POSTED: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 4:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 4:04am
BATON ROUGE, LA — The LSU Track & Field teams are set to wrap up the 2013 indoor season this weekend with a return trip to the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., as they will feature 13 combined entries into the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday and Saturday at the University of Arkansas.
The Lady Tigers have claimed a third-place team finish in each of the past three seasons at the NCAA Indoor meet and are national championship contenders again this season as the No. 1-ranked team in the country in each of the last three weeks by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The LSU women will feature 10 entries in eight different events at this year's NCAA Indoor Championships.
The Tigers are riding a streak of five-straight top-five finishes in the final men's team standings at the NCAA Indoor meet as they will compete with three entries in three different events this weekend.
Senior sprint star Kimberlyn Duncan is the only LSU athlete to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships in a pair of individual events as she looks to score big points for the Lady Tigers in the 60 meters and 200 meters.
Duncan is the two-time defending NCAA Indoor champion in the 200-meter dash as she enters the weekend as the NCAA and World leader in the event with an indoor personal record of 22.54 seconds set in defending her SEC Indoor crown on Feb. 24. She is looking to make history as the first women's sprinter in collegiate history to secure three-straight NCAA Indoor gold medals in the one-lap race.
Duncan is also a national title contender in the 60-meter dash as she owns a lifetime best of 7.16 in the event for a No. 2 national ranking in this year's field.
Joining Duncan in the 60-meter field is fellow Lady Tiger senior Takeia Pinckney, who has run a seasonal-best time of 7.28 to rank No. 7 among NCAA qualifiers scheduled to compete during the meet.
The Lady Tigers are also poised to score big points in the 800-meter run as they feature the two fastest runners for the 2013 season in senior Charlene Lipsey and junior Natoya Goule. LSU's gold-medal favorites battled one another for the SEC Indoor crown in a 1-2 finish at the SEC Championships just over a week ago as Lipsey recorded a new indoor school record of 2 minutes, 2.48 seconds to defend her SEC Indoor title and Goule followed with her indoor PR of 2:03.08 to finish the race as the NCAA's No. 2-ranked performer in the event.
Making her third appearance in as many seasons with the Lady Tigers at the NCAA Indoor Championships is junior Jasmin Stowers, who is a two-time finalist in the 60-meter hurdles. Stowers won her third-straight SEC Indoor title in the event while running the nation's third-fastest time at 8.06 for a seasonal best.
The Lady Tigers also feature three NCAA qualifiers for the field events as juniors Keri Emanuel and Lynnika Pitts will compete in the triple jump and junior Denise Hinton will step into the circle in the weight throw.
Emanuel is tied as the No. 3 seed in the triple jump field as she has jumped a lifetime best of 44 feet, 2 inches. Pitts follows with the No. 6-ranked mark in the field with a lifetime best of her own at 43-9 this season.
Hinton is making her second NCAA appearance in the weight throw with a school record of 70-9 1/4 in 2013.
The Tigers are led by a pair of NCAA contenders of their own as senior Damar Forbes and sophomore Aaron Ernest are set to compete this weekend at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Like Duncan, Ernest enters the weekend as the NCAA and World leader in the men's 200-meter dash after clocking an indoor personal best of 20.53 in taking the SEC Indoor title in the event on Feb. 24. Ernest is more than one tenth of a second faster than the rest of the field as he is a perfect 4-0 in 200-meter finals this season.
Forbes is also seeking his first career national title this weekend after winning each of the last three silver medals in the long jump at the NCAA Championships, including two NCAA Outdoor silver medals in 2011 and 2012 and one NCAA Indoor silver medal during his junior season a year ago.
Forbes is the NCAA's No. 2-ranked performer in the men's long jump with a seasonal-best jump of 26-7 3/4.
Both the Tigers and Lady Tigers also feature the NCAA's No. 9-ranked 4x400-meter relay teams as the men own an indoor best of 3:07.41 and the women boast an indoor best of 3:33.91 in the event in 2013.
LSU’s 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships Qualifiers
Athlete, Event, Top Mark/Time (NCAA Rank)
Aaron Ernest, 200 meters, 20.53 (1)
Damar Forbes, Long Jump, 26-5 ¾ (2)
Downing, Williams, Grayson, Bush; 4x400 relay; 3:07.41 (9)
Athlete, Event, Top Mark/Time (NCAA Rank)
Kimberlyn Duncan, 60 meters, 7.16 (2)
Kimberlyn Duncan, 200 meters, 22.54 (1)
Keri Emanuel, Triple Jump, 44-2 (4)
Natoya Goule, 800 meters, 2:03.08 (2)
Denise Hinton, Weight Throw, 70-9 ¼ (7)
Charlene Lipsey, 800 meters, 2:02.48 (1)
Takeia Pinckney, 60 meters, 7.28 (7)
Lynnika Pitts, Triple Jump, 43-9 (6)
Jasmin Stowers, 60 hurdles, 8.06 (3)
Herbert, Duncan, Roye-Speight, Goule; 4x400 relay; 3:33.91 (9)