Fayetteville, Ark. – Lisa Gunnarsson and Mondo Duplantis, both pole vaulters who were debuting for the LSU track and field team at the Razorback Invitational, set school records on Friday evening at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center.
Gunnarsson made her LSU debut in fitting fashion with the highest clearance in LSU history with a mark of 4.51 meters (14-9 ½). Going toe to toe with a three-time national champion, Lexi Jacobus of Arkansas, Gunnarsson matched her clearance for clearance but ultimately ended up with a third-place finish due to number of misses. Jacobus won the title, and Victoria Hoggard of Arkansas placed second with one-less miss than Gunnarsson. All three – Gunnarrson, Jacobus, Hoggard – sit atop the NCAA leaderboard in the event with season-best clearances. Gunnarsson’s clearance took down Rachel Laurent’s nine-year old school record in the event.
Duplantis opened up with a miss at 5.46 meters (17-11) before he cleared four straight bars in a row (5.46m, 5.57m, 5.72m, 5.83m). He took three attempts while trying to clear an NCAA record height of 5.92 meters (19-5.00), but he came up just a bit short on those three. His season-best clearance of 5.83 meters accomplished a number of things during his first meet in the Purple and Gold. It set a 2019 world lead, it broke Russ Buller’s 20-year old school record, and it was the third-best clearance in indoor NCAA history. Mondo joins his brother, Andreas, on the LSU top-10 list, but interestingly enough, his school record mark of 5.83 meters (19-1.50) knocked his father, Greg, off the all-time indoor top list at LSU. Greg’s career-best indoor mark was a 17 foot, five and a half inch clearance in 1986.
Akanni Hislop closed out the evening on the track for the LSU track and field squad with the best 200 meter dash time of his indoor career. A native of Sou Sou Lands, Tobago, Hislop circled the 200 meter track in 20.96 seconds to set a personal best and claim the title in a field of 28 athletes. On the women’s side, Kortnei Johnson was the top finisher in the one-lap sprint with a time of 23.38 to claim bronze in the elite portion of the event.
In some other field events, Rayvon Grey garnered bronze in the long jump with a bound of 7.81 meters (25-7.50) in the third of six attempts. Mercy Abire took the same positioning as Grey in the women’s pit with a mark of 6.09 meters (19-11.75). In the women’s high jump, Abby O’Donoghue and Kaitlyn Walker shared a third-place finish with clearances of 1.75 meters (5-8.75).
Not to be overshadowed in the pole vault, Cameron Reed and Amy Stelly both notched personal bests in the event as well. Reed took third in the men’s pole vault with a jump of 4.91 meters (16-1.25), while Stelly upped her the fourth-best performance in school history to 3.81 meters (12-6.00).
LSU is back at it on Saturday with day two of the Razorback Invitational. The afternoon portion of the meet will air live on the SEC Network starting at 1 p.m. CT.