Three victories for track and field at LSU

Graduate student Alex Young wants to best his previous record for the hammer throw and he has two more chances before the Southland Conference Championships
Jonathan Rhodes/The Lion's Roar 

Graduate student hammer thrower Alex Young, sophomore sprinter Dekayta Alex and freshman hurdler Justin Taylor won first place and six athletes set a new personal record at the LSU Alumni Gold track meet in Baton Rouge.

Taylor surpassed his earlier personal record by winning the 110-meter hurdles in the “B” section in 14.72 seconds.

“The team had a lot of PR’s,” said Taylor. “I think everybody did the best they could with the situations that they were in. I think I ran a good race. I got a PR, and I can’t be any happier with that.”

Alex set a personal record finishing the 400-meter dash with 54.63 seconds. Young won his third meet of the outdoor season with a mark of 234 feet, two inches in the hammer throw.

Young was hoping to break his previous school record during this meet.

“My performance was alright and pretty consistent,” said Young. “I have competed in three meets now, and I am consistently at 71, so it’s bittersweet. I’m just throwing a little bit under my PR. I’m just waiting on that big one. At the end of the day, track is individual. I’m really just trying to beat myself.”

Junior pole vaulter Devin King did not perform for the meet due to a hip flexor injury but believes he will be ready for the next meet and the conference championship.

“All I need to do is stretch it more and do a little pinpoint workouts just for that,” said King. “As far as that goes, I still need to jump and train normal and just try not to push too hard at practice. We are still on pace to be good for conference, some for regionals and some for nationals.”

There are only three meets left before the Southland Conference Championships in New Orleans on May 12-14 and some athletes have already made the National Collegiate Athletic Association East preliminaries. So far Young, King, senior distance runner Andre Colebrook, senior sprinter Ashley Riley and senior javelin thrower Collin Rowland all qualify for the preliminaries.

Head Coach Sean Brady believes the athletes will be ready for the conference championship despite a few injuries on the team.

“The ones that are hurt are our upper classmen,” said Brady. “With those guys we have had some big meets. We went to Miami. We went to the Texas Relays and that was a little more taxing on our team than I had anticipated, but I don’t think that is going to be an issue. Everyone who sat out this meet is going to be hungry to get back on the field.”

The Lions will compete in the Northwestern State Invitational this Saturday in Natchitoches. Brady wants the athletes to take as many opportunities as they can to improve before the conference championships.

“It’s gonna be a really small meet,” said Brady. “We hope to have quite a few of those athletes that didn’t compete come back. It will be a really low stress environment to really get some final coaching opportunities and just work on some of the small things. I don’t think motivation will be an issue. In this sport, if you are not intrinsically motivated, you are not going to make it this far.”

Freshman Justin Taylor finished with a new personal record and won first place in the 110-meter hurdles.
Jonathan Rhodes/The Lion's Roar

  

Sophomore Dekayta Alex took home first place for the 400-meter dash and set her new personal record in the process.
Jonathan Rhodes/The Lion's Roar