Track & Field Inks Cassandra Tate for 2009

BATON ROUGE -- LSU’s tradition in the hurdles is among the very best in women’s collegiate track and field, and that success looks to continue for years to come with the signing of Louisiana hurdles star Cassandra Tate to a National Letter of Intent on Friday.

Tate has dominated the sprints and hurdles at the Class 2A and 3A levels during her brilliant four-year career at Loranger High School in Hammond where she has developed into Louisiana’s top prospect in the sprint hurdles after winning six individual state titles since 2005.

In fact, she will attempt to defend her Class 3A state titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 100-meter hurdles on Saturday afternoon when she lines up in the 2008 LHSAA State Outdoor Track and Field Championships at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

Tate has raced out of the blocks during the 2008 outdoor season as she has set new personal bests in the 100 meters (11.80), 200 meters (24.24) and 100 hurdles (14.11).

“Cassandra is a young lady who has tremendous potential as a sprint hurdler and will thrive in our program here at LSU,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “She’s had great success at the high school level in this state, and has shown continued improvement each year. I look for her to develop at LSU with the competitive training environment we can provide. She has a very athletic build at 5-foot-11, but has never focused solely on our sport during an entire year.

“We’re very excited that Cassandra will be joining our program next year, and we feel like she is someone who has the potential to develop into a great sprint hurdler during her career at LSU.”

Tate boasts a top wind-aided time of 14.08 seconds in the 100 hurdles that she set in a gold-medal winning performance at the state meet a year ago, which would have been an all-classes record for Louisiana girls high school track and field had it been a legal time. For her efforts, Tate was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Performer for Class 3A in 2007.

She also won Class 3A state titles in the 100 hurdles and 200 meters in 2006, while she was the Class 2A state champion in the 100-meter hurdles in 2005 when Loranger competed at that level.

Tate is no stranger to national competition as she lined up against the nation’s best at the 2007 AAU Junior Olympic Championships in Knoxville, Tenn., where she placed 15th in the 100 hurdles and 20th in the 200 meters. In addition to her performance a year ago, Tate was among the field that competed at the AAU Junior Olympic Championships in 2005 and 2006.

She joins an outstanding class of incoming Lady Tigers that includes the likes of sprinter Taylor Evans (Phoenix, Ariz.), throwers Allison Horner (Marietta, Ga.) and Brieanna Kennedy (Newark, Del.) and pole vaulter Rachel Laurent (Houma, La.).