MCHS alum Norwood narrowly misses berth
DES MOINES, Iowa — Three current and former LSU track and field stars just missed out on earning spots in the world championships Saturday.
Former LSU All-American Vernon Norwood, a Morgan City High School graduate, came up one spot shy of a berth on the USA team when he finished fourth in the 400 meters final.
Athletes earn their way on to the team that will compete in the worlds later this fall with a top-three finish at the USA championships, which concluded Sunday at Drake University.
Norwood missed making the team by just 0.11 seconds even though he raced to a personal-best of 44.40 seconds. Nathan Strother took third in 44.29.
That topped his old PR of 44.44, which he set in April 2015 while competing for the Tigers.
While at LSU, Norwood swept the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor titles in the 400-meter dash during his senior season in 2015. He became the 14th sprinter in collegiate history to sweep NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor titles in the 400-meter dash (or 440-yard dash) in the same season.
He ended his college career as a four-time NCAA Champion, eight-time All-American and nine-time All-SEC sprinter in just two seasons at LSU in 2014 and 2015.
Michael Cherry, another former LSU All-American, finished sixth with a time of 44.69 seconds.
Also Saturday, LSU senior-to-be Tonea Marshall made it through the semifinals of the 100-meter hurdles when she finished fourth in her heat in 12.95 seconds.
Marshall lowered her time in the final later Saturday afternoon to 12.81 second, but finished sixth.
Incoming LSU freshman Tzuriel Pedigo, who won a gold medal in the javelin at the U20 Pan Am championships a week ago, finished sixth with a best of 240 feet, 11 inches.
In the 400 hurdles semifinals, Cassandra Tate earned a spot in Sunday’s final when she finished second in her semifinal heat in 55.45 seconds.
Tate was attempting to make her second U.S. team after winning the bronze medal at the 2015 championships. Her time of 54.91 seconds left Tate more than 1½ seconds out of third.
Dalilah Muhammad, the gold medalist at the 2016 Olympics, won the national title Sunday with a world-record time of 52.20 seconds on a soggy track at Drake University.
In other qualifying Saturday, Sha’Carri Richardson and Mikiah Bricsco both failed to reach the 200 semifinals.
Richardson was fifth in her first-round heat with a time of 23.46 seconds, and Brisco also was fifth in her heat in 23.70.
Former Southeastern Louisiana All-American pole vaulter Devin King finished in a tie for seventh at 17-11.