Alexander smashed the NACAC Championships record to win the gold medal in the women’s 400-meter dash, junior teammate Kimberlyn Duncan anchored the United States to the gold medal in the women’s 4x100-meter relay while senior Barrett Nugent broke his own LSU school record to win a silver medal in the men’s 110-meter hurdles to highlight Saturday’s competition.
Nugent, the 2011 NCAA Outdoor champion, broke his 2-year-old school record of 13.35 that was run in a fifth-place finish at the 2010 USA Championships during the summer of his sophomore season. His 13.32 on Saturday was run with a legal tailwind of 1.8 meters per second.
Alexander, who won her semifinal heat in 53.43 seconds on Friday night, lined up in Saturday’s final as a gold medal favorite with a seasonal-best time of 51.20 to her credit.
In a heated race with Haiti’s Marlena Wesh, Alexander crossed the finish line in 51.13 to become the first LSU Track & Field athlete crowned NACAC champion in the 400-meter dash in the meet’s history. Wesh won the silver medal in 51.32 as the Clemson junior followed Alexander across the line. Mississippi State junior and Jamaican international Jodi-Ann Muir won the bronze medal in 52.44.
Not only did Alexander eclipse her previous PR of 51.20 in winning the NCAA Outdoor silver medal this season, but she also broke the previous NACAC U-23 Championships meet of 51.15 run by gold medalist Shana Cox at the 2006 event held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Alexander was not the only Lady Tiger to win a gold medal during Saturday’s action as Duncan anchored the United States to an easy victory in the women’s 4x100-meter relay.
As Duncan teamed with Pittsburgh’s Cambrya Jones and Central Florida’s duo of Octavious Freeman and Aurieyall Scott, the United States carried the stick around the track in 43.58 to win gold by more than two seconds ahead of the silver medalists from the Bahamas (45.71). Mexico scored the bronze medal on their home track with a run of 47.85 in the 4x100-meter relay.
Duncan is the third Lady Tiger to win the NACAC U-23 Championship gold medal in the 4x100 relay for the United States as she joins Brooklynn Morris in 2006 and Kenyanna Wilson in 2010.
In one of the more exciting races of the day, Nugent broke his own school record while winning the silver medal in the final of the men’s 110-meter hurdles. While finishing the race with a personal-record time of 13.32, Nugent came within a split-second of winning LSU’s third gold medal of the night as Texas Tech’s Shane Brathwaite crossed the finish line in 13.31 to strike gold for Barbados.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers have now combined to win 24 medals all-time at the NACAC Championship.