Advocate news services
August 28, 2012
GURABO, Puerto Rico — LSU women’s basketball coach Nikki Caldwell and the USA Women’s Basketball U18 National Team swept through the FIBA Americas Championship to claim the gold medal in Puerto Rico over the weekend.
Team USA recorded wire-to-wire wins in its first four games before posting a double-digit comeback against Brazil in the gold-medal game. Team USA trailed 16-7 in the first half but captured a 71-47 victory.
Caldwell, one of two assistant coaches on the team, is the third person associated with LSU women’s basketball to earn a gold medal this summer. Former Lady Tiger standouts Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles helped the Americans to a fifth consecutive gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Caldwell was assisting Miami coach Katie Meyer on a team made up of the country’s most elite under-18 prospects. It is the sixth consecutive gold medal for the Americans in the FIBA Americas competition. Team USA improved to 43-2 all-time in the event.
Caldwell’s Lady Tigers went through went through conditioning drills and individual workouts on Monday.
Caldwell will participate in “Mall Ball” on Saturday at the Mall of Louisiana. Caldwell and the Lady Tigers will sign autographs at the center court of the mall beginning at noon. Caldwell will address the crowd with men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones at 12:45 p.m.
Track and field
TIGERS ADD THREE TO CLASS: The LSU track and field added three recruits among students enrolling for the first day of classes of the fall semester on Monday to finalize a 17-member class.
The Lady Tigers added immediate depth in the field events by adding high jumper Shanice Hall (St. Catherine, Jamaica) and heptathlete Therese Jernbeck (Stockholm, Sweden), while the Tigers added sprinter Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Mandeville, Jamaica).
Hall, from Wolmer’s Trust High School for Girls in Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica, was a 2010 Carifta Games gold medalist in the high jump.
Hall has a personal record of 6 feet, ¾ inches set winning the high jump at the 2012 Gibson Relays in Kingston. She has cleared 5-10¾ five times in her youth career, including the 2010 Carifta Games win and bronze-medal winning performance at the 2012 Jamaican Junior Championships.
Jernbeck, from Viktor Rydbergs Gymnasium, has a personal-record of 5,324 points in the heptathlon set in a 12th-place finish for Sweden at the 2011 European Junior Athletics Championships. She has posted personal records of 14.88 in the 100-meter hurdles, 24.86 in the 200-meter dash, 2:19.65 in the 800-meter run, 5-5¼ in the high jump, 17-11 in the long jump 42-0 in the shot put and 133-7 in the javelin.
Mitchell-Blake competed for his native Great Britain in the 200-meter dash at the 2011 IAAF World Youth Championships. He has run PRs of 10.49 in the 100 meters and 21.49 in the 200 meters in his prep career.