FAYETTEVILLE -- Texas A&M sprinters and jumpers will be out in force this weekend as they open the 2008 indoor season at the Razorback Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
The Randal Tyson Track Center, a 200-meter banked track that plays host to the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships in March, will be the site for plenty of action by A&M as a squad of 54 Aggies travel to Arkansas.
The Razorback Invitational begins at noon Friday with multi-event competition in the heptathlon. Field events start at 3 p.m. and running events begin at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday the heptathlon resumes at 11 a.m. with field events starting at 2 p.m. Running events get going at 10 a.m. and conclude around 5:30 p.m.
Results from the meet can be found at www.flashresults.com.
Schools participating in the two-day Razorback Invitational include Big 12 teams Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas as well as Alabama, LSU and host Arkansas from the SEC.
Other squads in the meet include: Abilene Christian, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Harding, Houston, Jackson State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Mississippi College, Missouri Southern, Missouri State, Monterrey Tech, North Texas, Northwestern State, Oral Roberts, Stephen F. Austin, SMU, and Tulsa.
Headlining the women’s Aggie sprint crew is Simone Facey, who earned six All-American honors in her first season with Texas A&M last year. Facey raced to fifth place in the 200 during the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships in Arkansas and earned silver in the 200 during the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Longstanding school records in four sprint events were broken by Facey in 2007 as she set personal best marks in the 60 (7.29), 100 (11.16) and 200 (22.49 and 22.97 indoor). She was also part of school record efforts in the following relays: 4 x 100 (43.05), 4 x 200 (1:32.06) and the indoor 4 x 400 (3:29.93).
Facey played a key role as a member of the 4 x 100 relay that claimed a national championship in the season’s fastest collegiate time. Two other members of that relay return in Porscha Lucas and Elizabeth Adeoti. All three will contest the 60 and 200 during the Razorback Invitational.
The Aggie men’s sprint crew includes Chris Dykes, who placed third in the 200 at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships with a clocking of 20.67 in the Tyson facility. It was the fastest time recorded by an A&M sprinter on a banked 200-meter track.
Also returning are three-fourths of the men’s 4 x 400 relay squad that placed second at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with the fastest time in school history not assisted by an altitude site. The trio includes Justin Oliver, A.C. Robinson and Bryant McCombs.
While the sprinters race on the indoor circuit for the first time this season, this weekend will also be the debut for sophomore jumpers Zuheir Sharif, the defending Big 12 Indoor champion in the triple jump, and Ashika Charan, the Big 12 Indoor runner-up in the long jump and Big 12 Outdoor runner-up in the triple jump.
Sharif capped an impressive freshman campaign with the Aggies with a No. 10 ranking in the nation among all U.S. triple jumpers by Track & Field News. Following his Big 12 title indoors, Sharif earned an All-America honor by placing fifth at the NCAA Outdoors. Then he won the U.S. Junior title and claimed a silver medal at the Pan Am Juniors in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Charan also traveled to Brazil for the Pan Am Juniors and returned with a bronze medal in the triple jump and placed fourth in the long jump. That performance followed a silver medal in the triple jump and a bronze medal in the long jump during the U.S. Junior Championships.
Nick Toohey, the indoor school record holder in the 800, will contest the Championship 800 in Arkansas. Also seeded in the 3,000-meter Championship races are Kevin McNab along with Christina Munoz and Brenna Williamson.
A limited squad of A&M athletes opened the season last Friday at the Leonard Hilton Memorial in Houston. Highlights included Matt Ross placing third in the mile with a Big 12 leading time of 4:13.60 while Evelyn Wing recorded a victory in the 800 and moved to No. 6 on the Aggie indoor list. In the pole vault, Jennifer Davidson set an indoor best of 11-11 ¾ for third place as she moved to No. 3 on the A&M indoor list.
Texas A&M entries for the Razorback Invitational
60: Simone Facey, Porscha Lucas, Gabby Mayo, Elizabeth Adeoti, Khrystal Carter, Allison George, Jessica Beard
200: Porscha Lucas, Gabby Mayo, Jessica Beard, Khrystal Carter, Elizabeth Adeoti, Allison George, Sandy Wooten, Lindsey Adams, Whitney Holmes
400: Sandy Wooten
800: Evelyn Wing, Alie Cornell
Mile: Brenna Williamson, Alie Cornell
3000: (Championship) Christina Munoz, Brenna Williamson
60H: Jennifer Williams, Lindsey Adams, Whitney Holmes
4 x 400: A&M has two teams entered
PV: Jennifer Davidson, Laura Asimakis
LJ: Ashley McCarty
TJ: Ashika Charan, Tiffany Peters, Angela Thomas
SP: Anteneshia Lindsey, Lindsey Frazier
60: Richard Adu-Bobie, Dominique Stafford, Gerald Phiri, Brandon Lowe
200: Chris Dykes, Richard Adu-Bobie, Dominique Stafford, Brandon Lowe
400: Justin Oliver, A.C. Robinson, Bryant McCombs, Morquise Cleveland, Nick Robinson, Bryan Miller, Brandon Machacek
800: Nick Toohey (Championship), Kevin Ondrasek
Mile: Kevin Ondrasek, Kevin McNab, Matt Ross, Graham Northcutt
3000: Kevin McNab (Championship), Joe Sauvageau
60H: Cade Liverman, Melvin Echard
4 x 400: A&M has two teams entered
HJ: Seth Lowery, Brandon Letsinger
PV: Chad Stoermer, Brett Bennett
LJ: Julian Reid, Vincent Scillitani
TJ: Zuheir Sharif, Tyron Stewart, Terry Dike, Melvin Echard
Wt: Josh Tiemann
Hept: Trinity Otto