Distance runner Laura Carleton can reach goal by scoring in 5,000

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The goal of LSU distance runner Laura Carleton going into the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships was to score in two events.

That would be a first for the fifth-year senior in her final SEC meet.

Carleton, who earned the first half of the double with a fourth-place finish late Friday night in the 10,000 meters, can achieve her goal Sunday in the 5,000 meters — an event she won at the SEC indoor meet in February.

Carleton, who last month shattered the 28-year-old school record in the 5,000 by 341/2 seconds, got another one Friday night with her time of 34 minutes, 01.65 seconds bettering a mark that stood since 1988 by nearly 11/2 minutes — in her 10,000 meters debut.

Carleton, the granddaughter of former LSU assistant football coach Dave McCarty, said she started hurting about a third of the way through the 6.2-mile race, but held her ground with a lead pack of eight runners.

“I felt like I was where I was supposed to be with the lead pack,” she said. “I just wish I had a little stronger finish, but I was going as hard as I could have been.”

Great memories

When LSU’s Damar Forbes pulled out a win in the men’s long jump Saturday with a mark of 27 feet, 41/2 inches on his final attempt to claim the first SEC title of his career, it took coach Dennis Shaver back a few years.

Shaver recalled how two of the Tigers’ all-time greats in the event, Olympians Walter Davis and John Moffitt, used to do it.

Davis, a two-time Olympian, and Moffitt, who won the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games, had a flair for the dramatic in winning many times on their last jump of a competition.

“It reminded me of Walter and John,” a beaming Shaver said. “I’m extremely proud of Damar because he’s doing a lot more for us this year in leading off the 4x100 relay.”

Leleux repeats

Georgia pole vaulter Morgann Leleux, a New Iberia native, won the pole vault for the second year in a row Saturday when she took the title with a clearance of 13-91/4.

Because of a strong tailwind that played havoc with the competitors, the mark was well off the 14-63/4 Leleux won with last year as a freshman when the meet was held at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

“It’s very satisfying and I couldn’t be more excited,” said Leleux, who had surgery on a detached retina in late January. “The wind was actually pretty rough today. You’d get a really good wind, but every now and then you’d get that cross-wind. Because it was so fast, it was pulling my pole.”

Brown advances

Baton Rouge native and McKinley High graduate Kamaria Brown, a sophomore at Texas A&M, qualified for her second final Saturday when she won her preliminary heat of the 400 meters in 54.02 seconds.

Brown will line up in that final Sunday as well as the 200 meters final after qualifying in that event Friday night with a time of 23.34 seconds. She will also run on the 4x100 relay and possibly on the 4x400 relay if needed.