WACO – Another outdoor meet close to home will find the Aggie track and field teams at Baylor University on Saturday for the Michael Johnson Invitational. Texas A&M remains ranked No. 2 on the men’s side and No. 8 on the women’s side in the USTFCCCA national team computer rankings.
The field in the Michael Johnson Invitational will also include three ranked programs in host Baylor (No. 19 men, No. 24 women), Miami (No. 19 women), and Texas Tech (No. 8 men). Others schools in the meet include Abilene Christian, Air Force, Angelo State, Cal State-Fullerton, George Mason, Lamar, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, SMU, SFA, Texas, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and TCU.
“It’s close to home for us, which is good,” noted Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “Any time we run in Texas we get a lot of Aggies there. It’s fun to run close to home. Baylor has a good group of schools in the meet, so it should be competitive.”
A live webcast of the Invitational will be available through the subscription service at Flotrack.com: http://live.flotrack.org/#/event/2265-2017-michael-johnson-invitational. Live results from the meet will be available: http://results.deltatiming.com/tf/2017-michael-johnson-invitational.
Field events open the meet at 9 a.m., running events begin at 1 p.m. and the evening running session starts at 5 p.m.
NCAA Indoor 400m champion Fred Kerley will race in the open 400m distance for the first time this outdoor season after running 200m twice (20.27w, 20.45 PR) and being part of relays. In his section of the 400m, Kerley will face Baylor’s Will London and Texas Tech’s Kyle Collins.
“Fred will race in the 400, and it’s just the time of the year when we need to do that,” said Henry. “Next week we run at LSU in the SEC Relays, then the conference meet is two weeks later. So, this weekend is the right place, and we planned for him to open up here.”
Jaevin Reed, currently ranked second on the 2017 world junior list with a 52.18 in the 400m, faces NCAA Indoor champion Shakima Wimbley of Miami along with Baylor’s Leticia De Souza. Reed is the top freshman among collegians this season and ranks sixth overall.
Aggie alum Shamier Little races in the 200m along with a crew of four Aggies in the evening session. Texas A&M will have Briyahna Desrosiers, Kadecia Baird, Amber Ivy and Jarra Owens competing among those three sections of the 200m. In the men’s 200m, Elijah Morrow and Deon Hickey compete in separate evening sessions.
The women’s 100m has Aaliyah Brown and Brenessa Thompson in adjacent lanes as they tangle with Baylor’s Taylor Bennett.
The discus field includes Aggie alum Shelbi Vaughan, a two-time NCAA champion and 2016 Olympian, as Celine Markert competes in the shot put and discus. Jeff Bartlett is the top collegian entered in the men’s discus.
With a 1:44.63 victory in the Sun Angel Classic, Donavan Brazier headlines the men’s 800m where a crew of six Aggies are part of the two-section final. Running in the same section with Brazier are Devin Dixon, JaQwae Ellison, Gaines Kinsey and Efrain Hernandez while Taylor Clayton and Ian Cazares are in the other section.
Katie Willard teams up with Brittany Parker in the same women’s 800m section while Miah Nelson and Hannah Campbell are paired together in another section. The trio of Laura Craig, Lauren Fontana and Katie Watson represent the Aggies in the 1500m.
The men’s high jump features two-time NCAA Indoor champion Trey Culver of Texas Tech along with Red Raider alum Bradley Adkins, who made the U.S. Olympic team in 2016 by finishing third at the Olympic Trials. Texas A&M’s Garrett Cragin, with clearances of 7-1 ¾ and 7-1 this outdoor season, leads a group of four Aggies in the event. Also jumping are Lindon Victor, Alstian Walker and Nathan Hite.
Victor is also scheduled for the pole vault, where he joins Texas A&M’s Audie Wyatt and Jacob Wooten, as well as the long jump with Will Williams. Wyatt and Williams, both NCAA Indoor silver medalists in their respective events back in March, are the top entrants in those two events at Baylor.
Alison Ondrusek leads the women’s hammer field entrants while Austin Cook faces a challenge in the men’s hammer from Miami’s Carlos Mangum and Anthony Shivers of Notre Dame.
Another event leader for the Aggies is Ilolo Izu in the 400m hurdles. Izu ran a career best of 51.56 earlier this season and posted a 51.67 at UCLA this past week. Challengers for Izu include Baylor’s Antwuan Musgrove, Diego Courbis of Fullerton and Texas Tech’s Caleb Richmond.