AUSTIN, Texas - Never in the storied history of the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays had a collegiate team walked away with four women's relay championships in a single event until the Lady Tigers made history during Saturday's finale at Mike A. Myers Stadium as they claimed the title of Most Outstanding Team in the 85th running of one of the premier events of the outdoor season.
The Lady Tigers left no doubt in the minds of the 34,729 fans on hand for this weekend's action after they added wins in the 4x100-meter relay, 4x200-meter relay and distance medley relay on Saturday to their win in in the sprint medley relay on Friday evening for a record four women's relay titles on the weekend.
While anchoring the Lady Tigers to wins in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays, junior Kimberlyn Duncan earned the 100-meter crown en route to her selection as the Most Outstanding Performer of the meet.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers combined for eight event wins at this year's Texas Relays as the Tigers added titles by senior Barrett Nugent in the 110-meter hurdles and the 4x400-meter relay team on Saturday.
"This has been a great weekend for LSU," said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. "I'm proud with how our athletes represented our University and our program this week. It doesn't get much better in our sport than the Texas Relays, and they really went out and made their mark on the meet here this weekend."
A record-setting run by the Lady Tigers in the 4x200-meter relay set the stage for a dominating afternoon at Mike A. Myers Stadium as they broke their own meet record in the first relay final of the day.
And the Lady Tigers lined up as the favorite in the event as they featured the same foursome that captured the Texas Relays title a year ago as senior Cassandra Tate, senior Semoy Hackett, senior Rebecca Alexander and Duncan took their mark in Lane 4 with an eye on their first win of the afternoon.
They took control of the race following the second exchange as Alexander made up the stagger on the rest of the field as she put five meters of separation ahead of teams from Arkansas, Texas and Texas A&M. Duncan then took the stick on the anchor leg and cruised to the finish line in first place to give the women a win over Texas (1:30.98) and Texas A&M (1:31.28) with a time 1 minute, 30.01 seconds.
Their winning run of 1:30.01 is the fourth-fastest time in collegiate history in the 4x200-meter relay while eclipsing their previous 9-year-old meet record of 1:30.07 set back in 2003.
After defending their 4x200-meter relay crown with their eighth Texas Relays title in the event all-time in meet-record fashion, the Lady Tigers made history again in the following event with their first ever Texas Relays championship in the women's distance medley relay.
That's when the team of junior Charlene Lipsey (1,200 meters), freshman Montenae Roye-Speight (400 meters), freshman Samantha Levin (800 meters) and junior Laura Carleton (1,600 meters) combined for a winning run of 11:16.82 to nip the defending champions from Texas Tech (11:16.83) at the finish line and take home LSU's first women's distance medley relay crown in Texas Relays history.
And Carleton fought all the way to the finish line on the anchor leg as she came from behind in the last 10 meters to catch Texas Tech's Caroline Jepleting after being passed herself on the homestretch.
With a winning time of 11:16.82 on Saturday afternoon, Lipsey, Roye-Speight, Levin and Carleton set the second-fastest time in program history outdoors in the women's DMR.
The Lady Tigers then stepped into history in the next final when Hackett, Alexander and Duncan returned to the track to join sophomore Takeia Pinckney in running the 4x100-meter relay after qualifying with the second-fastest time of Friday's preliminary round at 43.86 seconds. And as they did in the 4x200, Hackett and Alexander gave LSU the lead on the second exchange before Duncan anchored the Lady Tigers to the win as she crossed the finish line with an NCAA-leading time of 42.99 for the team.
Two-time defending champion Texas A&M (43.21) followed in second place as LSU won its 10th Texas Relays championship in the women's 4x100-meter relay all-time and its first since 2004. It gave the Lady Tigers their fourth relay championship of the weekend as they became the first women's team in the event to win four relay titles in one season at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
The Lady Tigers then added a runner-up finish in the women's 4x400-meter relay for good measure to put the finishing touches on a tremendous weekend as the meet's Most Outstanding Team.
While running with a team of Alexander, Tate, junior Siedda Herbert and senior Jonique Day, they earned a second-place finish to Texas (3:29.79) with an outdoor seasonal best at 3:30.42 in the finals. Texas Tech (3:32.36) took third place, followed by Florida (3:33.13) in fourth place.
The Lady Tigers were named the Most Outstanding Team at the Texas Relays for the fifth time all-time in the meet's history, and the first time since the 2003 season. They were also recognized as the event's Most Outstanding Team three other times in 1989, 1995 and 1996.
"Any time you make history in a meet as steeped in tradition as the Texas Relays, you certainly deserve to be recognized for your achievement," Shaver said. "I couldn't be more proud with the way our women competed all weekend long. They were able to accomplish something no other women's team has done in the history of this meet, and for that, hey deserve the title as Most Outstanding Team."
After anchoring LSU to a win in both the 4x100 and 4x200 relays, Duncan added the title of Texas Relays champion in the women's university 100-meter dash to her resume with another NCAA-leading run as her wind-aided effort of 10.94 (+3.0) set a career best under all conditions.
Duncan got out fast and took control 50 meters into the race as she surged through the finish line in a time of 10.94w to tie as the No. 6-ranked performer under all conditions in NCAA history.
Duncan beat Louisiana Tech's Chelsea Hayes (11.09w) to the tape after Hayes advanced to the finals with the fastest time of Friday's qualifying round at 11.20. With the win, Duncan became the ninth Lady Tiger in meet history to win the women's university 100-meter title at the Texas Relays and the first since Kelly Baptiste captured the 100-meter championship during her senior season in 2008.
Lady Tiger senior Semoy Hackett followed Duncan in fourth place in Saturday's championship final with a wind-aided time of 11.16 for the No. 4 ranking in the NCAA this season under all conditions.
With her selection as the Most Outstanding Performer of the meet, Duncan became the first Lady Tiger to receive such an honor at the Texas Relays since the great Lolo Jones in 2003. She joins a distinguished list of Lady Tigers named Most Outstanding Performers at the Texas Relays that also features Schowonda Williams (1987), Dawn Sowell (1989), Dawn Bowles (1992) and Cheryl Taplin (1994).
"It was a surprise to me when I found out about it," Duncan said for her selection as the Most Outstanding Performer. "It was a nice surprise. It's an honor for me after running with the level of competition we saw here this weekend. Being at the Texas Relays always brings out the best in everyone here."
The Tigers captured their first relay championship of the weekend in the final event on the track with their thrilling run in the Cleburne Price, Jr. 4x400-Meter Relay Championship.
In a race that featured five of the seven fastest 4x400-meter relay teams in the NCAA this year, LSU took the title with a seasonal-best run of 3:04.54 as senior Robert Simmons, junior Caleb Williams, senior Ade Alleyne-Forte and senior Riker Hylton beat Baylor (3:04.67) to the finish line with the NCAA's No. 3 run this season. Despite entering the race with the No. 1 and No. 2 times in the NCAA, both Southern Cal and Texas A&M failed to finish the event with runners going down to injury early in the race.
With the win, the Tigers earned their sixth team title in the Cleburne Price, Jr. 4x400-Meter Relay all-time with their first victory in the race since the 2007 season.
Senior Barrett Nugent opened the defense of his NCAA title in the men's 110-meter hurdles this weekend with a successful defense of his Texas Relays crown on Saturday afternoon.
And just as he did in clocking a career-best wind-aided time of 13.19 in the 2011 final, Nugent clocked an NCAA-leading time in defending his Texas Relays championship with a wind-aided time of 13.37 to take the tape ahead of Shane Brathwaite of Texas Tech (13.43w) and Keiron Stewart of Texas (13.46w). It was the second individual win by the Tigers on the weekend as senior Kyron Blaise won the triple jump on Friday evening.
With the win, Nugent became just the fourth back-to-back Texas Relays champion in the 110 hurdles, and the first since Florida's Joshua Walker accomplished the feat in 2004 and 2005.
Nugent also led off LSU's 4x100-meter relay team that set a seasonal best on Saturday afternoon, teaming with freshman Aaron Ernest, senior Keyth Talley and freshman Trevor Sansone to run 39.54 and finish in sixth place in the men's final. Auburn clocked a world-leading 38.30 to take the sprint relay crown.
After running a wind-legal personal record at 10.30 for the fifth-fastest qualifying time on Friday morning at Mike A. Myers Stadium, Ernest earned the silver medal in Saturday's final of the men's university 100-meter dash with a career-best wind-aided time of 10.15 (+2.9). That time moved Ernest into the No.3 spot in the NCAA's all conditions rankings for the 2012 outdoor season.
Ernest trailed only Florida's NCAA champion Jeff Demps (10.01w) in the final, while Tiger senior Keyth Talleyfollowed in sixth place overall after running a wind-aided time of 10.44.
Talley and Ernest also ran the third and fourth legs, respectively on LSU's 4x200-meter relay that secured a third-place finish in Saturday's final as they teamed with senior Riker Hylton and junior Caleb Williams to run a seasonal-best 1:22.44 to take the bronze behind Texas A&M (1:21.21) and Baylor (1:21.72).
Junior Damar Forbes and sophomore Jasmin Stowers added bronze medals during Saturday's finale at the Texas Relays as Forbes took third place in the men's long jump with a season-opening mark of 26 feet, ¼ inches in his series and Stowers finished in third place in the women's invitational 100-meter hurdles with a seasonal-best wind-aided time of 13.03 with an impressive run.
Forbes emerged as the NCAA's No. 3-ranked performer in the long jump under all conditions this season, while Stowers wrapped up the meet as the NCAA's No. 4-ranked hurdler for 2012.
In addition, Tiger freshman Rodney Brown enjoyed a homecoming of sorts on Saturday, as the product of Navasota High School in Navasota, Texas, took fifth place in the men's discus final with a strong effort of 190-3 in his first collegiate appearance for the Tigers at the Texas Relays.
"We really improved as a team here this weekend, both the men and the women," Shaver said. "There is a lot to be said for the way our athletes competed all four days of this meet. They went out there and earned those finishes. You can't ask much more from a group of athletes than what we saw this weekend."
The Tigers and Lady Tigers will follow their breakout weekend at the Texas Relays by playing host to the "Battle on the Bayou" on Saturday, April 7, as they welcome Connecticut, Houston, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi State, Penn State and Texas Tech to Baton Rouge in an eight-team scored meet held at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium. The meet will kick into high gear at 1:45 p.m. CDT following a brief opening ceremony and playing of the national anthem on the home straightaway.