Women’s sprint medley, Forbes lead LSU at Penn Relays

PHILADELPHIA — The No. 4 LSU women’s track and field team continued its dominance of the sprint medley relay, and senior standout Damar Forbes got his first career victory in the championship long jump during Friday’s action at the 119th Penn Relays at Franklin Field.

The LSU women’s sprint medley relay team won its sixth Penn Relays title in seven years and eighth all-time at the Penn Relays.

Latoya McDermott (200 meters), senior Kimberlyn Duncan (200 meters), junior Nikita Tracey (400 meters) and junior Natoya Goule (800 meters) proved to be the class of the field.

With Goule anchoring the team in 2 minutes, 3.5 seconds on the 800-meter leg, the Lady Tigers ran their sixth-fastest time in school history at 3:44.26 to finish more than two seconds ahead of runner-up Duke (3:46.43) and more than six seconds ahead of third-place Miami (3:50.72).

LSU has won at least one Championship of America relay title in 23 straight seasons.

“That’s a great way for our ladies to finish off another big day for our teams at the Penn Relays,” LSU coach Dennis Shaver said.
“We were in great position after the 200 legs, and Natoya did what she’s been doing for us all year long with another strong 800 meters. They have a lot of pride in that event, and it was great to see them get their title back here at Penn.”

In his final Penn Relays appearance for the Tigers, Forbes claimed his first championship victory in the long jump with a seasonal best of 25 feet, 11 inches on his second attempt of the day.

Monroe’s Mamadou Gueye (24-6 ¼) was the runner-up

Forbes also led an impressive relay performance by the Tigers in the qualifying round of the 4x100-meter relay as he joined with Aaron Ernest, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and Shermund Allsop to win the third heat with the second-fastest time of the day at 39.68 seconds. Norfolk State finished runner-up in the heat in 40.48.

In the women’s 4x100-meter relay final, LSU’s McDermott, Duncan, Takeia Pinckney and Toshika Sylvester scored a bronze medal in 43.91 seconds.

The Lady Tigers will line up in two finals during Saturday’s finale with the 4x800 relay set for 3:10 p.m. and the 4x400 relay at 4:50 p.m.

Sylvester also earned a spot in Saturday’s championship final of the women’s 100-meter dash with a runner-up finish 11.82 (+1.8) in the first heat of Friday’s qualifying round.

Rodney Brown led a trio of personal-best performance in the field events during Friday’s action, winning the college division of the men’s shot put with a lifetime PR of 57-10 ½ in the sixth round.

Brown added a runner-up finish in the discus with a series-best of 191-2.

Tori Bliss set two personal bests in the discus as she followed a throw of 157-10 in the third round with a lifetime best of 161-10 in the fourth round en route to a fifth-place finish in the championship division.

LSU’s Fitzroy Dunkley posted an outdoor PR in with first-attempt clearances at 6-6 ¾, 6-8 ¼ and 6-9 ¾ to take third place in the college division of the men’s high jump.

Keri Emanuel was LSU’s top performer in the women’s championship triple jump with top mark of the day at 41-3 ¾ to claim a fourth-place finish in the final.

The Penn Relays conclude Saturday with field events at 8 a.m. and track events at 12:25 p.m.

The meet will end with the running of the Championship of America 4x400-meter relays as the Lady Tigers will run at 4:50 p.m., followed by the Tigers at 5 p.m.