NEW YORK -- Senior Kelly Willie tied his own school record in the 60-meter dash, winning the individual title at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational Friday as action got underway for the LSU track and field team.
With the finals of the men\'s and women\'s 60-meter dashes and 60-meter hurdles being held at Madison Square Garden in conjunction with the Millrose Games, Willie impressed the lively crowd with his 6.68 second finish as he nipped Texas\' Quincy Boles at the tape by less than one-hundredth of a second.
\"Kelly ran a solid race,\" said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. \"I believe that\'s the biggest win of his career in the 60.\"
Just missing out on a meet title of her own was junior Tina Harris in the long jump. The All-American recorded a season-best leap of 20-9 1/4 earlier in the day at the Armory Track and Field Center to finish in second among the championship field.
\"I was real pleased with Tina\'s performance today, I think that\'s the farthest she\'s jumped since the NCAA Championships two years ago,\" said Shaver.
Finding success in the sprints were Lady Tiger sophomores Kelly Baptiste and Brooklynn Morris. Baptiste was just off personal record pace in the 60-meter dash, crossing the line in 7.29 seconds, to finish third overall.
Morris, who advanced to the finals after clocking a personal best 7.33 in the prelims, finished fifth with a time of 7.41.
\"Both Kelly and Brooklynn ran right at or a little better than then their personal bests in the final at big meet. They\'re continuing to progress and that is what you are looking for at this time of the season,\" said Shaver.
Sophomore Jessica Ohanaja had an impressive day in the 60-meter hurdles. The sophomore All-American ran personal record times in both the prelims (8.29) and finals (8.25) where she went on to place fourth overall. Her final time ties as the seventh fastest in the country this season and ranks as the seventh-best in Lady Tiger history.
In the men\'s 60-meter hurdles, junior Alleyne Lett advanced to the finals after winning his prelim heat in an LSU season-best 7.96 seconds. However, Lett missed out on bettering that time after being charged with a false start in the finals.
In qualifying round action, LSU had four athletes advance to tomorrow\'s finals.
Xavier Carter and Melville Rogers each moved on to second-day action in the men\'s 400 meters.
Carter, running in the first indoor open quarter race of his career, won his heat with a time of 47.36. The mark was the fastest among all runners in the preliminary rounds.
Rogers finished second to Carter in their heat, crossing the line with a season-best time of 47.70 to advance with the field\'s sixth fastest time.
On the women\'s side, sophomore Deonna Lawrence cruised to victory in her prelim heat. She clocked the third fastest time of the day, a season-best 53.46.
In addition, sophomore Angel Boyd advanced to the consolation final of in the women\'s 60-meter hurdles. She ran 8.51 to win her preliminary heat.
\"Overall I felt it was a really good day,\" said Shaver. \"I felt like everyone ran a little better then they have been running. The times weren\'t necessarily exceptional, but these were prelim heats and they did what they needed to. I\'m looking forward to tomorrow\'s competition and seeing what we can get done.\"
Action from the New Balance Collegiate Invitational wraps up tomorrow evening from the Armory Track and Field Center.