall and the spring.  I’m very happy to be here.  Last year I finished eighth, this year I finished second, and that’s a big difference. I’m excited to bring good news home and I’m just really excited to be in this position, because I was in the company of an Olympian.  That means a lot to me and it just shows me how much further I can go,” said Scheper of the night.
     
    After passing at the first height, Scheper entered the competition that featured one of the deepest high jump fields in recent memory at 5’10” (1.78m).  The St. Lucia native moved on after a second-attempt clearance. She cleared easily at 5’11” ¼ (1.81m) and then made it over on the second attempt of the next three bars.  
     
    With the bar set at 6’4” (1.93m), there were just three athletes left in the competition. Scheper was joined by 2012 Olympic silver medalist Brigetta Barrett from Arizona and Tynita Butts from ECU.  Scheper and Barrett entered the competition tied for the collegiate lead at 6’3” ¼ (1.91m).   
     
    All three missed on their first attempt at 6’4”, but Barrett, the two-time defending champion, found a way over on a bar-rattling second attempt.  Both Scheper and Butts missed their next two attempts at the height, leaving Barrett to collect a third NCAA indoor high jump championship to go with her two outdoor gold medals.  Scheper just narrowly clipped the bar on her three tries at the would-be record. After tying on misses, Scheper and Butts shared the silver medal. 
     
    A clearance at 6’4” would have rewritten the story on Scheper as it not only would have been a new personal best, but also would have reset the school record and the St. Lucia Junior National record which she already held. 
     
    Last year, Scheper became the first-ever Gamecock to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the high jump and earned an eighth place finish at the indoor event.  She also became the first South Carolina athlete to earn an All-America certificate in the event, doing so in both the indoor and outdoor seasons.  Just two weeks ago, Scheper became the first Gamecock to win a SEC high jump championship. 
     
    It is the second silver medal in as many years for South Carolina at the NCAA Indoor Championships, as pole vaulter Marvin Reitze took home the honor last year.  Scheper’s finish is the best for a woman in the Garnet and Black since LaKya Brookins’ record-setting gold at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships. 
     
    Also in action for the Gamecocks was sophomore Erika Rucker who was making her second NCAA Indoor appearance in the 400-meter dash.  Despite running her second-fastest time of the season at 52.88, she just missed advancing to tomorrow’s final by .03. 
     
    Senior Kierre Beckles ran the 60-meter hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the third time in her career at South Carolina.  Beckles ran her second-fastest time of the season at 8.20, but did not advance to tomorrow’s final after finishing sixth in her heat and 11th overall. 
     
    Senior long jumper Jarrod Hutchen, the lone representative from the Gamecock men’s team in Arkansas, was the fourth South Carolina athlete in action on the first day of the championships.  Hutchen was off his season best of 25’6” (7.77m), recording a jump of 24’7” (7.49m) on his second attempt to finish 12th overall. 
     
    Both Rucker and Beckles will run on the 4x400-meter relay tomorrow night at 9:05 p.m. ET.  Junior Petra Olsen will also compete tomorrow in the women’s pole vault, with competition slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET.



    A&M's Ameer Webb's Defends Indoor 200m Title

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Texas A&M senior Ameer Webb defended his NCAA Indoor title in the 200 meters with a winning time of 20.42 seconds. In the prelims, held an hour earlier, Webb set the world-leading time for 2013 with a 20.37 clocking that broke the Aggies school record.
     
    Webb led the qualifiers into the 200 final with his world-leading and school record time 20.37, breaking the Aggie record of 20.38 set by Curtis Mitchell in winning the 2010 NCAA Indoor title. Webb cruised to a world-leading time of 20.39 in the NCAA prelims a year ago in Boise, Idaho and went on to claim the final in 20.57.
     
    The A&M men and women each have 10 points after the first day. Webb scored 10 with his victory while the Aggie women had three athletes score on day one.
     
    Kamaria Brown placed fourth in the women’s 200 final while Ashton Purvis finished sixth to score eight points for the Aggies. They ran times of 22.90 and 23.11, respectively.
     
    The first scoring opportunity for the Aggie women came in the long jump. LaQue Moen-Davis, who placed 13th at the SEC meet, finished seventh at the NCAA Indoor with a mark of 20-8 (6.30). Moen-Davis produced that mark in the sixth and final round to move from a non-scoring ninth to gaining two points in seventh place.
     
    Deon Lendore recorded the third fastest time in the world this season in leading the men’s 400 qualifying with a time of 45.36 seconds to win the opening heat. Only Lendore has produced faster times in 2013 with his world-leading 45.15 from the SEC prelims and the 45.23 that claimed the SEC final.
     
    Lendore will be stationed in lane five for Saturday’s final with Houston’s Errol Nolan to his outside in lane six while a pair of Gators will occupy lanes three and four with Hugh Graham, Jr. and Najee Glass.
     
    Wayne Davis II motored to third place in his heat of the 60 hurdles with a time of 7.68, just off his career best of 7.65 from a SEC runner-up finish two weeks ago. Davis was the top time qualifier for the final as the top two finishers automatically advanced followed by the four fastest times between the two heats. 
     
    Davis, who turned in the fifth fastest performance in A&M history, finished third behind Spencer Adams of Clemson (7.62) and Ray Stewart of California (7.68). Davis missed second place by 0.005 of a second. Florida’s Eddie Lovett, the SEC champion and collegiate leader, won the second heat in a career best of 7.53 and was followed by Keiron Stewart of Texas with a 7.63.
     
    Donique’ Flemings placed fifth in her heat of the 60 hurdles with a season best time of 8.15, just off her career best of 8.14. She advanced to the final as the last time qualifier among two others who clocked 8.15 in the race. 
     
    Clemson’s Brianna Rollins, who set the collegiate record of 7.78 earlier this season, led the qualifiers with a 7.82 that bettered the meet and facility record of 7.84 set by Virginia Powell of USC in 2006.
     
    Saturday’s finals will also include Henry Lelei in the men’s 3,000 meters, Moen-Davis in the women’s triple jump as well as the Aggies pair of 4 x 400 relays.



    LSU's Duncan Makes History

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – As she has done throughout a storied collegiate career as a Lady Tiger, senior Kimberlyn Duncan electrified a capacity crowd at the Randal Tyson Track Center on Friday night as she made history in defending her national crown in the 200-meter dash at the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.
     
    Duncan, who entered the meet as the two-time defending NCAA Indoor champion in the event, followed a qualifying run of 22.59 seconds with a title-clinching run of 22.58 in the final to capture her fifth career national title in the 200-meter dash between the indoor and outdoor seasons.
     
    Duncan’s 200-meter victory secured the first 10 points of the meet for the Lady Tigers as they will make a run for the team title with seven scoring opportunities in Saturday’s finale.
     
    The senior from Katy, Texas, has dominated the 200-meter dash like no other in collegiate history during her career with the Lady Tigers. She earned the distinction with Friday’s win as the first sprinter in NCAA history to win three-straight NCAA Indoor gold medals at either the men’s or women’s championship.
     
    She surpasses the two women’s NCAA Indoor 200-meter titles won by LSU’s Muna Lee (2002-03), Indiana State’s Holli Hyche (1993-94) and Texas’ Carlette Guidry (1990-91).
     
    “To make history, I’m just so blessed to be able to do that,” Duncan said following the award’s ceremony. “I’m excited to be here as a senior and go out with a bang. I feel like I had some of my best races here today. I’m happy with my performance. It was also big for us to get those first 10 points on the board for our team.”
     
    Duncan was also able to avenge her only defeat in her last 21 collegiate finals in the 200 meters as Central Florida’s Aurieyall Scott finished runner-up in 22.71.
     
    Scott got the better of Duncan when the two squared off at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 9 as Scott took the 200-meter title in 22.68 to Duncan’s time of 22.72 for second place. Duncan saw her streak of 18-straight collegiate victories come to an end on the same 200-meter track at the Randal Tyson Track Center at the University of Arkansas.
     
    Duncan rebounded with a world-leading indoor personal record of 22.54 to win her third-straight SEC Indoor crown before taking home her third-straight NCAA Indoor title in 22.58 on Friday night.
     
    Duncan lined up in lane No. 5 with Scott to her outside in lane No. 6 in the second of two finals heats. Scott held the stagger down the backstretch, but Duncan made her move around the curve with only 100 meters to go as she pulled even before sprinting by Scott while racing down the final turn. Duncan held her advantage through the finish line to take the tape in 22.58. Scott’s Central Florida teammate Octavious Freeman scored the bronze medal with her winning time of 22.87 in the first heat.
     
    “I knew she (Aurieyall Scott) was going to push me. I knew I had to get out and go.” Duncan said. “She’s a great athlete. It was important for me to execute my race and sprint all the way through.”
     
    Duncan has an opportunity to add to her point total on Saturday after qualifying for the 60-meter final for the second-straight season. 
     
    She took second place in the first of two semifinal heats with a run of 7.25 to finish runner-up to the 7.15 in the race by Oregon defending champion English Gardner. Duncan is poised to improve upon an eighth-place finish in her first 60-meter final at the NCAA Indoor Championships as season ago.
     
    While Duncan added the first 10 points for the No. 1-ranked Lady Tigers in this year’s championship, senior Damar Forbes and sophomore Aaron Ernest combined to score 11 points for the No. 15-ranked Tigers as Forbes scored the silver medal with a runner-up finish in the long jump and Ernest finished in sixth place in his first NCAA Indoor final in the 200-meter dash.
     
    Forbes saved his best indoor meet with the Tigers for his last appearance in the purple and gold at the NCAA Indoor Championships as he jumped an indoor PR to win the silver medal.
     
    Forbes won the second flight with a top jump of 26 feet, 0 inches in the qualifying round to take third place into the final behind Florida’s Marquis Dendy (26-7) and Arkansas’ Raymond Higgs (26-0 ¼). The Tiger senior then leaped past Higgs and into second place with his indoor personal record of 26-11 ¼ in the fifth round.
     
    That jump locked up second place for Forbes as Higgs was unable to improve upon his opening jump of 26-0 ¼ in the finals. Dendy extended his lead with jumps of 27-0 in the fourth round and 27-2 in the fifth round to claim this year’s NCAA Indoor crown while scoring 10 points for the Gators.
     
    It marks the fourth time in his collegiate career that Forbes has taken home the silver medal in the long jump while earning All-America honors at the NCAA Championships, winning a pair of silver medals at the NCAA Indoor meet in 2012 and 2013 and a pair of silver medals at the NCAA Outdoor meet in 2011 and 2012. Forbes is also a four-time SEC Championships runner-up in the event as he will finish his career as one of the premier long jumpers to ever compete in the Southeastern Conference.
     
    Forbes’ 26-11 ¼ also soared past the career-best of 26-9 by Tiger great Walter Davis in 2002 for the No. 2-ranked indoor performance in school history.
     
    “I came off the board right. I just didn’t have as good a landing as I should have,” Forbes said of his top jump. “I jumped the best I ever have indoors, so I’m happy with that. Of course I wanted to win the event, but it took a great jump to beat me today. I’m not upset at all because of that. I’m excited to get outdoors and really show what I’m capable of this year.”
     
    Ernest, who entered the meet as the NCAA and World leader in the men’s 200-meter dash at 20.53, added three points with a sixth-place finish in his first NCAA Indoor final in the event.
     
    The Tiger sophomore sprinted to the fifth-fastest time of the qualifying round at 20.84 before improving to 20.72 in the final for a sixth-place finish overall. Texas A&M senior Ameer Webb kept the crown he won a year ago with a winning run of 20.42 after taking the World lead from Ernest with a qualifying run of 20.37 in the preliminary round.
     
    Ernest also trailed Jackson State’s Anaso Jobodwana (20.47), Louisiana Tech’s Trey Hadnot (20.48), Arkansas’ Akheem Gauntlett (20.67) and Florida’s Dedric Dukes (20.70) in the final standings.
     
    “Damar has been so consistent during his career here. He’s a tremendous competitor and always has been since he’s been with us,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver of his star long jumper. “Those are eight big points for our men’s team. Aaron did a good job in his first final here at this meet, but just couldn’t hang on in the end for a better place. He’s had a tremendous indoor season for us. I know that he’s going to carry this momentum with him outdoors. Aaron has come so far in just one season with us.”
     
    The Lady Tigers have certainly positioned themselves to compete for the team title with four qualifiers from Friday’s prelims and a total of seven scoring chances during Saturday’s finale.
     
    Joining Duncan in Saturday’s championship finals are senior Charlene Lipsey and junior Natoya Goule in the 800-meter run and junior Jasmin Stowers in the 60-meter hurdles.
     
    Lipsey and Goule entered the meet as the NCAA’s two fastest 800-meter runners and certainly cemented their reputation as national championship contenders with a pair of heat wins Friday. Lipsey had the fastest qualifying time of the day at 2 minutes, 5.02 seconds to cruise to the win in the second heat after Goule won the first qualifying heat with the third-fastest time of the day at 2:05.68. Lipsey has run an indoor PR of 2:02.48 and Goule has run an indoor PR of 2:03.08 already this year at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
     
    Stowers is also poised to score big points after qualifying for her third-straight NCAA Indoor final in the 60-meter hurdles with a qualifying run of 8.11 for the third-fastest time of the preliminary round.
     
    Junior Denise Hinton opened the championship for the Lady Tigers with her second career NCAA Championships appearance in the 20-pound weight throw, taking 14th place in the event with her best of the day at 64-5 ¾. Indiana State’s Felisha Johnson took the weight throw title with her top mark of 77-2.
     
    Senior Takeia Pinckney joined Duncan in the 60-meter field as she finished in 12th place overall after running 7.36 for sixth place in the first of two qualifying races.
     
    “We’ve positioned ourselves to make a run at the team championship tomorrow. That’s all you can ask for on the first day,” Shaver said of his team’s performance on Friday. “We’re battling. We qualified well today. I’ve got a feeling that nobody had a perfect day today. We’ve done just about all we can do to make a run at the team title tomorrow.
     
    “There’s probably about three or four teams in the mix. We’re excited to be in the hunt and have the opportunity to finish off this indoor season with a national championship.”
     
    The 2013 indoor season will come to an end Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center as it plays host to the final day of this year’s NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. The evening will be underway for the Tigers and Lady Tigers at 6 p.m. CT as juniors Keri Emanuel and Lynnika Pitts compete in the women’s triple jump. This year’s NCAA Indoor team champions will be presented the awards during a special ceremony at approximately 8:30 p.m. after the running of the 4x400-meter relays.
     
    ESPN3.com will provide live streaming video of Saturday’s finale beginning at 6 p.m. CT at http://es.pn/NCAA-ITF-0309. Flash Results will also provide the live results on Saturday at www.flashresults.com. Fans can also receive live updates by liking LSU Track & Field on Facebook and following @LSUTrackField on Twitter.



    UGA Finishes First Day at NCAA Finals

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. --- Georgia’s track and field teams qualified two for finals, set a school record and started a promising heptathlon at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday.
     
    The first day of action at the Randal Tyson Track Center included freshman Shaunae Miller clocking the eighth-fastest collegiate mark of all-time (51.14) to be the top finisher in the 400-meter dash prelims.  Her school record time is the fourth fastest in the world this year.
     
    Sophomore Carly Hamilton also qualified for the mile final during her event’s prelims.
     
    Sophomore Garrett Scantling headlined the multi-events on Friday by tying the NCAA Championships record in the high jump and moving into third place through four events.  Freshman Maicel Uibo is in sixth place with the final three events arriving on Saturday.
     
    The heptathlon will resume with the 60 hurdles, pole vault and 1000 on Saturday beginning at noon ET.  Senior Lucie Ondraschkova will start in the pentathlon at 12:45 p.m.  
     
    The first open event for Georgia on Saturday is junior Hilenn James competing in the shot put at 5 p.m.
     
    “One of the things that stands out today during this first day of the NCAA Championships is just how outstanding the competition is here,” said Bulldog distance coach Patrick Cunniff.  “To have the top 16 competitors across the country in every event and to see the performances they are putting up really shows you how elite this meet is.  I think it also shows you how great it is to qualify such a large group like we have.
     
    “We let some opportunities slip away today but we also had some performances that should earn us some points (on Saturday).  Our multi-event guys looked strong to start, Shaunae had a very encouraging prelim and Carly Hamilton’s run in the first round of the mile gives us some things to look forward to.  We had a couple things that got us started today and now we have to concentrate on finishing.”
     
    Miller took the track in the second heat of the 400 prelims along with this year’s SEC champion from Arkansas, Regina George.  Miller, a native of Nassau, Bahamas, shot out in the opening lap and positioned herself in the lead as the race went single file.  She completed the showdown in 51.14 ahead of George, who finished in 51.73.  The second-fastest qualifier crossed in 51.55.
     
    Miller, who races in the 400 finals at 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, now has the fastest time in the NCAA since 2011.  She is the only freshman to advance to the final eight as she aims for the first All-America certificate for the Georgia women indoors since 1990.
     
    Hamilton was the other Lady Bulldog who advanced to the final in their event during the first day.  Hamilton sped to the second-fastest time of her career in the mile (4:37.33) to take second in her heat and second overall in the prelims.  Her runner-up finish in the second heat automatically advanced her to the finals.
     
    Hamilton will race in the mile final on Saturday at 7 p.m.
     
    A pair of Bulldogs competed in the heptathlon with two career-best day one scores to put themselves in position to score.  Scantling scored 3,323 points, which puts him only 28 points from second place and 19 points ahead of his day one best.  Uibo tallied 3,244 points in the first day, which sticks him two points behind the fifth-place competitor and 68 points ahead of his top opening day.
     
    “I thought our guys did very well in the hep today and I am pleased with their progress,” said Bulldog multi-events coach Petros Kyprianou.  “For a true freshman and a true sophomore to have these performances against one of the deepest heptathlons in NCAA history says something.  
     
    “Maicel had three personal bests and then battled an injury in the high jump.  But he is a tough kid and went through his pain like he had a heart of a lion.  Our highlight had to be Garrett tying the NCAA record in the high jump, I thought that was an awesome effort.  Both of the guys are ahead of their (personal bests) and I am looking forward to bigger and better things on the second day.”
     
    Scantling made a three-spot jump from sixth to third place with his record-tying high jump in the fourth event.  After being pushed to his third attempt at 6 feet, 7 ½ inches, Scantling cleared his next three heights on a total of four attempts for 906 points.  He and Wisconsin’s Japheth Cato each went over the bar at 6-11 to match the record mark of Oregon’s Ashton Eaton at the 2010 NCAA meet.
     
    During the shot put, Scantling sandwiched his top throw between his first and third throws to tie for fourth.  He launched his second attempt 46-4 for another 736 points in the competition.
     
    Scantling was sixth in the opening event (60) with the second-fastest time of his career at 7.07.  His mark put him in sixth after one event with 858 points.
     
    The Jacksonville, Fla., native recorded a second long jump of 23-1.25 to finish 13th with 823 points.  This was also the second-best effort of his career indoors.
     
    Uibo started fast with a trio of personal-best marks.   The Polva, Estonia, native clocked a personal best of 7.19 in the 60 to start his competition.  This gave Uibo 816 points and put him into 14th place.
     
    In the long jump, Uibo worked up to a third attempt of 24-1.75, which was also his career best.  He added 900 points to his total with his fourth-place finish.
     
    Uibo improved on his second and third attempts to reach a personal-best distance of 44-9 in the shot put for sixth place.  This effort boosted him to fifth place overall with another 706 points.
     
    Bothered by a chronic ankle injury, Uibo reached 6-7.50 in the high jump to score 822 points and tie for fourth before pulling out of the event.  In fact, Uibo had all first-attempt clearances in his three makes.
     
    After snagging the ninth and last qualifying spot in the women’s long jump final, freshman Chanice Porter finished in the same position when all six attempts were complete.  Porter registered an effort of 20-6.25 on her fourth try.  This broke a streak of five consecutive wins for the 2013 SEC champion.
     
    Junior Stella Christoforou, sophomore Tynia Gaither, junior Megan Malasarte and Hamilton finished their laps in the distance medley relay with the second-fastest time in school history.  But the foursome’s 11:12.49 was two spots out of scoring for 10th place.
     
    The relay team came into the meet with the 10th-fastest time in the nation after setting a school record of 11:03.27 at the Alex Wilson Invitational last weekend.  The No. 3 time on the UGA all-time list (11:25.25), which was the school record two weeks ago, was recorded at the SEC Championships.
     
    The Bulldogs also had a duo in the men’s shot put.  Sophomore Nick Vena, who advanced to the NCAA Indoor Championships as a freshman at Virginia, watched his second throw travel 60-7.75 as he finished 10th overall.  
     
    Junior Caleb Whitener recorded only one fair throw and ended the competition in 14th place with a mark of 55-5.  Both Whitener and Vena, who both failed to advance to the finals, had Second Team All-America performances for the second time in their career.
     
    On the women’s side, senior Saniel Atkinson-Grier, who was a 2012 outdoor First Team All-American and has earned two other Second Team All-America certificates in her career, took 12th in the high jump with a clearance for 5-10.  After clearing her first three heights on her first try at the SEC Championships two weeks ago, Atkinson-Grier also glided past her first two heights on Friday on opening attempts.
     
    This is expected to earn Atkinson-Grier, who is an Upper Marlboro, Md., native, her third Second Team All-America honor.
     
    Live results and recaps from each day’s action at the NCAA Championships will be found at georgiadogs.com.



    Two Florida Records Fall at NCAAs

    Gator history was made on the opening day of the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships Friday, as sophomore Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Del.) and junior Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.) broke their own school records in the men’s long jump and men’s 60-meter hurdles at the Randal Tyson Track Center at the University of Arkansas.
     
    “I thought our men did really well today,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “They came out and performed the way we knew they could. We qualified everyone today and that was our goal.”
     
    Dendy captured his first individual NCAA crown, leaping to a new personal best and school record of 8.28m/27-2 to take home the title. The two-time SEC Champion indoors in the event, Dendy fouled his first two jumps before leaping 8.10m/26-7 on his third and final jump of the first flight to take the lead into the finals. On the first jump of the finals, Dendy improved to 8.23m/27-0 to extend his lead. Getting the crowd into it, Dendy got Randal Tyson Track Center on its feet and clapping, using the energy and one of his best approaches of the night to jump 8.28m/27-2. Dendy is now the sixth-best performer in the history of the NCAA and leads the NCAA and the U.S. in the event this year. His mark is second in the world in 2013.
     
    “We’ve talked all year about being who we are and doing what we do,” Holloway said. “His first two jumps, he got a little anxious. Third jump, he executes the way Coach (Nic) Petersen wants him to and he leads the competition and never looks back. In the finals, he was wonderful. I’m very proud of him. It’s his first NCAA championship and it got us off to a great start.”
     
    Dendy is Florida’s first-ever men’s long jump champion and won the Gators’ eighth horizontal jumps national title in program history, all coming in the last four years. Dendy will turn around tomorrow and compete in the men’s triple jump alongside defending NCAA Champion Omar Craddock (Killeen, Texas) at 7 p.m. ET Saturday.
     
    “This track facility is a great place to jump. I felt really, really good here,” Dendy said. “I just had to do it like I did at SECs. This was a much-needed ten points. I have to go back and either get ten or eight (points) tomorrow in triple jump. Hopefully I can get the team eighteen to twenty points here.”
     
    “When we recruited him, we knew we wanted him to be a double (jumps) guy,” Holloway said. “So it’s no surprise to anyone who recruited him or anyone who saw him in high school that he’s triple-jumping as well as he is right now. He just needs to get back to the hotel and get rested up. It’s going to be a great competition tomorrow. It was an unbelievable meet tonight and it’ll be unbelievable tomorrow as well.”
     
    Lovett scorched the track in the prelims of the men’s 60-meter hurdles, crossing the finish in a school record of 7.53, a new personal best and the fastest in the NCAA and the U.S. this year. Lovett is currently fourth in the world this year and the sixth-best performer in NCAA history. The junior looks to capture his first NCAA individual title at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday.
     
    “Eddie was tremendous today,” Holloway noted. “He’s just running his race and focusing on himself. He’s executing the plan he and Coach (Erin) Tucker have worked on and he’ll be exciting to watch tomorrow.”
     
    Three other Gator men qualified for Saturday’s finals, as freshman Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.) and Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.) each advanced to the finals of the men’s 400. Glass ran the race of his young career, finishing fifth overall with a new personal best of 45.97, good for seventh all-time at Florida. Glass was the 16th entrant in the event heading into the championship meet. Graham, Jr., a member of Florida’s NCAA Outdoor Champion men’s 4x400-meter relay, finished seventh overall in 46.24 to advance to Saturday’s finals.
     
    “When we recruited Najee, we knew he was a special talent,” Holloway commented. “He had some injuries last year during his high school season and we got those worked out. When he came here, they crept back a bit during the indoor season. When he went to Notre Dame last week, he ran a collegiate best and was the last person to get into the meet. For him to come out here and run like he did today, I’m just so proud of him. He did a phenomenal job.”
     
    Junior Sean Obinwa (Tampa, Fla.), the 2013 SEC Champion in the men’s 800, advanced on time in the event with his time of 1:48.83. Obinwa was the final qualifier in the event Friday, finishing fifth in what was the fastest section of the night. Obinwa was the 10th entrant heading into the championship meet.
     
    Sophomore Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) competed in his first NCAA Indoor Championships, advancing to the finals of the men’s 200 meters with a preliminary time of 20.89. Dukes then raced in the fastest final of the night, taking third in his section and fifth overall with a time of 20.70, tying his personal best.
     
    “Dedric had a rough semifinal, and I take the blame for that, but he came back in the final and tied his PB and I’m very pleased with his performance tonight,” Holloway commented.
     
    Agata Strausa (Riga, Latvia) advanced in the women’s mile Friday, finishing fifth overall in the preliminaries in 4:37.56. Strausa is advancing to her second women’s mile finals, having finished seventh overall a year ago. Strausa will compete at 7 p.m. ET Saturday.
     
    Freshman Kyra Jefferson (Detroit, Mich.) set a new personal best in her first-ever NCAA Indoor Championships, crossing the finish of the women’s 200 meters in 23.43 to finish tenth overall. Junior Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.) also turned in a top-10 finish Friday, finishing in 52.90 in the women’s 400 meters to come in 10th.
     
    The Gator men have nine scoring opportunities Saturday, with seniors Jeremy Postin (Andover, Kan.) and David Triassi (Jacksonville, Fla.) participating in the men’s weight throw at Walker Pavilion at 3 p.m. ET. Four Gators begin competition at 7 p.m. ET, with Strausa on the track in the women’s mile and sophomore Ciarra Brewer (Union City, Calif.) joining Craddock and Dendy on the runways, as Brewer will compete in the women’s triple jump.
     
    “We have the chance to do really, really well tomorrow,” Holloway said. “We need to go back to the hotel, rest up and come out here and be the University of Florida tomorrow and do what we do.
     
    “We want to show the world how great it is to be a Florida Gator,” Holloway finished.
     
    The meet will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app Saturday, March 9 beginning at 7 p.m. ET. A full highlight package of the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships will air on Sunday, March 17 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Prior to the start of the ESPN coverage, fans can watch the meet live online through ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
     
    For all of the latest information on Florida track and field, please log on to www.GatorZone.com/trackfield or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow Florida track and field on Twitter at @GZTrackField or www.twitter.com/GZTrackField. You can also find the Gators on Facebook.



    UGA Completes Day One at NCAA Championships

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. --- Georgia’s track and field teams qualified two for finals, set a school record and started a promising heptathlon at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday.
     
    The first day of action at the Randal Tyson Track Center included freshman Shaunae Miller clocking the eighth-fastest collegiate mark of all-time (51.14) to be the top finisher in the 400-meter dash prelims.  Her school record time is the fourth fastest in the world this year.
     
    Sophomore Carly Hamilton also qualified for the mile final during her event’s prelims.
     
    Sophomore Garrett Scantling headlined the multi-events on Friday by tying the NCAA Championships record in the high jump and moving into third place through four events.  Freshman Maicel Uibo is in sixth place with the final three events arriving on Saturday.
     
    The heptathlon will resume with the 60 hurdles, pole vault and 1000 on Saturday beginning at noon ET.  Senior Lucie Ondraschkova will start in the pentathlon at 12:45 p.m. 
     
    The first open event for Georgia on Saturday is junior Hilenn James competing in the shot put at 5 p.m.
     
    “One of the things that stands out today during this first day of the NCAA Championships is just how outstanding the competition is here,” said Bulldog distance coach Patrick Cunniff.  “To have the top 16 competitors across the country in every event and to see the performances they are putting up really shows you how elite this meet is.  I think it also shows you how great it is to qualify such a large group like we have.
     
    “We let some opportunities slip away today but we also had some performances that should earn us some points (on Saturday).  Our multi-event guys looked strong to start, Shaunae had a very encouraging prelim and Carly Hamilton’s run in the first round of the mile gives us some things to look forward to.  We had a couple things that got us started today and now we have to concentrate on finishing.”
     
    Miller took the track in the second heat of the 400 prelims along with this year’s SEC champion from Arkansas, Regina George.  Miller, a native of Nassau, Bahamas, shot out in the opening lap and positioned herself in the lead as the race went single file.  She completed the showdown in 51.14 ahead of George, who finished in 51.73.  The second-fastest qualifier crossed in 51.55.
     
    Miller, who races in the 400 finals at 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, now has the fastest time in the NCAA since 2011.  She is the only freshman to advance to the final eight as she aims for the first All-America certificate for the Georgia women indoors since 1990.
     
    Hamilton was the other Lady Bulldog who advanced to the final in their event during the first day.  Hamilton sped to the second-fastest time of her career in the mile (4:37.33) to take second in her heat and second overall in the prelims.  Her runner-up finish in the second heat automatically advanced her to the finals.
     
    Hamilton will race in the mile final on Saturday at 7 p.m.
     
    A pair of Bulldogs competed in the heptathlon with two career-best day one scores to put themselves in position to score.  Scantling scored 3,323 points, which puts him only 28 points from second place and 19 points ahead of his day one best.  Uibo tallied 3,244 points in the first day, which sticks him two points behind the fifth-place competitor and 68 points ahead of his top opening day.
     
    “I thought our guys did very well in the hep today and I am pleased with their progress,” said Bulldog multi-events coach Petros Kyprianou.  “For a true freshman and a true sophomore to have these performances against one of the deepest heptathlons in NCAA history says something. 
     
    “Maicel had three personal bests and then battled an injury in the high jump.  But he is a tough kid and went through his pain like he had a heart of a lion.  Our highlight had to be Garrett tying the NCAA record in the high jump, I thought that was an awesome effort.  Both of the guys are ahead of their (personal bests) and I am looking forward to bigger and better things on the second day.”
     
    Scantling made a three-spot jump from sixth to third place with his record-tying high jump in the fourth event.  After being pushed to his third attempt at 6 feet, 7 ½ inches, Scantling cleared his next three heights on a total of four attempts for 906 points.  He and Wisconsin’s Japheth Cato each went over the bar at 6-11 to match the record mark of Oregon’s Ashton Eaton at the 2010 NCAA meet.
     
    During the shot put, Scantling sandwiched his top throw between his first and third throws to tie for fourth.  He launched his second attempt 46-4 for another 736 points in the competition.
     
    Scantling was sixth in the opening event (60) with the second-fastest time of his career at 7.07.  His mark put him in sixth after one event with 858 points.
     
    The Jacksonville, Fla., native recorded a second long jump of 23-1.25 to finish 13th with 823 points.  This was also the second-best effort of his career indoors.
     
    Uibo started fast with a trio of personal-best marks.   The Polva, Estonia, native clocked a personal best of 7.19 in the 60 to start his competition.  This gave Uibo 816 points and put him into 14th place.
     
    In the long jump, Uibo worked up to a third attempt of 24-1.75, which was also his career best.  He added 900 points to his total with his fourth-place finish.
     
    Uibo improved on his second and third attempts to reach a personal-best distance of 44-9 in the shot put for sixth place.  This effort boosted him to fifth place overall with another 706 points.
     
    Bothered by a chronic ankle injury, Uibo reached 6-7.50 in the high jump to score 822 points and tie for fourth before pulling out of the event.  In fact, Uibo had all first-attempt clearances in his three makes.
     
    After snagging the ninth and last qualifying spot in the women’s long jump final, freshman Chanice Porter finished in the same position when all six attempts were complete.  Porter registered an effort of 20-6.25 on her fourth try.  This broke a streak of five consecutive wins for the 2013 SEC champion.
     
    Junior Stella Christoforou, sophomore Tynia Gaither, junior Megan Malasarte and Hamilton finished their laps in the distance medley relay with the second-fastest time in school history.  But the foursome’s 11:12.49 was two spots out of scoring for 10th place.
     
    The relay team came into the meet with the 10th-fastest time in the nation after setting a school record of 11:03.27 at the Alex Wilson Invitational last weekend.  The No. 3 time on the UGA all-time list (11:25.25), which was the school record two weeks ago, was recorded at the SEC Championships.
     
    The Bulldogs also had a duo in the men’s shot put.  Sophomore Nick Vena, who advanced to the NCAA Indoor Championships as a freshman at Virginia, watched his second throw travel 60-7.75 as he finished 10th overall. 
     
    Junior Caleb Whitener recorded only one fair throw and ended the competition in 14th place with a mark of 55-5.  Both Whitener and Vena, who both failed to advance to the finals, had Second Team All-America performances for the second time in their career.
     
    On the women’s side, senior Saniel Atkinson-Grier, who was a 2012 outdoor First Team All-American and has earned two other Second Team All-America certificates in her career, took 12th in the high jump with a clearance for 5-10.  After clearing her first three heights on her first try at the SEC Championships two weeks ago, Atkinson-Grier also glided past her first two heights on Friday on opening attempts 
     
    This is expected to earn Atkinson-Grier, who is an Upper Marlboro, Md., native, her third Second Team All-America honor.
     
    Live results and recaps from each day’s action at the NCAA Championships will be found at georgiadogs.com.



    Tennessee's Blankenship Places Fourth

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - University of Tennessee track & field freshman phenom Jake Blankenship recorded a fourth-place finish in the men's pole vault in his first appearance at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday night in Fayetteville, Ark.
     
    Blankenship, who was named the SEC Men's Freshman Field Athlete of the Year after notching a second-place finish at the league championships, was part of an epic battle on day one of nationals at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
     
    "Jake had an unbelievable series, not missing a height until 18-feet, 4.5-inches," said Director of Track & Field/Cross Country J.J. Clark. "He had some great jumps and finished fourth. The biggest thing is we're very proud of how Jake came in here as a freshman and competed against the best in the country. He wasn't afraid to get in there and mix it up. His event coach, Russ Johnson, has done a fantastic job with him and we look forward to many good years with Jake in the future."
     
    The rookie moved into first place by clearing the first six heights on his first attempt, including a spot of 18-feet, 2.5-inches (5.55m), which tied his lifetime best and his own UT freshman record. After missing his first two vaults at 18-4.5 (5.60m), Blankenship set a new personal record and improved his Big Orange rookie record by surpassing the mark on his third attempt. In addition to moving him into the final four, the clip also tied the Blacklick, Ohio, native for second all-time with legendary Vol and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Tim Mack on the Tennessee indoor records list.
     
    Seeking to become the Vols fourth indoor NCAA champion in the event, the 6-foot freshman was unable to clear the next mark of 18-6.5 (5.65m). Arkansas' Andrew Irwin, who went head-to-head with Blankenship for the SEC title, claimed his second-straight NCAA indoor title with a collegiate season-best mark of 18-8.25 (5.70m). Irwin's winning height last season was only 18-2.5 (5.55m).
     
    Blankenship, who earns five points for the Vols, was the top finishing freshman in the event. It was the best NCAA indoor finish from a Vol pole vaulter since Lawrence Johnson claimed gold in 1996.
     
    Senior Nijgia Snapp - a first-time national indoor qualifier - was representing the Lady Vols in the women's 800-meter. Snapp, who was only two laps into the race, was unfortunately tripped-up trying to avoid a two-competitor pile-up directly in front of her. Snapp finished the opening heat in 2 minutes, 19.68 seconds and did not qualify for Saturday's final in the event.
     
    "Nijgia got into a position where someone tripped in front of her and it knocked her down," Clark said. "We filed a protest, which was denied. The officials agreed that she was impeded on, but it was there discretion to not put her back into tomorrow's final.
     
    "We were obviously disappointed with that decision, but very happy to see Jake perform so well."
     
    Junior Linda Hadfield will look to earn some points for the Lady Vols on Saturday, as she competes in the pole vault at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the first time of her career. Hadfield and the other 15 competitors are set to begin vaulting at 6:30 p.m. ET.
     
    For updates throughout the meet and season, be sure to follow @Vol_Track on Twitter.



    Vandy's Williams Places 15th

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. --Vanderbilt high jumper Brionne Williams earned second team All-America honors with a 15th place finish at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
     
    Williams cleared 1.78 meters (5' 10") to place 15th. She was unable to clear 1.81 meters. Arizona's Brigetta Barret won the individual title, clearing 1.95 meters (6' 4.75").
     
    For Williams, the season was a breakthrough year that saw her post a career-best jump of 1.83 meters (6') at the Indiana Relays to be among the top-16 in the nation and qualify for the NCAA meet.
     
    "I'm so proud of Brionne this indoor season," said Vanderbilt assistant coach Clark Humphreys. "She continues to be a model of consistency for this program. We can't wait for outdoors."
     
    Williams becomes Vanderbilt's first indoor All-American since Josie Hahn placed sixth in the pentathlon in 2005.



    Mizzou's Woodson On to Finals

    Fayetteville, Ark. - Freshman Markesh Woodson will move on to day two of the NCAA Indoor Championships, qualifying for the 60m dash finals in 6.65, good for fifth in his heat.  The school record holder and SEC Champion had to bounce back after two false starts in his heat, one of which knocked out the No. 2 seed in the event.  Woodson enters Saturday's competition in eighth, within 0.02 of a top five finish in the field.
     
    Sophomore Kearsten Peoples will also be in action on the final day of the Championships, facing off against the nation's top collegiate shot putters.  She enters the competition ranked 13th overall with her school record mark of 16.87m (55-4.25).
     
    For the latest updates on your Tigers, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter @MIZ_TrackField.



    Kentucky Opens Strong at NCAAs

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Kentucky track and field teams got off to a promising start at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Friday inside the Randal Tyson Track Center.
     
    The women’s distance medley relay squad of Chelsea Oswald, Morganne Phillips, Allison Peare and Chelsea Oswald finished fifth, scoring four points for the 20th-ranked Kentucky women’s team. 
     
    The Wildcats finished with a time of 11:01.14, a little more than a second of the school-record set last Friday on a more distance-friendly track at Notre Dame.
     
    The DMR squad had to battle for position from the opening gun as 12 teams bumped and maneuvered for prime placement along the six-lane track.
     
    Oswald, Phillips and Peare all kept the team in position to make a move late as each maintained contact with the field, and expertly executing successful baton-passes in heavy traffic.
     
    The Wildcats’ position in the field fluctuated from middle to back for much of the race. 
     
    Macumber sat at the rear of a chase group for much of her closing 1,600-meter leg as the 3,000 meters SEC Champion waited for the bell lap to make her move. 
     
    She timed it perfectly, moving into fifth position to anchor the Wildcat women to four hard-fought points out of the chase group’s scramble finish.
     
    “Our kids really fought hard tonight,” head coach Edrick Floreal said. “They handled adversity, some bad breaks and delivered the goods. We continue to grow, and take steps forward.”
     
    Less than a week after setting a new school 60-meter hurdles record, Keith Hayes lowered the program-best time by .04 seconds in the event prelim. 
     
    Hayes used his solid start to post a time of 7.69 qualifying No. 6 into tomorrow’s NCAA final. He has lowered his personal-best 60H from just two weeks ago by .06 seconds.
     
    Hayes will compete in the 60H final on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Macumber and Oswald will take the track for the 3,000 meters final at approximately 8:40 p.m.
     
    WatchESPN and ESPN3.com will cover the meet with Dwight Stones, Larry Rawson, Lewis Johnson and Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones on the call. Flashresults.com will provide live results.
     
    Follow “KentuckyTrack” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



    Three Alabama Athletes Earn All-American Honors

    Fayetteville, Ark. - University of Alabama high jumper Krystle Schade, long jumper Kamal Fuller and sprinter Diondre Batson earned All-America honors in their respective events on Friday at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at the University of Arkansas.
     
    Schade earned the honor with en eighth-place finish in the women's high jump. Schade cleared six feet, 1 ½ inches (1.87 meters) to earn the honor. Brigetta Barrett of the University of Arizona won the event with a clearance of 6-4 ¾ (1.95 meters).
     
    Fuller placed eighth in the men's long jump to earn All-America stature, finishing the competition with a best of 25 feet, 5 ¼ inches (7.75 meters). Fuller had legal jumps on three of his six attempts, going the same distance (25-5 ¾) on both his second and third attempts after fouling on his first try. Marquis Dendy of Florida won the competition with a leap of 27-2 (8.28m).
     
    Batson became the third Crimson Tide athlete to earn All-America honors on Friday with an eighth place finish in the 200-meter dash at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at the University of Arkansas.
     
    Batson, who qualified for the 200 final with a time of 20.886 seconds in a preliminary heat, finished the final in 20.97 to earn his first All-America honor in his NCAA Championships debut. Texas A&M's Ameer Webb, who ran a world-leading time of 20.30 in the prelims, won the final in a time of 20.42 to edge Jackson State's Trey Hadnot (20.47).
     
    Action continues on Saturday for the Crimson Tide at the NCAA Championships with Jonathan Reid competing in the men's triple jump and Alexis Paine competing in the women's pole vault.



    Auburn's Pressley Finishes Fourth

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Maya Pressley finished a career-best fourth in the women's high jump and Auburn had two men reach the finals in the 60 meters on day one of action Friday at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
     
    "Everybody we brought to this meet is going to score and be a first team All-American, so you have to be happy with that," Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. "The only thing that would've made it better would have been a bigger group. This was a tough outdoor season, but I'm proud of the group that is here and the success they had. We still have a chance to do more work tomorrow and finish strong.
     
    "I'm really, really excited for Maya. She didn't have the SEC meet she wanted, but she's really come through the last week. Coach Clayton felt good about where she was at and she had a huge night. That will carry through to outdoors for her."
     
    Senior Maya Pressley finished fourth overall to score five points in the women's high jump and established a new overall career best with her clearance at 6-0.5 (1.87m). The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-native was perfect on her first five attempts, including the new personal best.
     
    "I'm excited," Pressley said. "I felt good coming in and didn't feel any pressure. I came in as an underdog and I felt like I had nothing to lose and that I just had to jump my life out for my senior year. Coming off a PR at last chance and a bad SEC meet, I felt like I made some adjustments and they were really working. I knew today would be special."
     
    She then missed three times at 6-2.75 (1.90m), a mark that would have established a new program record for the Tigers. Her clearance at 6-0.5 ranks third all-time and is the best mark for an Auburn woman since 2009.
     
    The mark from Friday is also greater than her previous outdoor personal best of 6-0.75 (1.85m).
     
    "I feel like it is all uphill from here going into outdoors," Pressley said. "This gives me a lot of momentum. I've never been that great of an indoor performer, but knowing that I was jumping higher indoors tells me that I will definitely jump higher than 1.87m outdoors. I'm excited about that and ready to get going."
     
    Pressley's fourth-place finish is her highest career finish at an NCAA meet, indoors or outdoors, improving upon her eighth-place performance at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships also in Fayetteville. 2011 was her only other indoor championships appearance.
     
    The lone action for Auburn on the track was the men's 60 meters with both Harry Adams and Marcus Rowland competing. Despite odd circumstances with a false start in each heat, both men advanced with Rowland reaching the finals on time in 6.58 seconds and Adams via a second-place finish in his heat in 6.63 seconds.
     
    "It feels great to finally make the finals as a senior," Adams said. "After all those false starts it was tough, so I didn't have my best start, but I came on strong at the end. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day for me."
     
    Rowland's mark of 6.58 equals his personal best set at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships and ranks third in Auburn history. Adams' mark is a season high for the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. native.
     
    "I kept telling myself when I came back that I wanted to run healthy, because when I'm healthy I run fast," Rowland said. "I stuck with it and I knew my time would. I felt good warming up and luckily I tied my PR. Hopefully, I'll keep feeling good and keep running well.
     
    "It feels good to be in the finals with Harry. We see each other as brothers and just doing it with someone that close to me is really special."
     
    The other competitor for the Tigers on Friday was junior Stephen Saenz. The 2012 Olympian scored three points for Auburn in the men's shot put with a sixth-place finish on Friday. The junior recorded a long throw of 62-10 (19.15m) to finish in sixth overall in his third NCAA Indoor Championship meet.
     
    For the latest on Auburn track and field, follow @AUTrack on Twitter.



    LSU's Duncan Makes History

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - As she has done throughout a storied collegiate career as a Lady Tiger, senior Kimberlyn Duncan electrified a capacity crowd at the Randal Tyson Track Center on Friday night as she made history in defending her national crown in the 200-meter dash at the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.
     
    Duncan, who entered the meet as the two-time defending NCAA Indoor champion in the event, followed a qualifying run of 22.59 seconds with a title-clinching run of 22.58 in the final to capture her fifth career national title in the 200-meter dash between the indoor and outdoor seasons.
     
    Duncan's 200-meter victory secured the first 10 points of the meet for the Lady Tigers as they will make a run for the team title with seven scoring opportunities in Saturday's finale.
     
    The senior from Katy, Texas, has dominated the 200-meter dash like no other in collegiate history during her career with the Lady Tigers. She earned the distinction with Friday's win as the first sprinter in NCAA history to win three-straight NCAA Indoor gold medals at either the men's or women's championship.
     
    She surpasses the two women's NCAA Indoor 200-meter titles won by LSU's Muna Lee (2002-03), Indiana State's Holli Hyche (1993-94) and Texas' Carlette Guidry (1990-91).
     
    "To make history, I'm just so blessed to be able to do that," Duncan said following the award's ceremony. "I'm excited to be here as a senior and go out with a bang. I feel like I had some of my best races here today. I'm happy with my performance. It was also big for us to get those first 10 points on the board for our team."
     
    Duncan was also able to avenge her only defeat in her last 21 collegiate finals in the 200 meters as Central Florida's Aurieyall Scott finished runner-up in 22.71.
     
    Scott got the better of Duncan when the two squared off at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 9 as Scott took the 200-meter title in 22.68 to Duncan's time of 22.72 for second place. Duncan saw her streak of 18-straight collegiate victories come to an end on the same 200-meter track at the Randal Tyson Track Center at the University of Arkansas.
     
    Duncan rebounded with a world-leading indoor personal record of 22.54 to win her third-straight SEC Indoor crown before taking home her third-straight NCAA Indoor title in 22.58 on Friday night.
     
    Duncan lined up in lane No. 5 with Scott to her outside in lane No. 6 in the second of two finals heats. Scott held the stagger down the backstretch, but Duncan made her move around the curve with only 100 meters to go as she pulled even before sprinting by Scott while racing down the final turn. Duncan held her advantage through the finish line to take the tape in 22.58. Scott's Central Florida teammate Octavious Freeman scored the bronze medal with her winning time of 22.87 in the first heat.
     
    "I knew she (Aurieyall Scott) was going to push me. I knew I had to get out and go." Duncan said. "She's a great athlete. It was important for me to execute my race and sprint all the way through."
     
    Duncan has an opportunity to add to her point total on Saturday after qualifying for the 60-meter final for the second-straight season.
     
    She took second place in the first of two semifinal heats with a run of 7.25 to finish runner-up to the 7.15 in the race by Oregon defending champion English Gardner. Duncan is poised to improve upon an eighth-place finish in her first 60-meter final at the NCAA Indoor Championships as season ago.
     
    While Duncan added the first 10 points for the No. 1-ranked Lady Tigers in this year's championship, senior Damar Forbes and sophomore Aaron Ernest combined to score 11 points for the No. 15-ranked Tigers as Forbes scored the silver medal with a runner-up finish in the long jump and Ernest finished in sixth place in his first NCAA Indoor final in the 200-meter dash.
     
    Forbes saved his best indoor meet with the Tigers for his last appearance in the purple and gold at the NCAA Indoor Championships as he jumped an indoor PR to win the silver medal.
     
    Forbes won the second flight with a top jump of 26 feet, 0 inches in the qualifying round to take third place into the final behind Florida's Marquis Dendy (26-7) and Arkansas' Raymond Higgs (26-0 ¼). The Tiger senior then leaped past Higgs and into second place with his indoor personal record of 26-11 ¼ in the fifth round.
     
    That jump locked up second place for Forbes as Higgs was unable to improve upon his opening jump of 26-0 ¼ in the finals. Dendy extended his lead with jumps of 27-0 in the fourth round and 27-2 in the fifth round to claim this year's NCAA Indoor crown while scoring 10 points for the Gators.
     
    It marks the fourth time in his collegiate career that Forbes has taken home the silver medal in the long jump while earning All-America honors at the NCAA Championships, winning a pair of silver medals at the NCAA Indoor meet in 2012 and 2013 and a pair of silver medals at the NCAA Outdoor meet in 2011 and 2012. Forbes is also a four-time SEC Championships runner-up in the event as he will finish his career as one of the premier long jumpers to ever compete in the Southeastern Conference.
     
    Forbes' 26-11 ¼ also soared past the career-best of 26-9 by Tiger great Walter Davis in 2002 for the No. 2-ranked indoor performance in school history.
     
    "I came off the board right. I just didn't have as good a landing as I should have," Forbes said of his top jump. "I jumped the best I ever have indoors, so I'm happy with that. Of course I wanted to win the event, but it took a great jump to beat me today. I'm not upset at all because of that. I'm excited to get outdoors and really show what I'm capable of this year."
     
    Ernest, who entered the meet as the NCAA and World leader in the men's 200-meter dash at 20.53, added three points with a sixth-place finish in his first NCAA Indoor final in the event.
     
    The Tiger sophomore sprinted to the fifth-fastest time of the qualifying round at 20.84 before improving to 20.72 in the final for a sixth-place finish overall. Texas A&M senior Ameer Webb kept the crown he won a year ago with a winning run of 20.42 after taking the World lead from Ernest with a qualifying run of 20.37 in the preliminary round.
     
    Ernest also trailed Jackson State's Anaso Jobodwana (20.47), Louisiana Tech's Trey Hadnot (20.48), Arkansas' Akheem Gauntlett (20.67) and Florida's Dedric Dukes (20.70) in the final standings.
     
    "Damar has been so consistent during his career here. He's a tremendous competitor and always has been since he's been with us," said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver of his star long jumper. "Those are eight big points for our men's team. Aaron did a good job in his first final here at this meet, but just couldn't hang on in the end for a better place. He's had a tremendous indoor season for us. I know that he's going to carry this momentum with him outdoors. Aaron has come so far in just one season with us."
     
    The Lady Tigers have certainly positioned themselves to compete for the team title with four qualifiers from Friday's prelims and a total of seven scoring chances during Saturday's finale.
     
    Joining Duncan in Saturday's championship finals are senior Charlene Lipsey and junior Natoya Goule in the 800-meter run and junior Jasmin Stowers in the 60-meter hurdles.
     
    Lipsey and Goule entered the meet as the NCAA's two fastest 800-meter runners and certainly cemented their reputation as national championship contenders with a pair of heat wins Friday. Lipsey had the fastest qualifying time of the day at 2 minutes, 5.02 seconds to cruise to the win in the second heat after Goule won the first qualifying heat with the third-fastest time of the day at 2:05.68. Lipsey has run an indoor PR of 2:02.48 and Goule has run an indoor PR of 2:03.08 already this year at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
     
    Stowers is also poised to score big points after qualifying for her third-straight NCAA Indoor final in the 60-meter hurdles with a qualifying run of 8.11 for the third-fastest time of the preliminary round.
     
    Junior Denise Hinton opened the championship for the Lady Tigers with her second career NCAA Championships appearance in the 20-pound weight throw, taking 14th place in the event with her best of the day at 64-5 ¾. Indiana State's Felisha Johnson took the weight throw title with her top mark of 77-2.
     
    Senior Takeia Pinckney joined Duncan in the 60-meter field as she finished in 12th place overall after running 7.36 for sixth place in the first of two qualifying races.
     
    "We've positioned ourselves to make a run at the team championship tomorrow. That's all you can ask for on the first day," Shaver said of his team's performance on Friday. "We're battling. We qualified well today. I've got a feeling that nobody had a perfect day today. We've done just about all we can do to make a run at the team title tomorrow.
     
    "There's probably about three or four teams in the mix. We're excited to be in the hunt and have the opportunity to finish off this indoor season with a national championship."
     
    The 2013 indoor season will come to an end Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center as it plays host to the final day of this year's NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. The evening will be underway for the Tigers and Lady Tigers at 6 p.m. CT as juniors Keri Emanuel and Lynnika Pitts compete in the women's triple jump. This year's NCAA Indoor team champions will be presented the awards during a special ceremony at approximately 8:30 p.m. after the running of the 4x400-meter relays.
     
    ESPN3.com will provide live streaming video of Saturday's finale beginning at 6 p.m. CT at http://es.pn/NCAA-ITF-0309. Flash Results will also provide the live results on Saturday at www.flashresults.com. Fans can also receive live updates by liking LSU Track & Field on Facebook and following @LSUTrackField on Twitter.



    Big Day For Ole Miss Athletes

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - There were only two Ole Miss Rebels competing on the first day of the NCAA Indoor Championships Friday, but they made the most of their opportunity. 
     
    Sam Kendricks shattered his own school record in the pole vault en route to a third-place finish, and Asia Cooper advanced in the women's 60 meters at the Randal Tyson Track Center. 
     
    "We had two opportunities tonight, and it worked out well for us in both cases," said head coach Brian O'Neal. 
     
    Kendricks, a sophomore from Oxford, Miss., had the biggest performance of his stellar collegiate career to date. He cleared 18-4.5 to shatter his own school record (18-1.75 from earlier this season) and finished third behind Arkansas' Andrew Irwin and Oral Roberts' Jack Whitt. 
     
    "Sam came into the national championships and set two school records and two personal bests for an incredible night," O'Neal said. "We have three scoring opportunities on the men's side and we're looking to make the most of each one of those. 
     
    "Last year Sam's mark would have won the national meet, so that lets you know tonight was definitely a strong competition." 
     
    Kendricks garnered six points for the Ole Miss men, who entered the national meet ranked 23rd. He achieved the highest national indoor pole vault finish in school history, besting a fourth-place result by Baker Vinci in 1985. Kendricks earned 10th place at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships, his best national finish before this weekend. 
     
    Cooper earned a spot in Saturday's 60 meter final by running a 7.31, claiming the eighth and last spot. The Jackson, Miss., native is one of two freshmen who advanced to the final at this shortest and fastest race of the national indoor meet. She tied her personal-best time, which she previously set at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational in Albuquerque when she actually ran a 7.29 that was converted to 7.31 due to the altitude. 
     
    "I'm proud of the way that Asia came in here and competed tonight," O'Neal said. "She was composed. The name of the game was to advance, and she did that. She's back with our trainer, Corbit Franks, getting treatment and getting ready to go tomorrow. We expect her to come out and compete with pride." 
     
    Cooper is the second Ole Miss woman ever to advance to the 60 meter final. Teneeshia Jones placed third in 2000 and seventh in 2001. 
     
    The women's 60 meter final will take place at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday. Fans can watch the ESPN3 live stream here. 
     
    Senior Ricky Robertson will compete in the men's high jump (3:30 p.m.) and triple jump (6 p.m.) on Saturday.