Top-ranked LSU leads All-Louisiana Track and Field awards
Junior sprinter Terrance Laird and head coach Dennis Shaver were multiple winners as the top ranked LSU Tigers took top honors in the first-ever Louisiana Sports Writers Association Indoor Track and Field awards announced Saturday evening.
The indoor team replaced the normal outdoor team that is announced normally in July. The team, using the outdoor format, is based on top times provided by schools and the national qualifying list along with nominated athletes and coaches by the various schools. Sports information and media relations personnel could not vote for their own athletes.
Laird, a junior from Coatesville, Pennsylvania was the men's track athlete and newcomer of the year while Shaver was named Coach of the Year on both the men's and women's side. JuVaughn Harrison of LSU was the men's field athlete of the year and Davie Bove the top male freshman.
On the women's side, LSU's Tonea Marshall was the women's track athlete of the year while Lady Tiger Abby O'Donoghue was the top field athlete. Thelma Davies of LSU was freshman of the year while LaTyria Jefferson of Northwestern State and Symone Mason of LSU tied for Newcomer honors.
Laird was the NCAA leader in the 200 meters with a time of 20.43 and won the SEC indoor title at 20.52. Laird never ran a 200-meter time slower than 20.80 in his five races at the distance. He was also the SEC finalist in the 60 meters.
Harrison had the second-best long jump in the NCAA this season with a PR of 26-7.25 and is No. 3 in the NCAA in the high jump with a PR of 7-5.75 and he won the event in the SEC Championships at 7-5.
Bove became the first LSU miler to score at the SEC Championships since 2010. He had the seventh best LSU mile earlier in the year when he recorded his PR of 4:03.97.
On the women's side, Marshall posted the third fastest 60-meter hurdle time in NCAA history during the year at 7.86 at the Corky Classic. The SEC champion in the 60 hurdles was a finalist for the women's NCAA Track Athlete of the Year.
LSU's field athlete winner O'Donoghue posted the second-best high jump clearance in the NCAA with a mark of 6-2.25 which was also a Tiger school record. The junior won five high jump event titles this season.
Davies was the only female freshman in the NCAA to qualify for the 60 meters and the 200 meters at the NCAA Championships. She had the fastest freshman time in America at 200 meters with 22.80, fifth overall in the NCAA.
Mason of LSU, who transferred in after two years at Miami, ran the third fastest time in LSU history to take third at the SEC Championship in the 200-meter dash and was part of the third place SEC team in the 4x400 relay.
Shaver's men and women were both ranked No. 1 in the nation heading into the NCAA Championships (which was where state track qualifiers were when the season was ended prematurely). Shaver had nine athletes ranked inside the top five of the NCAAs heading into the national meet. Shaver was also named the USTFCCCA Women's National Coach of the Year.