Feb. 25, 2011
BOISE, Idaho - The WAC Championships turned into the Chelsea Hayes Show Friday. Within a span of 90 minutes, the New Orleans native commanded the attention of everyone at Jackson Track facility, setting a personal record in the 200m, the school record in the long jump and shattering the conference record in the 60m hurdles.
Hayes qualified for the finals of the long jump with only one mark (a respectable 19-3.5) and passed on her final prelim opportunity so she could prepare for the 60m dash prelims. That extra prep time was worth it as she blew by the competition and shattered the WAC Championship and her own school record with a time of 7.34 while tying the all-time WAC record set by TCU's Monica Twam in 2001.
A redshirt junior, Hayes went back over to the long jump and set the school record by 2.5 inches with a mark of 20-9.75. Less than 30 minutes later, she was back on the track in the 200m prelims, where she ran the day's fastest mark and a personal record time of 24.47 to advance to Saturday's finals.
"I'm tired but I feel good," Hayes said after her string of record-setting performances. "I am just proud of myself. I felt tired in the 200m because I had already done the 60m and the long jump. I even scratched by last long jump chance so I could run in the 200m. When I heard my long jump mark, I was so happy I started to cry. I knew I could do well but I didn't think I would break the conference record [in the 60m dash]. I am just trying to qualify for nationals and help my team win a title."
Chelsea Hayes talks about her record-setting day
Hayes will run in the 60m dash finals Saturday at 3:05 p.m. CT and will follow that 30 minutes later with the 200m finals. A strong performance in both finals races could be a 20 point swing for the Lady Techsters.
"I think we exceeded what we thought we [could do] in some events," said head coach Gary Stanley. "There are always hiccups in a meet. Obviously Chelsea Hayes' two school records in one day is pretty phenomenal. She was leading us and I felt real good about a lot of things. Our kids realized on the women's side that if we come out tomorrow and really get after it, then we have a chance.
Also in the long jump, Tiana Davis finished second as she tied a personal-best mark of 20-2.5 while Quatisha Williams placed eighth with a jump of 18-2.25. The Lady Techsters scored 19 points in that one event.
Davis was another Tech athlete to star in multiple events as she had the second-fastest 60m hurdles time with a mark of 8.58. Davis was second in the prelims only to Tech freshman and 11-time Louisiana state champion Kim Francis, who ran a personal-best time of 8.55. Both Davis and Francis advanced to Saturday's finals. Francis also advanced in the 60m dash after running 7.69 in the prelims. In addition to Hayes and Francis, Chasidee Lewis-Baker moved on to the finals after winning her heat with a time of 7.55.
Larry Jones finished second in the shot put with a throw of 54-11.25, a personal-best mark for the senior and the fifth-longest shot put throw in school history. His finish guaranteed him all-WAC honors as the Ruston native garnered his 12th career all-WAC accolade.
In the men's 200m dash, Ruston native and freshman Trey Hadnot led the way as four Tech sprinters advanced to Saturday's finals. Hadnot ran a personal record time of 21.62 while Josh Goree (22.04), Kevin Stewart (22.08) and Dennis Richardson (22.14) also advanced.
Despite a strong showing by both the men and the women Friday the night ended in controversy as both of Louisiana Tech's men's and women's distance medley relay teams were disqualified by meet officials for using an illegal baton. Louisiana Tech received a DQ in both races for having an illegal baton. Tech's men had finished second, scoring eight points and qualifying for first team all-WAC honors and Tech's women had placed eighth to score one point had their times erased and accolades scratched.
Action concludes Saturday with 22 different finals events starting at 11 a.m. with the men's high jump and concluding with the men's and women's 4x400m relays. For complete coverage of Tech Track and Field, please visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.