DES MOINES, Iowa — LSU Track & Field alumni were a perfect 4-for-4 in the first round of qualifying during Thursday’s opener at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships while earning a spot in Friday’s semifinal action at Drake Stadium as they continue their march toward the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
Former Lady Tiger national champion LaTavia Thomas and former Tiger All-American Richard Jones advanced to the semifinals of the 800 meters, while Muna Lee cruised into the semifinal rounds of the 100 meters and Rebecca Alexander advanced in the 400 meters with a seasonal best in Thursday’s qualifying heat.
Alexander slashed nearly a half second off of her previous seasonal best of 52.70 seconds in the 400-meter dash with a qualifying run of 52.22 for third place in the third preliminary heat.
Alexander, the 2012 NCAA Outdoor silver medalist, lined up in the fastest 400-meter heat during Thursday’s opener as she followed Francena McCorory (51.38) and Joanna Atkins (51.81) across the finish line. Her time of 52.22 was the fifth-fastest among the 19 competitors in the opening round as she will line up in the semifinals on Friday at 7:36 p.m. CT.
Lee was also the fifth-fastest qualifier of the day in the women’s 100-meter dash as she sprinted to the finish line with a seasonal best of her own at 11.35 (-1.4) for fourth place in the third qualifying heat. Her race also proved to be the fastest of the day as she took fourth place in the heat behind Octavious Freeman (11.25), Jessica Young (-1.4) and Charonda Williams (11.33).
Lee will return to the track on Friday evening for the semifinal round of the women’s 100 meters scheduled to run at 6:30 p.m.
Both Jones and Thomas will also return to action with Friday’s semifinals as Jones ran 1 minute, 47.39 seconds for 10th place in the men’s 800 meters and Thomas clocked 2:02.85 for 12th place in the women’s 800 meters in the prelims. Jones finished in seventh place in the fastest men’s heat of the day as seven of the 10 fastest times came out of the fourth heat.
The women’s 800-meter semifinals are scheduled to run at 8:08 p.m. followed by the men’s semifinals at 8:25 p.m. The finals of the 800 meters will highlight Sunday’s championship finale at Drake Stadium.
Three of LSU’s All-Americans from the 2013 season came up short in their run to the semifinals as senior Charlene Lipsey finished in 20th place in the women’s 800 meters while following Thomas across the finish line on her time of 2:03.91, while senior Kimberlyn Duncan finished in 21st place in the women’s 100 meters at 11.81 (-3.2) and sophomore Aaron Ernest finished in 26th place in the men’s 100 meters at 10.74 (-2.9).
Time Schedule for LSU Entries at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships
Note: Times are Central and subject to change based on round-by-round qualifying
Friday, June 21
TV Coverage: LIVE on ESPN2 (7-9 p.m. CT)
5:15 p.m. – Women’s 100 Hurdles First Round (Lolo Jones, Tenaya Jones)
5:45 p.m. – Women’s 400 Hurdles First Round (Cassandra Tate)
6:30 p.m. – Women’s 100 Meters Semifinals (Muna Lee)
6:30 p.m. – Men’s Discus Throw Final (Rodney Brown)
7:36 p.m. – Women’s 400 Meters Semifinals (Rebecca Alexander)
8:08 p.m. – Women’s 800 Meters Semifinals (LaTavia Thomas)
8:25 p.m. – Men’s 800 Meters Semifinals (Richard Jones)
8:42 p.m. – Women’s 100 Meters Final (Muna Lee)
Saturday, June 22
TV Coverage: LIVE on Universal Sports (3-4 p.m. CT); LIVE on NBC Sports Network (4-6 p.m. CT)
2:25 p.m. – Women’s 100 Hurdles Semifinals (Lolo Jones, Tenaya Jones)
2:40 p.m. – Men’s 200 Meters First Round (Aaron Ernest)
3:10 p.m. – Men’s 110 Hurdles First Round (Barrett Nugent)
3:35 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meters First Round (Kimberlyn Duncan)
4:03 p.m. – Women’s 400 Hurdles Semifinals (Cassandra Tate)
5:08 p.m. – Women’s 400 Meters Final (Rebecca Alexander)
5:52 p.m. – Women’s 100 Hurdles Final (Lolo Jones, Tenaya Jones)
Sunday, June 23
TV Coverage: LIVE on Universal Sports (1-2 p.m. CT); LIVE on NBC Sports Network (2-3 p.m. CT); LIVE on NBC (3-5 p.m. CT)
2:05 p.m. – Men’s 200 Meters Semifinals (Aaron Ernest)
2:22 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meters Semifinals (Kimberlyn Duncan)
2:30 p.m. – Men’s Long Jump Final (Jeremy Hicks)
2:40 p.m. – Men’s 110 Hurdles Semifinals (Barrett Nugent)
3:04 p.m. – Women’s 800 Meters Final (LaTavia Thomas)
3:13 p.m. – Men’s 800 Meters Final (Richard Jones)
3:44 p.m. – Women’s 400 Hurdles Final (Cassandra Tate)
4:10 p.m. – Men’s 200 Meters Final (Aaron Ernest)
4:20 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meters Final (Kimberlyn Duncan)
4:52 p.m. – Men’s 110 Hurdles Final (Barrett Nugent)