Sun | Feb 25, 2024

Lyston’s college debut delayed out of an abundance of caution

Published:Friday | February 3, 2023 | 12:14 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
Brianna Lyston.
Brianna Lyston.

World Under-20 200 metres champion Brianna Lyston’s collegiate debut for Louisiana State University (LSU) was delayed not because of any injury concerns but because of a conservative approach taken for her first indoor season, according to LSU head coach Dennis Shaver.

Lyston was scheduled to make her indoor collegiate debut last Friday at the 2023 Razorback Invitational but was withdrawn from the 200m event by Shaver believing that he did not want to risk her competing on the elevated Randan Tyson Indoor Track surface. In an interview with World-Track.Org, Shaver dismissed any injury concerns for the 18-year-old, insisting that it was premature for Lyston to be running indoors, based on how she had trained the day before the race.

“After (last week Thursday’s) training on the track, I did not feel I had her ready,” Shaver said. Shaver’s concern was with how she responded to the surface. Shaver said that he is taking a cautious approach to Lyston’s development in her first season with LSU, guaranteeing that she will compete when she is ready.

“She is young and I am taking a conservative approach. When I feel I have her prepared to run on a banked indoor track, she will compete,” Shaver said.

How Lyston is managed was a concern brought up by her former high-school coach Corey Bennett when her move to LSU was announced in June 2022. He said that the way Lyston is managed will be key to her longevity.

“I am really hoping that they treat her with care and I hope that they don’t overrun her, because I don’t think she has the body and the physique to really run week in and week out. I am hoping whoever gets her treats her with some amount of care for her to last and to go towards her future as a professional athlete,” Bennett said in an interview with The Gleaner on June 29, before the Under-20 World Championships in Colombia.