Wilson Fourth in Hurdles at World Championships

OSAKA, Japan – LSU sophomore All-American Nickiesha Wilson wrapped up an incredible outdoor season Thursday by earning a fourth-place finish in the final of the 400-meter hurdles at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Athletics.

LSU sophomore Nickiesha Wilson After shattering LSU’s 20-year-old school record in the event with a scorching time of 53.97 seconds in Tuesday’s semifinal, Wilson finished just a split-second short of winning a medal for her native Jamaica after crossing the finish line in fourth place at 54.10.

Australian standout Jana Rawlinson struck gold with her second career world title in the event after crossing the finish line in 53.31 in Thursday’s final. Yuliya Pechenkina of Russia won silver with a time of 53.50, while Anna Jesien of Poland stopped the clock in 53.92 to win bronze.

Wilson was the only collegiate athlete in the field to advance to the final of the 400-meter hurdles in her first career appearance at the IAAF World Championships.

This caps a sensational sophomore season for the Kingston native, who not only broke the school record in the intermediate hurdles this week, but also earned five All-America honors during the collegiate season before winning a silver medal in her specialty at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July.

In addition, Wilson was a fixture on the Lady Tigers’ fearsome 4x400-meter relay team during the outdoor season, running the leadoff leg on the foursome that successfully defended its NCAA title at the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif., in June.

Senior All-American Sherry Fletcher of Grenada also wrapped up her outdoor season on Thursday but fell short of advancing to the final of the women’s 200-meter dash after finishing fifth in her semifinal heat with a time of 22.96.

Fletcher enjoyed a breakout senior season in 2007 as she became the fourth Lady Tiger in the program’s storied history to win an NCAA title in the 100-meter dash, joining the likes of Dawn Sowell (1989), Esther Jones (1990) and D’Andre Hill (1995, 1996). She earned four All-America honors as a senior before winning a bronze medal in the 200 at the Pan Am Games.