March 31, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - Louisiana Tech's Chelsea Hayes qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials, set two school and conference records and won the long jump with the world's best mark of the year Saturday as action wrapped up at the 85th Annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
Hayes long jump mark of 22-6.25 (6.86m) not only set a new school and conference record, it also qualified the New Orleans native for the U.S. Olympic Trials this summer, the final step before qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
A product of Abramson High School, she set a new school record by a foot and a new Western Athletic Conference record by more than seven inches all while foregoing her three jumps in the final round as she had to compete in the 100m dash finals at the same time. In the long jump, Hayes beat Tori Bowie of Southern Miss for the meet title by over three inches. Her jump currently ranks as the best mark in the world this year, over an inch better than Great Britain's Lorraine Ugen who jumped 22-5 (6.83m) on Feb. 16.
While the rest of the long jump field was trying in vain to match her effort, Hayes headed over to the track where she ran a school and conference record time of 11.09. That mark, topping the previous school and conference record of 11.13 set by Tech's Latonia Wilson in 2007, also qualified her for the U.S. Olympic Trials this summer and is currently ranked third in the world.
Second in the race only to LSU's Kimberlyn Duncan, Hayes' time of 11.09 is the third-fastest 100m dash time ran in the world this year and would have even placed second in the 100m dash invitational at the Texas Relays, a race fully comprised of professional sprinters.
In other Tech action on the final day of the Texas Relays, the 4x200m relay team of Stacia Hanneman, Dominique Crosby, Victoria Wade and Diamond Every ran 1:37.93 - the seventh fastest time in school history - to finish 12th.
Louisiana Tech's world-class athletes return to Ruston next weekend for the Jim Mize Invitational. Action begins in the early afternoon on Saturday, April 7 at the Jim Mize Track and Field Facility on the Louisiana Tech campus with admission free to the public.
For complete coverage of Tech Track and Field, please visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.