Although many of LSU's high-profile athletes did not compete in Friday night's LSU Twilight meet, the LSU track and field team had members break records, improve personal bests and move up on LSU's all-time indoor performance lists.
A year ago at the 2012 Twilight meet, junior thrower Denise Hinton set the school record in the indoor weight throw at 20.81 meters. Hinton broke her own record with a throw of 21.57 meters on her last attempt at the this year's meet. Hinton was 3 centimeters away from owning the Maddox Field House record.
Hinton moved up to the No. 4 spot in the NCAA's 2013 weight throw rankings. She said she's proud of this year's consistency, but also knew how close she was to the Field House record.
"I was really excited," Hinton said. "...I wanted to move up in the rankings. I wanted to field house record, maybe next time."
LSU coach Dennis Shaver said he's proud of Hinton, and breaking a record is a great accomplishment – especially a week before the Southeastern Conference meet. Shaver also said Hinton's inconsistencies in her performances last year created doubt in her mind that she was capable to perform well at the 2012 SEC meet, but this year is different.
"The thing that I'm most proud about is that she's shown tremendous consistency this year with her performances," Shaver said. "…She recognizes that she belongs now to be a contender. She's going into the SEC Championship where she is by far the favorite to win."
Many athletes improved personal bests Friday evening. Sophomore thrower Tori Bliss took the first-place title in the women's shot put with a throw of 15.81 meters, which is a personal best and moves Bliss into 4th on LSU's all-time indoor shot put finishes.
LSU finished first and second in the men's pole vault with senior Thomas Reinecke and junior Jaora Johnson taking the top spots. Reinecke's jump of 5.27 meters moved him into 10th place on LSU's all time indoor pole vaulters list.
Shaver said the team focuses on improving individual performances each week, and if his athletes are performing at their best, wherever the team ends up in the standing they have to be satisfied with.
"Fortunately," Shaver said. "They're performing as a group at a high enough level that it puts them in the championship picture."
Senior pole vaulter Lacey Sanchez finished second in the weight throw and freshman Shanice Hall took the title in the high jump. LSU went first and second in the men's mile run with sophomores Philip Primeaux and Barrett Miller finishing one second apart. Junior Toshika Sylvester finished third in the women's 60-meter dash.
LSU travels back to Arkansas to compete in the SEC Championship Meet on Friday, Feb. 22.