Louisiana State University’s (LSU) 2012 recruit Nikita Tracey helped Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) create history at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Outdoor Track & Field Championship this past weekend (May 24, 25, 26) as the Lady Bison won their first ever national championship in the three-day meet at the Indiana Wesleyan University Outdoor Track Complex.
After winning the NAIA title in the 400m hurdles in 58.11 as a freshman last spring, Tracey ran a season best 57.33secs to defend her NAIA crown and then ran the second and lead-off legs on OBU’s winning 4x4 and 4x8 relays, respectively, to score 15 of her team’s 101.5 total points. The Lady Bison finished 20.5 points clear of the runners-up Concordia University on 81.
Tracey in 2009
“My teammates and I worked really hard throughout the season because we wanted to make history.” Tracey said. “Everyone did what they were expected to do. It’s a great experience. It’s been a good two years for me at OBU, and it ended well. Now, I’m looking forward to joining the LSU family and helping our team win a national championship.”
Tracey eclipsed her previous season best of 57.89 set in a third-place finish at the Drake Relays on April 28, and marked her fastest 400m hurdles performance in her two seasons with the Bison.
A native of Clarendon, Jamaica, Tracey signed with the Lady Tigers in February with a personal record of 56.89 that she set as a 19-yr-old in winning the bronze medal in the 400m hurdles at the 2010 North American, Central American and Caribbean Under-23 Athletics Championships.
Tracey, whose hurdler sister, Ristananna, lives and trains in Jamaica, transfers to LSU for summer school and will continue her training as she prepares to run the 400m hurdles at the Jamaican National Olympic Trials June 24 in Kingston. She is currently the No. 7-ranked Jamaican in the women’s 400 hurdles for the 2012 outdoor season.