The top-ranked Lady Tigers will send 11 athletes, while the fifth-ranked
Tiger squad will have nine athletes representing LSU.
"I believe this is the most athletes we have ever sent to the national
championships," said head coach Pat Henry. "Marian (Burnett) and Traun
(Smith) are the only seniors competing this weekend so it's a very young,
but talented group of athletes we'll be bringing to the meet.
"Overall, I'm pleased with the individuals who've qualified, but now our job as a team is to perform at the level that got us there."
The Lady Tigers will have numerous scoring opportunities in the short sprints and middle distance running events. Muna Lee, the defending national champion in the indoor 200 meters, has qualified in both the 60 and
200-meter dashes and enters the meet with the nation's top times in both
Lee will be joined by both Lolo Jones and Monique Hall in the 60-meter dash,
however Jones' best scoring opportunity will likely come in the 60-meter
hurdles where she enters the meet with the nation's fifth fastest time after
winning her second straight SEC title in the event two weeks ago.
Sophomore RaNysha LeBlanc will also be competing in the 60-meter hurdles as she makes her first appearance at the NCAA Championships.
Stephanie Durst and Monique Hall will join Lee in the field of talented
runners in the 200 meters. Durst, who finished third in the event at the
indoor championships a year ago, enters the meet with he nation's 11th-best time this season, while Hall will be competing in her first ever NCAA
Championships after spending two seasons at Barton County Community College.
The Lady Tigers will also have multiple scoring opportunities in the 400 and
800-meter events. Hazelann Regis, the SEC champion in the 400 meters, enters the NCAA Championships with the nation's fourth fastest time in the event, while Davy follows with the 11th best qualifying time.
Regis and Davy will join with Durst and Hall to compete in the 4x400-meter
relay. The foursome ranks fourth in the event this season.
In the 800 meters senior Marian Burnett looks to defend her indoor national
title, entering the meet with the NCAA's top time this season. Junior Neisha
Bernard-Thomas will also join Burnett in the half-mile field.
The Lady Tigers will also have two athletes, in Nicole Toney and Mallory
McDonald, representing them in the field events. Toney, the defending
national champion in the indoor triple jump, is coming off a season best
performance at last week's LSU Last Chance Meet where she turned in an
NCAA-leading jump of 44-5 ½.
McDonald, the school record holder in the weight throw, will be competing in her first-ever NCAA Championships. She enters the meet ranked eighth in the nation in the event.
On the men's side the Tigers will look to their quarter-milers and horizontal jumpers for there best scoring opportunities.
Junior All-American Pete Coley and freshman Kelly Willie headline the 400-meter field for LSU. Coley, who finished second in the event at the NCAA
Indoor Championships a year ago, returns with the nation's fifth fastest
time this season, while Willie, making his inaugural appearance at the
championship meet, brings with him the eighth fastest time in the event.
Coley and Willie will combine with Marlon Greensword and Bennie Brazell to
chase after a national championship in the 4x400-meter relay. The quarter
enters the meet with the nation's second fastest time this season.
After sitting out the past few weeks with a pulled hamstring, junior Robert
Parham will return to competition in the 200 meters at the NCAA Championships. Parham presents a healthy scoring opportunity for the Tigers in the event, as he enters the meet ranked sixth in the nation.
The duo of John Moffitt and LeJuan Simon will pace the LSU men's squad in
the field events as both have qualified in long and triple jump events.
Moffitt, the SEC champion in long jump, is undefeated in the event this
season and currently owns the nation's top long jump mark.
Simon, who will be returning to competition after a two week break while
recovering from an injury, will be the Tigers' top threat in the triple jump.
He posted the nation's fifth-best distance in the event earlier this season
at the SEC West Challenge in Fayetteville and should contend for the
nation's top spot this weekend.
Junior Traun Smith will also join Simon and Moffitt in the triple jump
competition. Traun earned All-American honors in the event a season ago.
Pole vaulter Daniel Trosclair will be making his first appearance at the
NCAA Championships, he enters the meet ranked 14th in the event.
The 2003 edition of the NCAA Indoor Championships will get underway Friday afternoon at the Randal Tyson Track Center and will conclude Saturday evening. The Lady Tigers enter the meet as the defending national champions and the Tigers look to improve upon their third-place finish from a year ago.
LSU NCAA Indoor Championships Roster
WOMEN (National Ranking, Top Time/Mark)
Muna Lee (1st, 7.20)
Lolo Jones (11th, 7.32)
Monique Hall (21st, 7.38)
Muna Lee (1st, 23.03)
Stephanie Durst (11th, 23.54)
Monique hall (18th, 23.67)
Hazelann Regis (4th, 52.50)
Nadia Davy (11th, 52.98)
Marian Burnett (1st, 2:04.57)
Neisha Bernard-Thomas (15th, 2:06.63)
Lolo Jones (5th, 8.10)
RaNysha LeBlanc (16th, 8.23)
Nadia Davy, Stephanie Durst, Monique Hall, Hazelann Regis (4th, 3:33.87)
Nicole Toney (1st, 44-5 ½)
Mallory McDonald (8th, 65-2 ¾)
Robert Parham (6th, 20.91)
Pete Coley (5th, 46.02)
Kelly Willie (8th, 46.18)
Pete Coley, Marlon Greensword, Bennie Brazell, Kelly Willie (2nd, 3:05.62)
Daniel Trosclair (14th, 17-6 ½)
John Moffitt (1st, 26-6 ¼)
LeJuan Simon (9th, 25-7 ½)
LeJuan Simon (5th, 53-9 ¼)
John Moffitt (10th, 53-3)
Traun Smith (52-2 ¾)